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Flying helped redefine woman’s life
Written by Lu Stitt   
Monday, 01 October 2012 00:00

Bette Bach Fineman was flying high, in the air and in her personal life.

She was married to her high school sweetheart who was her partner, her flight instructor, the father of her six children, her hero and the center of her life.

Camp Verde resident Bette Bach Fineman’s 2007 book, “Patterns: Tales of Flying and of Life,” touches briefly on her life with first husband Richard Bach, but transitions to a story of a woman needing all her wits to support a large family alone. A pilot for much of her life, Fineman sold her last plane a couple of years ago.One day in 1970, Fineman’s world crashed like a plane that lost its wings. Her husband of 13 years didn’t want to be married any longer, and he left.

“It was quite sudden and a shock,” Fineman said, sitting in her Camp Verde home where she lives with her second husband, Jon Fineman.

Her husband, Richard Bach, was a writer, best-known for his aviation book, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” Fineman typed and edited the book, along with his other writings.

As Bach packed upstairs, Fineman was ironing in the basement. Her tears fell on the shirt draped across the ironing board — her husband’s shirt. Fineman thought it was just a bad dream. The reality hit when the sound of tires crunching on the gravel driveway stopped and everything fell silent.

Bach taught Fineman to fly. In the air she was different — in control and far from the kitchen, the diapers, the budget, the grocery store and the many errands life required. Knowing how to fly was a great gift, she said.

Fineman found a job teaching aeronautics, the ground school for flying.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Sept. 26, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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