More Facts About Vicky

unknown man …maybe on a ship that Vicky took to Europe.

My research said that Vicky was a bush pilot in Juneau. If she was she would have had a hard time. There were very few women pilots in the 30′ in the US let alone Alaska. I will write the Juneau Historical Society and see if they have any records about her. Other research said she was a waitress. Who knows. Another mystery about Vicky.

Vicky was a risk taker and courageous.  I think that she was not afraid of danger or the unknown. These were the character traits of other women pilots. Vicky took flying lessons at Roosevelt field and stayed the Roosevelt Field Hotel. It was a place for dancing in the huge ballroom. It’s funny but I can picture so much about Vicky but I wish that I had asked my parents about her. But that wouldn’t have worked. My mom really didn’t like her. At the hotel they could eat outside on warm sunny days. The eating area overlooked the field and they could watch the planes land and takeoff. Roosevelt Field was the most famous airfield and everything was made for the pilots safety. The field had asphalt runways so was the perfect place to learn to fly.

When women started flying in great numbers people wondered if flying was safe for women. Are they physically fit? Instructors wondered if women could learn because their lack of mechanical knowledge. Women learned to fly for sport. They believed, it was a wholesome sport and adventure. But others took the idea of flying as serious business. They wanted to learn. But after getting their license they were restricted in finding jobs. Most women ended up selling planes, or writing writing about planes. Maybe Vicky was one of the women who didn’t care what men thought. She just wanted to fly.

When her husband walked out on her Vicky reported Ward missing two years later in 1927. She looked for Ward on her own for 2 years because she didn’t want the publicity. When the police were alerted they tried to talk to Wards mother Mrs. Anna D. Lederer, his sister Catherine Durant…neither would give any information to the police. Vicky stayed temporarily at the Hotel Manager. Vicky didn’t want to live on the family’s charity but she sure changed her mind.
It was such a mystery where Ward was living but she was tired of looking for him. Vicky said “Now I am neither unmarried or married. (New York Times, April 4, 1927)
Ward wasn’t honest with his own wife. Now could he marry another woman and not give Vicky the courtesy of divorcing Vicky. She loved the parties the drinking, and the high life but she loved Ward more. Vicky made herself so sick that she couldn’t work and she didn’t know how she would survive. She decided that she had to accept the money from Wards family. It was then that she went traveling and then learned to fly. When the world was in crisis Vicky lived well.



Book-Cadillac Hotel


Vicky stayed at several addresses during the early part of her life.   One of them was the Book Hotel. In 1917 the name was changed to the Cadillac Hotel located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Washington Blvd.

It was named after the wealthy Book Brothers of Detroit. It had 1134 guest rooms. With the start of the Great Depression the hotel went into receivership.

During the late 30’s the hotel opened The Cadillac Apartments. The rooms were newly decorated and for living in apartments. The apartments were rented for $60.00 a month. I would think that Vick  lived in one of these apartments. She wasn’t wealthy and seemed to “flop” at different places.

In 1948 the hotel was featured in the movie State of the Union. It a starred Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and Angela Lansbury.

Skipping to information about World War 11 the Book-Cadillac Hotel was sold  to the Sheraton Corporation for six million dollars. It thrived until 1974 it reopened as the Shelby Hotel. Then it became the Detroit Heritage Hotel. This hotel closed in 1975. I don’t know when Vicky stayed here but I know from my family that she definitely stayed here.