Posted on Leave a comment

To Space and Beyond! (I boldly go)

[photopress:FlagonMoon.jpg,thumb,left]As a nine-year old, I had few interests that didn’t revolve around bicycles or yoyos. Then July, 1961 came along, and Alan Shepard rode into the history books, and changed my thinking forever.

Rocketing into space was the coolest ever. Right then I decided I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. To be honest, as a nine-year old, I didn’t understand the full implications, or what was involved, but it sounded really neat! A-E-R-O-N-A-U-T-I-C-A-L E-N-G-I-N-E-E-R. In Texas (and Georgia) that is ten syllables, but I really enjoyed saying it. You could say, I liked the sound of it.

Space—the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. … Captain James Kirk

This famous 1966 quote kicked up those old ideas. Not only was space cool, but space travelers were really cool! These guys were doing what the rest of us only dreamed of.

Apollo 11 AstronautsJuly 20, 1969 … Where were you on that day? Recently I saw a picture of the flag planting on the moon, and started thinking about the where and when.

The summer of 1969 found me preparing for my senior year at Canyon High School in Canyon, Texas. My mind was full of my summer job, graduating high school and a certain redhead, but there was more. The U.S. had landed on the moon and space was exciting again.

Star Trek finished its mission in June, and in July “we” walked on the moon with Buzz and Neil. That was a great summer for space minded earthlings. We were all looking at the stars in new ways.

Today, I am not an astronaut or even an aeronautical engineer, but I still enjoy thinking about that flag “flying” on the moon, and I still enjoy Star Trek.

Leave a Reply