Friday, January 28, 2011


Of course, it's been twenty five years since the Challenger blew up on takeoff. That day comes back to me clearly - it was such a shock. We'd been insulated from the idea that the space launches could be fatal. After all, things had been running so smoothly. It just didn't seem as risky.

Boy, was that kind of thinking ever wrong.

I and my coworker were running together hauling grain. At the time, this gentleman was kind of my supervisor - he was the one who "trained" moi. The truck I was driving had a feedback problem with the radio wiring - any time I keyed up with the volume turned to where I could actually hear the radio - the feedback would cause a big squeal. So, if I was gonna jabberjaw on the ol' Citizens Band, I couldn't listen to the Muzak radio.

Anyways, we hadn't been talking much and I had the radio on. Breaking news - the DJ started to announce the tragedy. I heard enough to know I wanted to hear more. My pal chose this moment to start talking on the CB. I told him to hang on for a minute - there was some important news on that I wanted to hear. He was well aware of my radio problems. He chose to keep talking anyways. I told him to SHUT UP - this was important. Needless to say, he was all butthurt because I dared to tell him to be quiet when he had something important to say. Even after hearing the news, he just didn't understand that I might want to listen to a landmark event as it was unfolding. Whatever he was talking about - well, I was supposed to listen, period.

To this day, I couldn't tell you what he wanted to say - I certainly heard about it later. Must have been real important.
I wasn’t scared, but I was up there looking around, and suddenly I realized I was sitting on top of a rocket built by the lowest bidder.
Alan Shepherd

So, I remember. I remember that I didn't appreciate the risks the astronauts were taking nor their bravery - it took the explosion to bring that home.

1 comment:

MorningGlory said...

I remember the day. I had just moved into a new apartment, and I didn't have a TV yet. To this day, I haven't seen the footage of the explosion.