Science fiction or science possibility?

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Discrimination, Entertainment, Historical, Personal, Racism
Tags: , ,

Do you remember where you were when the Challenger blew up?  I do.  In high school Algebra.  The entire school became quiet as the news ran from classroom to classroom.  Our teacher turned on the TV and we listened to the somber anchors narrate the video that is seared into my brain.  It was a big deal to the teachers because that voyage carried the first teacher, a civilian, into space, Christa McAuliffe.  I was and am a particularly sensitive person, easily picking up on the moods of others.  So my teacher’s grief affected me.  And I immediately thought of the families of the astronauts having to hear and see the tragedy.  My heart ached for them.  Well, besides the video of the explosion there is a portrait of the crew that is also seared into my brain.  I particularly remembered the faces of the crew.

Challenger Crew

Today, I ran into an interesting video of a radio interview from Storycorps that I heard a few years ago on NPR.  The video below is an animated version of that original radio interview and as soon as I heard it, I pictured the face of Ron McNair, the sole African-American astronaut on board the Challenger.  He was a true ground breaker being only the second African American astronaut in U.S. history and a pretty brilliant guy.  Anyway, it moved me to hear this story of him as a little boy in SC dreaming very big dreams.  Watch it–it will make you feel good.

  1. Aww, I’m all goose-bumps after the video. Myself, I was at home from school on suspension for whatever those inbred rednecks pinned on me that time. It was just me and my grandma, and she came running into our part of the house (she had a mother-in-law suite) to tell me to turn on the TV. We just watched together, stunned, for so long. Reagan being shot, the Challenger explosion, and Sept 11 have all been events that stunned me and made a mark forever.

    (I didn’t really like Regan even as a kid, but it doesn’t matter when it’s your president taking a bullet)

    • drangedinaz says:

      Wow, those are the three for me too! It must be a generational thing. I felt exactly the same way about Reagan. As much as I disliked him, I didn’t like someone shooting the Pres–respect for the office so to speak. Where were you with Reagan? I was in 4th grade on the playground next to a massive tree stump…no one other than me, among the kids, seemed to understand or care.

      • It was a huge shock for someone who knew about but didn’t live through Kennedy. I was in class, they announced it over the PA system. I have a mental picture of the way the speaker on the wall looked, as I stared at it. Are we the same age? Bad with memories and time, but in early 81 I was 9, and that’s 4th grade. But I don’t remember my 4th grade teacher being there, he was the only ‘he’ I’d ever had and you’d think that would stand out, but I want to put the memory in 3rd grade for some reason.

  2. mhasegawa says:

    Being a little older, I was at work in a meeting. One of my staff came back from break and said he had just heard that the space shuttle had blown up. We all ran to where there was a TV. It was a moment I will never forget.

    • drangedinaz says:

      Yes, the image was so simple…that cerulean sky and the white fluffy contrail and the way it split….I remembered thinking that at least it was quick and they probably didn’t suffer. So sad.

  3. alopecia says:

    One of the department secretaries told me when I walked into work that morning. While a group of us were standing in the hallway, trying to make sense of what had happened, one of the researchers walked up and asked what was going on. I’ve never actually seen someone go ashen before: he played squash with one of the astronauts (it may even have been Ronald McNair, but I really don’t remember clearly). He went into his office and closed the door, and I don’t think I saw him for several days afterward.

    There are maybe four or five days in my life when I’ve been on autopilot, managing to do routine things but really getting bugger-all done. That was one of them.

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