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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedFly-In Theater's First Premiere, Pearl, Set July 30
Film chronicles story of Oklahoma aviatrix, Pearl Carter Scott

By Earl Downs

EAA will roll out the red carpet for the aviation premier of the major motion picture, Pearl, on Friday night, July 30 at AirVenture's Fly-In Theater. Pearl is the true story of a young lady of Native American heritage who was mentored by Wiley Post, learned to fly at age 13, and was barnstorming in her own airplane at age 14. Based on the book, Never Give up!: the Life of Pearl Carter Scott, by Dr. Paul Lambert, the story has been brought to the big screen by the Chickasaw Nation.

Eula (Pearl) Carter Scott's interest in flying was ignited in the late 1920s when Wiley Post landed in a pasture across from her home to visit his brother. Post became friends with Pearl's family, and her father was the first passenger to fly with Post in his new plane, the Winnie Mae. His second passenger was Pearl. After Post gave Pearl her first flying lessons, the diminutive girl knew she was destined to be an aviator.

Pearl's early interest in flying might have been thwarted had it not been for her father, George. He was a successful businessman in Marlow, Oklahoma who knew the meaning of hard work and fortitude. Blind since he was 16 years old, he inspired his children to, "Never give up." When Pearl was only 11 years old, she had her own car and would drive her dad to and from work. George supported Pearl in her passion for flight by turning his pasture into an airfield, and Pearl soon had her own Curtiss Robin monoplane.

As Pearl became an aviator, she witnessed the world around her change from prosperity in the late 1920s into the dust bowl days of the 1930s during the Great Depression. These social and economic changes serve as a backdrop for the passion, celebrity status, romance, and internal conflict that marked Pearl's teen years.

The story of Pearl is also that of early aviation in Oklahoma. Because of this connection with history, the Chickasaw Nation filmed Pearl in Oklahoma locations. Various local settings for the filming were the historic Harn Homestead, the El Reno Municipal Airport, the Jude and Jody Airport, and several locations in and near Guthrie, a city of historic beauty that was once the capital of Oklahoma.

Elijah DeJesus plays the lead role in Pearl, making its aviation premiere at the EAA Fly-In Theater.

The role of Pearl Carter Scott is played by the talented young actress, Elijah De Jesus, and many of the other characters were portrayed by local Oklahoma talent. The role of Wiley Post is performed by Tom Huston, Director of the University of Oklahoma School of Drama. Over 200 local Oklahomans were used as extras in the production.

Two 1920s era biplanes and a Curtiss Robin airplane used in filming were provided by members of Nostalgic Wings. The Heartland T's and the Oklahoma City chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America provided a number of vintage automobiles, including a 1928 Model A Roadster, a 1924 Touring Sedan, and a 1922 Dodge enclosed Paddy Wagon.

Pearl Carter Scott's love for aviation continues to this day through an endowment she established prior to her death in 2005. Each year, an Oklahoma student of Chickasaw descent is awarded a scholarship for studies in aviation and aerospace. The movie, Pearl, allows all of us share Pearl's love for flight, and her Chickasaw heritage. Her story is truly a story of, "Never give up."

At the Friday premiere showing of Pearl Friday, July 30, several special guest presenters from the film will be on hand, including the Governor of the Chickasaw Nation and Executive Producer Bill Anoatubby; executive producer Robyn Elliot; producer David Rennke; and film stars Elijah DeJesus (who plays the title role) and Angela Gair.

DeJesus, the actress who portrays Pear Carter Scott, will be at the convention Wednesday, July 28 through Saturday, July 3, and is scheduled to make several appearances. On Friday morning she'll be a guest at the Women In Aviation International breakfast at the EAA Nature Center, and on Saturday she will be at Ford's Autograph HQ in the Ford Hangar.

Also visit Booth #3072A throughout the week for daily autograph sessions and merchandise. And be at Forums Plaza #11 on July 30 at 1 p.m. for a presentation about the movie and the Curtiss Robin featured in the film.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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