“Coco McAtee, I thank the stars everyday that we had that conversation and I decided to have you come and talk with my Girl Scouts. That is one of the best things I think I ever did for those girls..."

Coco McAtee LSCSW
Family Life Educator | Speaker | Facilitator


Telling the Truth About Bodies


Coco in a helmet

August 8, 2013

Hidden Talents
This series of photos is of me and Michele Stauffer, a pilot for over 40 years and the first American, let alone woman, to fly a Russian fighter plane in Russian air space.

She is outfitting me with the actual helmet she wore during a that world famous flight where she went Mach speed and performed the infamous Cobra move. That’s the one that makes Tom Cruise’s trick in Top Gun look amateurish. Michele not only went vertical, she then guided the plane backwards to 135 degrees!! (For you KC history buffs, our own Fox 4 Phil Witt and Harris Falkner featured this story on the nightly news.) Michele is donning the actual Russian flight suit that was handmade for her by the Russians for this historic flight.

Michele was the featured speaker at the St. Andrew Christian Church’s Men’s Dinner. They also made an historic decision for their congregation… Men-sponsored dinners from here on out, not Men Only. They explained that since the Greater Disciple’s congregation made and passed a resolution at the biannual convention that All Means All (everyone is welcome, no separation, all are welcome at our Sabbath table) therefore the Men’s Group will sponsor things but no event will exclude a soul.

Michele shared how in the 70’s when she showed an interest in aviation, her mom’s friends kept asking about when she would put a stop to Michele’s pursuit. Her mom did the opposite and allow her daughter to develop her gifts, not limit herself to prescribed roles/behaviors.
There is more to Michele’s story. There is more to all of us, young, old, able, disabled, made of various colors, orientations, wealthy financially or not, etc.

Our gender is but one aspect of what makes us a child of an incredibly imaginative Creator who endowed us with that same power of imagination and creativity. May we open the gift over and over.