Lost in Space

There’s going to be a lot of talk in the coming weeks about the Golden Age of Space. Here’s a contribution of mine from the summer of 2017. (From left to right, the author, Wayne, Marcus) When I was in about the first grade, we would make “spatter paintings,” where one places a leaf or some other object on a blank piece of construction paper and runs a toothbrush dipped in tempera paint across a screen above the paper. The intent, if not always the result, was to produce a uniformly speckled background around a blank silhouette of the leaf, or whatever. I am willing to bet, that of all my classmates, I am the only one who went on to do it professionally. (See Panel 1)

41 thoughts on “Lost in Space”

  1. I once saw a street performer in San Fransisco lay down a piece of paper, spray paint a couple areas with random swirls of thick colors, put down some cups and bowls to mask off some circles within the colored areas, spray paint everything else black, then spray a gob of white paint into his fingers and flick it all over the black. The result was beautifully colored planets against a majestic starscape. He would then hang it up to dry and start a new one, and he was selling them for I think $20-50 depending on the size of the paper. I was sorely tempted to get one, but I wouldn’t have been able to decide which one to get and transporting it home on an airplane would have been too tricky anyway.

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  2. Jimmy your cartoon instantly brought to mind Rocket Boys/October Skys the movie/book. Some how I thought this was set in Northern Alabama near Tennessee but wiki corrected my memory, set in West Virginia and filmed in Tennessee.

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  3. Filmed in Oliver Springs, next door to my hometown of Oak Ridge TN. Some of the buildings still wear their “costumes” from the movie! They have an annual October Sky festival too there.

    Trivia: the great steam train photographer O. Winston Link made a cameo in the movie as the train engineer! Link did the fabulous night photos of the last rail line to use steam trains, Norfolk & Western.

    I started this comment to say how much I enjoy the space and NASA references but got distracted by Rocket Boys.

    I, as our artist, grew up a child of the Space Program. I loved to watch the launches and space walks on TV and finally got to see a launch in person for STS-3 Space Shuttle Mission from the press area and it was even better than I’d imagined. I was told the Saturn V would rattle you down to your toes.

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    • John Glenn and I both grew up in New Concord, OH (pop ~800) – in fact, I’m home for a visit & typing this in my parents’ house there.
      Naturally, we could not escape space fever (I’m John Glenn HS Class of ’74). I recall sitting on my grandpa’s shoulders to watch Col. Glenn’s homecoming parade after his first flight; over 20,000 people. As I said, town of 800. It was little nuts.

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      • Home town boy! Well, at least close… I lived in Cambridge several years and John Glenn was beloved. I always had a soft spot in my heart for New Concord.
        My son was born in Cambridge in ’65, and it is definitely his home town! My then husband was a photographer for the Jeff.

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  4. I was working as a federal workers compensation adjudicator. NASA safety officer courted me with offers of tours with astronauts. I prayed no one died.

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  5. I remember going into my bedroom and watching Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra describe the landing. We did not own a color set, so watching it alone on another old B&W set helped me offset my nerves.

    I have read many books on the subject but I recall hearing “Contact light…Engine Shutoff” Then Charlie Duke saying “We copy you down Eagle”…But it seemed like FOREVER until Neil said “Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed” At that point I jumped up and down on the bed and darn near broke it. I was SO excited.

    I really would love to see us go back if only to see space and the moon in HD.

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    • Because it occurred on a Sunday, I remember going to church and praying for the astronauts. I think that my Mom had to work at the hospital, but since most patients had TVs in their room, so she was able to follow it. They were originally supposed to rest and begin the space walk at around 2:00 AM but they were so excited , the skipped the rest period and finally stepped on the moon at 10:56 PM. It lasted past midnight and it took a while to get to sleep. I had a baseball game to play in the morning and I remember everyone played at bit sluggish. I do remember by brother turned 21 on July 21st and my Mom wrote him a letter beginning “Did you ever think Man would be on the moon on your 21st birthday?”

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  6. Re the 6-21-19 real-time cartoon: Back in the day, at a certain USAF forward operating (interceptor) location in Alaska, the traditional 4th of July softball game between the base team and the team from the nearby (seven miles, by dirt road) Aircraft Control & Warning radar station began at midnight…on a field with no artificial lighting.

    In the interior of Alaska, the Cold War really was cold.

    Also, I’m told there was no television available there in 1969, so there was the added thrill of having to listen to the play-by-play of the first moon landing on Armed Forces Radio Network.

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  7. heck of a summer, when you include stonewall and woodstock as well

    i certainly remember where i was and what i was doing

    if you wanna roll into the fall, you can include the march on washington

    i rode through that summer on a bus full of guys in uniform, commuting between student detachment barracks in fort myer and defence language institute in anacostia annex, washington naval station

    as impressive as seeing the march through the bus windows was, the memory that sticks with me most strongly was the morning the newspaper printed the results of the first draft lottery – out of over 40 guys on that bus, i think four would have been drafted if they had lasted long enough – we had almost all enlisted that spring, getting a language school option, in order to avoid the risks that draftees faced

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  8. Growing up in the sixties, I was infatuated with space.

    Now, it’s pretty much “Eh, who cares?”

    About the only thing that will shake that attitude will be an alien craft landing on the National Mall.

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  9. When I lived in Houston down by the back gate to NASA the waterfront condominiums had just begun building. Gemini my cat loved to mouse out along waterside. He’d bring back field mice almost daily to share with us. Some were quite large.

    Gemini and Appollo were rescues, bottle fed by me when their mother vanished. They were born in hollow tree at Episcopalian school attended by several astronaut connected children in Nassau Bay, Texas.

    They were born in late 1970s and died here in Oklahoma in late 1990s early 2000s. I still miss them, especially Gemi the mouser who took care of me.

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  10. I was 14 and going to summer school at Moundville High School in Moundville, AL. The school staff set up a large black and white tv in one room and got all of the summer school students together to watch the landing. That was a very exciting event for me. My dad was working as a federal inspector of some kind at Redstone Arsenal from 1958-1963 and I was taken by the space bug early.

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  11. Rick: “Who cares?” I continue to. Maybe this will rekindle your interest. It and similar peeks back more than 10 Billion years imply that that there are billions of galaxies in Elohim’s universe, many as large or larger than ours or our big sibling, M31, next door [only 2+ M light-years away] in Andromeda.
    Any thinking persons who expect there may well be a transcendent realm have a lot to wrap their theology around. It is fun, and I think Elohim may well approve of our doing so. OTOH, Carl Sagan may well have been right. If not, I am not worried about him [or you or me].

    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html

    Peace,

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    • It’s all at best mildly interesting and a diversion.

      None of it has an effect on my life here that I can discern with my five 3d senses.

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  12. On this date in 1871, Arthur Wynne, the inventor of the modern crossword puzzle, was born.

    One could likely make a persuasive case that for many years, newspaper readership was boosted by, if not actually dependent on, crossword puzzles, horoscopes, and comic sections.

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  13. Well, that was certainly unexpected.

    I have a 30+ year history of what clearly seemed to me to be seasonal allergies (aka “hay fever”), with bouts occurring around the same times of year. I had pretty much learned to live with them, but over the past several years they have become more frequent, more severe, and longer lasting…and even more so since I came to Oklahoma, where I’ve decided the official State Symptom is the Sneeze. Week before last, I finally managed to do something I’ve intended to do for a while and saw an ENT specialist for allergy testing and possible treatment.

    After taking my history and discussing my symptoms, he determined that allergy testing was indicated, and his nurse drew a blood sample for that purpose. (The skin test was ruled out because a prescription drug I take can interfere with the results. He assured me the blood test was just as accurate as the skin test, it just took longer to get the results.)

    Wednesday, his nurse called with those results. As far as inhalants and the other usual suspects are concerned, I am allergic to zero, zip, nada of them. The only thing that showed was a slight (2 on a scale of 0-6, with 6 being highest) allergy to egg whites, and I’ve never noticed any problem associated with eating eggs…or taking influenza vaccines, for that matter. All he could do was recommend daily saline nasal washes (which sounds vaguely like waterboarding) and antihistamine treatment for symptoms as they occur. Oh, well…it wouldn’t be the first time my body has apparently outsmarted medical science.

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  14. Oddly the cancer treatments have improved my allergies and autoimmune diseases but worsened joint pain and arthritis symptoms. Per my rheumatologist

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  15. Today, we’ve had severe thunderstorms with heavy rain and high winds for a second day in a row. Yesterday afternoon, I was closing the boutique when a severe storm apparently passed right over downtown Eufaula. At the height of the storm, I was looking out the front door when a cloud-to-ground bolt hit less than a thousand feet away, based on the flash-to-bang time. Later, I learned that high winds had taken the roof off a fitness center in that very direction at a distance from where I was that I estimated from Google Earth to be about 800 feet. Too close.

    About 30 minutes later, the storm moved over, the rain stopped, the sky partially cleared, and I drove to the house….to find that reports were that power was out over a large area, including Eufaula and nearby (to the north) Checotah. The timing of that didn’t make sense to me, until we learned that the storm had taken down a main electrical line about half way between the two cities, causing it to drop across a railroad track. The outage, though, didn’t occur until…you guessed it…a train came along and ran over the downed line. That might have been impressive to see. At latest report, 650 customers are still without electrical service just in the Eufaula area alone, and estimates are not all service will be restored until perhaps Tuesday. (Being southeast of Eufaula, and on a different power system, we never lost ours at the house.)

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  16. Wow, Ghost — you had a close call. Glad you are all right! As you and Jackie have a big freezer full of food, awfully good your power stayed on.

    Trucker, good for you. I bet you sounded great.

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  17. Arranged to be reader at church this morning. First 2 words: “Good morning.” Response: “Good morning.” Then, deadpan: “The days are getting shorter.” A guy has to have some fun.

    This afternoon the roving webcam [above URL] at the Great Spirit Bluffs site started showing close-ups of wild flowers in the woods below. Don’t know if that’s ominous or not.

    Peace,

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  18. About romance novels, I always think I have read them before!

    Having said that I have known people who wrote these for a living and sold them. Yes, I know we have an author’s husband on here.
    It’s a popular genre!

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  19. My wife’s dream is to have her book as a Hallmark movie. One of her writing friends has had a couple made into movies and the writer has had a few cameos in the films. However most of the movies are formulaic. We have joked about creating a drinking game predicting when things will happen. For example, the interrupted kiss about mid-way through the movie. Or with about 15-20 minutes to go, something comes up and the couple breakup of almost break up.

    However, I actually enjoy many of them as usually have happy endings. After watching Hollyweird mess up so many movies, I prefer the happy endings. And occasionally there is a twist that makes a profound point. I remember reading one of my wife’s books that did that and she was thrilled with my reaction.

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