Rosie the Riveter
When the US joined the war, Rosie was living on the east coast, in the beautiful state of Virginia. She had grown up in a rather patriotic family, frequently visiting local historic local monuments, and naturally wanted to do her part to help out. She heard about a new factory Ford had built in Michigan to build B-24 Liberators. People from all 48 states were heading to Michigan to work at this exciting new factory. Why, you could make $1.10/hr at Willow Run AND do your part to help the war effort! Rosie just knew that was the place for her! She wasn’t worried that she’d never done that kind of work before. They say if you can operate a sewing machine, you can rivet an airplane.
When Rosie arrived in early 1942, housing was hard to find. She ended up renting a room that someone else on an alternate shift also rented! When Willow Village was built, she was excited to move there. Even though the walls were so thin she could smell when her neighbors cooked onions, and she had an icebox instead of a refrigerator, she was glad to have a space she could call her own! She frequently would sit at her table by the window and write letters to her boyfriend Charlie. Charlie was a Marine, serving in the Pacific, and she loved writing him about all the exciting things happening at the factory. Willow Run had started off slowly in terms of production – in Jan ’43 she wrote Charlie that 31 B-24′s were built that month. But by the time of her last letter to Charlie in June 1943, she was proud to write they were up to 190 produced! (She would later learn that production skyrocketed soon after.)
One fateful day Rosie was at her place on the line when things got hazy, and the air around her could only be described as electric. Somehow she’d gotten caught in Fantasy of Flight’s space time vortex! She finds it exciting to hear so many people’s stories, and to learn so much about how things have changed. Rosie often thinks about Charlie and misses her friends at the factory. She’s very proud of her time building B-24′s, and there’s a big part of her that longs to return to those days. She’s often found in the hangars humming her favorite tune, and loves to teach people how to rivet. Her only frustration is that her fellow tour guides and time travelers don’t know the famous “Rosie the Riveter” song. But give her time and she’ll make sure they learn it!
Rosie can always be seen sharing her trade mark “We Can Do It” message (along with flexing pose) with FOF guests. Her overall lesson to share: We can accomplish anything by everyone working together.