Page Shamburger is a girl you literally catch on the fly. And when you catch her, you're left breathless at what this South Egremont resident has managed to cram into 20-odd years of zestful, adventurous living. She speaks with a charming Southern accent — a birthright from Southern Pines, N.C., but there ends all resemblance to the stylized idea of an indolent pampered daughter of the South.

This girl has a degree in journalism, writes, pilots her own plane, composes copy for a radio station in Hudson, N.Y., raises champion Afghan hounds, runs a Girl Scout troop in Great Barrington, and sparks the local Young Republican Club.

She has been an apprentice mechanic, a successful disc jockey, commercial manager of a radio station, a flying reporter and advertising display staffer on the Washington (D.C.) Post. This is a girl with a wonderful one-track mind. One track at a time, that is. She wanted to fly and started to take lessons at her hometown airport when she was 15. The minute it was legal to solo she did — a present to herself on her 16th birthday. Since then she has flown about 1,700 air hours.

Now in her own four-place Cessna 170, which she keeps at the Great Barrington Airport, this determined Jill-of-all-trades is flying off next week for Ontario, where she will enter the Women's International Air Race from Hamilton to Havana, Cuba. This will be her second try at the international gold ring of the aviation world. Last year, weather snafued the whole race. A Life magazine photographer and editor are going along on the trip. After the race, Miss Shamburger is flying to San Francisco to attend the Aviation Writers Annual Convention on May 27. She returned Tuesday from Atlanta where a dog she showed won best of breed in the Afghan Hound Specialty Tara show. Last week she flew in from Baltimore after showing her prize Afghan "Djinn of Grandeur," which won best of breed and a championship.

Actually the hounds are a joint project of Miss Shamburger and her partner, Mrs. Cora Rowland, who purchased the old Colonial salt box on Creamery Road four years ago and they have established the Hound Hill Kennels there.

All the dogs are "broken" to plane rides so when show time comes, it is a simple matter to get aboard the Cessna and arrive with animals who are veteran air travelers and display contempt for airsick novices. Actually, according to their owners, they have lovely dispositions and are wonderful dogs — so wonderful that it is not unusual for one of them to sell for $1,000 or more.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.