Saturday, July 31, 2004

Sputnik and me

Tonight I watched the movie October Sky, the story of Homer Hickham, a boy from a coal mining town in West Virginia, who grew up to be a rocket scientist at NASA. It is a great and inspiring movie.

The movie begins in 1957, just as news comes that the Soviets have launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik.

I remember Sputnik well. Of course, my father, who loved all things scientific, was excited.

He and I went out the first night to try to see Sputnik as it passed over. We sat on the bank in front of our house, next to the road. He sat on a large tree stump, and next to him I sat on the little concrete elevation market.

When Sputnik passed over, I remember how small, how far away, and how quiet it was.

But most of all, I remember how wonderful it was to sit in the dark talking to my daddy.

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