Friday, December 9, 2016

Zero G and I Feel Fine

Most dads went to work while most moms stayed home to cook and clean. Cars had AM radios and crank windows and a house usually had only one phone. A typical house had only one TV, a small black-and-white set, and there were only two or three channels to choose from.

In 1962, kids like me were glued to that TV every time a man was launched into space. On February 20th that year John Glenn became the third American to be launched and the first to orbit the earth. He died this week at age 95. If you're religious, you might say he was launched to heaven.

"Roger, the clock is operating, we're underway,"

John Glenn was memorable for many reasons and a role model for living and for aging. He was a fighter pilot, a test pilot, an astronaut (at the relatively old age of 40), eventually a Senator, and then at age 77 he became an astronaut again, the oldest ever, flying with a space shuttle crew and conducting tests related to aging. That's what I call not letting age define you or stop you.
"To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible."

He was married to the same woman for 74 years. He ran for senator in 1964 and 1970, losing both times. He ran again and won in 1974 and remained in the Senate till retiring in 1999.

John Glenn was a hero on so many levels. He flew 59 combat missions in World War II, 90 more in the Korean War. He set the transcontinental airspeed record in 1957, flying from LA to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes.

I looked up to John Glenn as a kid because of his space flight in 1962. I respected his accomplishments in the Senate. I always wanted to meet him and actually took some steps to do a radio interview with him in 1994; unfortunately that didn't work out. I cheered him on during his 1998 shuttle flight, again with eyes glued to the TV like when I was a kid.

John Glenn was a role model for living the dreams, for living without limits, for creative aging.

"Godspeed, John Glenn."

No comments: