I was an impressionable grade-schooler with an uncle in the US Air Force when the Apollo program was in full-swing, and I was fascinated by it. I vividly remember watching Neil Armstrong‘s first moonwalk (from the ER of a Detroit hospital after a bike accident) and I did several pencil drawings of the evolving lunar module over the years, at least one of which made its way to where my uncle was serving in Vietnam.
NASA’s Space Shuttle program started while I was a busy college student, so I didn’t follow it as closely as I had the Apollo missions. But I lived in southwest Florida for a while after I graduated and got to watch several launches from the roof of my office building in Fort Myers. (Yes, you could actually see the shuttle rocket toward space from the other side of the state.)
The Challenger Disaster occurred on my 1st day as a full-time radio news anchor, and I was on-the-air for hours beyond my regularly scheduled shift because it. So one could say a good chunk of my personal and professional history is tied to the US space program and I have always had a kind of emotional attachment to it because of that.
Which is why I can say with some certainty, that had I been in Los Angeles for the Endeavor’s final journey to its new home at the California Science Center earlier this month, I’d have bawled like a baby as it rolled past.