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.
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.