“ Hey, chaps. You will no doubt recall
that I’m the very first semi-butch Lesbian to fly solo across the Atlantic “no-hands” (see photo) and without a helmet, with my hair in a Louise Brooks bob, wearing only a skimpy camisole for publicity purposes plus a pair of primitive non-polarized Ray-Bans and with only a plump, unidentified medium-sized mammal across my shoulders for warmth.
“That’s a helluva lot of firsts in one go. Jeezus! But when you’re a gal, you know—you gotta do at least a hundred impossible things before the sun reaches the meridian to get the same respect a man does for just remembering to zip up his fly-front trousers after he takes a whizz.
“Strap down my bosoms with a tensor bandage if it ain’t the truth! I’m real sorry to cuss, ladies and gentleman. Real sorry.
“Oh, and the aircraft you see was a 1928 early pedal-powered bi-plane with propellers. Pedal-powered, did you get that? Yes, siree. That’s why all the girls call me “ThunderThighs Earheam”, and a lot more besides.
“How do I do it? Damned, excuse my French, if I can explain! But on that maiden voyage, if you’ll pardon the expression – hey – you – yeah you – could you hand me my “Parfait d’Amour” on the rocks, chuck? Ta ever so – yeah, as I was saying, I was so bushed, if you’ll pardon the expression – that I set down my aircraft right in The Green Park, London, near enough in front of Buckingham Palace, that is, and just friggin’ lay on the lawn until a Beefeater, if you’ll pardon the expression, came round and kicked me rather harshly in the head and said, “Move along, little Missy! There’s a chap!”
“But if I’m anything, I’m resilient. Me and my unidentified mammal, Shmul, walked the streets of London until I came up with this poem. Here goes, ’cause I ain’t a bit shy about it:
Thoughts on London after lying right smack on the lawn in Green Park, getting kicked in the head, then going for a walk ~
I wandered London’s chartered streets,
With Shmul, my medium-sized mammal,
And there I found that harlots young—
Each syphilitic in her marriage hearse
And sporting a sequined evening purse—
Went crazy for my Sopwith Camel
And yes, siree that night sure was fun.
—Traila “ThunderThighs” Earheam ©1928
“Not sure of the last line, I’ll be honest with ya. It’s kind of a slanty rhyme and not real poetic, like. Anyway, that’s as far as I got with the poem.
“I sent it to that Edna Millay who called me an “imagiste”, which I thought was praising with faint damns, frankly. Then she asked me if I’d ever met Bonnie Parker, whoever that is, because my talent reminded her of this Bonnie person, not quite sure how to take that. So much for Edna Millay, what a lipstick Lesbosnob! A semi-butch sister is obviously on her own, not counting her mammal, as far as poetry goes.
“At least I don’t prance around with some Pulitzer Prize shoved out in front of me like a g-d hostage!
“So, whatever. I’m here to offer inspirational throwback doo-dads, so here we go:
“Girls, girls girls! You can do anything! Anything a man can do! Better! And with a whole lot less fuss and attention-seeking! Don’t let the guys get you down, just roll your eyes when they call you “little Missy”, and swat their hands away when they get ambitions on your person.
“Or do what I do: when they try and appropriate your front bumps, if you’ll pardon the expression, just reach over without a by-your-leave and squeeze their Damson plums, squeeze ’em real hard till the pips squeak and say, “How do you like them egg-rolls, Mr Goldstone!” That’ll give ’em a run for their money.
“You girls can fly solo across the Atlantic, you can circumnavigate the globe, you can do anything you put your mind, your skimpy publicity camisole, your medium-sized mammal and your determination to do.
“And if you disappear trying – well, by all the garter belts and corsets on Susan B Anthony! At least you’ll keep ’em guessing for the next hundred-odd years.
“So there’s yer inspiration! I’m real tired now, my thighs are throbbin’ and if you don’t mind, there’s a spot on your front lawn with my name on it. Ahhhh, that feels good…. come on over here, Shmul. Make with the mink pillow impersonation … if you’ll pardon the ex… pre… sss…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… “
This plaque is on the front lawn
of my apartment building, at
392 Sherbourne Street,