I have shared my past with the shuttle before, but as the day of the penultimate shuttle flight draws near (hours away) I am of a mind to share again. I spent a good portion of my childhood in the shadow of Cape Canaveral. Getting out of bed at five in the morning to watch the man-made dawn expand into the sky is one of my most cherished memories. I went to the theater to see Star Wars and its sequels and I climbed onto my roof to see the much messier but far louder and impressive fireball of the booster rockets lighting up the Atlantic, a candle of our greatest ambition. I miss the salty air of that place, where I watched rockets fly into space.
When I was about seven, maybe eight, I picked out my own Christmas present. It was a photograph in a gilded frame of the shuttle on the back of the 747 transport that carried it back to Florida from California. I remember being resentful of California for getting the landing. But we had the launch, my god, you will never know the beauty of a launch! Every red that the eye can see and a thousand other shades of fire you cannot lighting up the imagination of a ten year old boy on a roof. I don’t apologize for having sixteen hundred pages of space opera unpublished in a drawer. When other kids were hanging posters of sports heroes I was hanging this…
science of fiction