I clearly expected to work for a living, and I was lucky to have parents who never tried to mold me into any category or career. In fact, I don't remember a friend's parent or a teacher ever telling me or my friends that "girls can't do this" or "girls shouldn't do that." Sometimes, though, the message got through in other ways. I had always been fascinated by exploration and space travel, maybe in part because my dad was so concerned about America lagging behind Russia. President Kennedy's vow to put men on the moon excited me, and I wrote to NASA to volunteer for astronaut training. I received a letter back informing me that they were not accepting girls in the program. It was the first time I had hit an obstacle I couldn't overcome with hard work and determination, and I was outraged. I was interested in politics from an early age. I successfully ran for student council and junior class Vice President. I was also an active Young Republican and, later, a Goldwater girl, right down to my cow girl outfit and straw cowboy hat emblazoned with the slogan "AuH,O."