Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Chero: Annie Edson Taylor December 9, 2011

I was skimming through a children’s book called Women Daredevils, and I came across some fascinating cheroes. One of my favorites was this woman, Annie Edson Taylor.

As a 63-year-old widowed schoolteacher, whose only child had died in infancy, Annie was facing a future of poverty. She needed to do something drastic in order to survive, so in October 1901, she decided to supplement her income by becoming the first person ever to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Luckily, she survived to tell the story, but while her get-rich-quick scheme brought her fame, the money didn’t follow. She died in poverty at the age of 83.

Perhaps Annie isn’t exactly the kind of chero we want to turn to for inspiration, but for sheer guts and foolishness alone, I say, “Hurray” for the Queen of the Mist.