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View Diary: We lost a great lady today. RIP (148 comments)

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  •  I remember doing exactly that (6+ / 0-)

    on the tarmac at what was then Atlanta Municipal Airport in early August 1970.

    (It's a long story that may not be of much interest to anyone but me, but dagnabbit, I feel like telling it & I have the electrons to burn. Consider yourself warned!)

    Let me set the scene:

    It was the last days of what I believe was the last NASA Summer Institute for Space Physics. Twenty-nine of the sharpest just-finished-3rd-year-of-college putative astronomers, astrophysicists, planetary geologists etc. in the country--plus me--had spent 5 weeks in class 4 days a week studying the subject (solar system in the morning, stars on out in the afternoon) on NASA's nickel at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in uptown Manhattan, most of us enduring the NYC summer nights in the non-air-conditioned Columbia University dorms a couple of blocks up the street.

    The sixth & final week we were taken on a 7,000-mile junket, ostensibly to "visit NASA installations"--NYC to Pasadena (Jet Propulsion Lab) to Houston (Johnson Space Center) to Cape Canaveral (Kennedy Space Center) to Greenbelt MD (Goddard SFC) & back to NYC.

    While in Pasadena most of us had gone to Disneyland & many bought Mickey Mouse ears, which got worn on most subsequent flights for the sheer hell of it. (Mine were lost long ago.)  "Gunner", who couldn't make it that evening, had us buy him a pair with "Animal" (his college nickname for reasons too baroque to relate here) stitched on the back.

    Gunner was the first of us to leave the tour, in Atlanta. As we left the flight from FL to change for one headed to DC, we gathered around at the bottom of the airstairs to say farewell, he & many others in those ears--& out of nowhere someone (I suspect a certain Cornell Glee Club member who's been my fast friend ever since) started to sing, slowly & sadly:

    Now it's time to say goodbye
    To all our company.

    M - I - C
    --& Gunner sang out See you soon!
    - K - E- Y -
    Why? Because I like you!!
    M - O - U - S - E.
    (Sadly, I never did see Gunner again. Sounds like it's past time to look him up, no?)


    by Uncle Cosmo on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 06:55:16 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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