Thursday, January 28, 2016

Challenged


By 1986, space shuttle launches had become routine, so I can't recall why I recorded this one (maybe because it was an early-morning launch, and I thought it would be more spectacular than most). When I got home from class around lunchtime and turned on the TV, I thought it peculiar that they were still live, on the air. 

A mission delay, I thought. 

Tom Brokaw said "let's take another look at what happened this morning." They rolled those few critical seconds of videotape with only the cockpit-mission control audio, and the fateful "Go for throttle-up..." 

It haunts me, still.

My first 100-WORD CHALLENGE! Try it - it's fun!

100 Word Challenge

27 comments:

  1. These remembrances still bring chills and tears. Very powerful 100.

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    1. Thanks, Tara. And thanks for taking ownership of the 100-word challenge! It was fun to limit my chittering to a hard hundred.

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  2. For some events, you remember exactly where you were. This is one of them. I'm with Tara, powerful. And timely!

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    1. Thanks, Gina! It's so vivid. I could have gone on and on, but thanks to the 100-word limit, I'm glad I didn't.

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  3. This was probably the first major traumatic event I remember experiencing. Very well described!

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    1. Thanks Troy. It was the same for me. Somehow, Reagan's near-assassination didn't quite hit home. I was too young, I think. But this was definitely my first deeply shocking world news.

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  4. Yep, something to never forget for sure.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marian. Looking forward to the next 100 words...

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  5. Yes, that one does still haunt me, to see those smiles as they boarded the shuttle, and know what happened not long after.

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    1. We have elementary schools in our suburbs, named for Ron McNair and Christa McAuliffe (one for Sally Ride, too), and every time I drive past any of them, I remember. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. I think we can all hear that crackly, "Go for throttle up" command. It is seared into our memories. I am a teacher so this was to be a shining moment for our profession. But now.....one wonders how different the state of public education might be today if then, a real teacher had taken her star turn on such a grand stage? Thanks for evoking such vivid memories. Well done.

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    1. I remember the media's excitement over Ms. McAuliffe's participation in STS-51, so hopefully the opportunity was not completely squandered by fate. Meanwhile, my Maryland neighborhood has an elementary school named in her memory. It's something, I suppose.

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  7. there are occurrences I remember well: John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Challenger explosion, 9/11. Good stuff here.

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    1. My first of those moments was the US hockey team beating a vastly superior Soviet team in 1980, but this one is still the most vivid. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. And a haunting title!
    The one I always think of is Sally Ride. #rideSallyride

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    1. Thanks, Kymm! Her death in 2012 was also cruel. Cancer.
      These men and women were all just so much better than I could ever hope to be. It's humbling.

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  9. I think I was a senior in high school. Home Ec class. We watched the whole thing. It was horrifying!

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    1. Made an impression, I bet. Not in a good way, either.

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  10. Great title for the piece. I remember where I was, as do most of us who watched in horror. It is indeed haunting. Nicely done.

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie. It was definitely one of those events that never fade. The title was a nod to Tara's calling me out when she took over the 100-word challenge, and the name of the lost shuttle just fit.

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  11. I remember it well. A sad day :(


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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ally!

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  12. I remember. It took me a long time to get over the shock. You captured the feeling exactly.

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    1. Thank you very much, Renee! I rewrote this thing about three times, trying not to overdo it.

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  13. Very powerful, probably more so because I remember that day so very well.

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