Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
kleinbl00  ·  473 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: John Young, US Astronaut, moon walker, first Shuttle Commander, has died at 87

He was my piano teacher's brother.

Her husband was the pastor at the church a block away from my elementary school. My mother played quartets with her on a weekly basis. He'd come around sometimes; I'd see him at weddings or christmas parties. In elementary school every couple of years we'd have an assembly where "the astronaut" would show up and all the other schools would pile in. This in and of itself was novel because we were the poorest (or perhaps 2nd poorest) school in the district and all these rich kids showing up in school buses was kind of interesting. We always wondered why we never got to go to their schools.

He'd bring swag, too. He had a space suit at least once, maybe twice. And he'd do slide shows and, in retrospect, was answerable to no one. 4th grade was a trip now that I think about it - he ended up talking about lifting bodies and talked about the "dinosaur project" (that's Dynasoar to you) and how sometimes NASA doesn't do the smartest thing because hey kids you've studied airfoils what's wrong with this plane?

Dunno that he ever flew one but he seemed to take the design of that thing personally.

He also mentioned that when planes go really fast they melt unless you use cool metals like titanium and hey, kids, know where titanium comes from? The USSR and South Africa and now you know why we allow Apartheid to continue. Elementary school assembly. Musta been '84. I think the next year he brought a mobile planetarium with him.

I knew his sister waaaaay better than I knew him (I didn't know him, just shook his hand a few times as a kid) and when I was working on a "space movie" she suggested I call her brother up and ask him questions. for some dumb reason or other I didn't.

Stupid shit and amazing people we take for granted sometimes.