We start with the words of the day from the Apollo 13 Mission. A testament to the human spirit of survival, ingenuity and success. More about that later.
The day started out with Dad saving a life – literally. His routine trip to the bathroom in the early morning found a man writhing on the floor in a seizure. He assisted him, while calling for help and the office called 911. Dad stayed with the man until professional help arrived. That will get your heart started in the morning! It appears that the man will be OK – and Dad will too.
We went to Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral – which was about a 20 minute drive. I was on the lookout for alligators and saw a few in the canals along the road, but none close enough to get a good photo. We crossed over a scenic bridge/causeway that crossed the Atlantic to Merritt Island. In addition to the Space Center, there is a museum of Astronauts, a Museum for Police and a bird/animal sanctuary.
I must say that I was impressed with the Space Center experience. The admission price was reasonable, the parking, wheelchairs and strollers were free, and everything was included (except food and the Shuttle Lift-Off thrill experience). The 3D/IMAX movies were excellent and the other attractions were informative and fun. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and the whole place was very clean and well maintained. There is a HUGE amount to area to cover, but they handle that with air-conditioned tour buses that run on schedule and are handicap friendly.
As expected, Dad was consumed with the science and I was bewildered with the concept of infinity and beyond. Over lunch, we had a deep philosophical discussion about outer and inner space and the fragility of our tiny planet – while others only engaged in idle chitter-chatter. Life-size replicas or original equipment hung above us and were displayed around us. We touched a moon rock and saw original control-room monitors and space suits and gear of the astronauts. The movie about the Hubble Telescope took us deep into space to view other galaxies, light-years away and spectacular stars in various stages of birth and death emitting gaseous plasmas that could form into new solar systems. Mind-boggling and beautiful.
In the Apollo 11 Lunar Theatre, my Dad and I sat side by side, just as we had on the couch in our living room when I was twelve years old. It was way after midnight, but we were up and glued to the set. All of the lights were off and we watched by the glow of the TV screen as Neil Armstrong took that first historic step while Walter Cronkite narrated the events with the emotion and pride that every American (every WORLD) citizen felt at that moment. For that brief moment in time, we were united as citizens of the world and marveling at the achievements of man and the belief that there is always more tomorrow than there is today. Sitting there today, I got a lump in my throat – thankful that I could share that with my Dad again and hopeful that the human race may survive long after I am space dust.
Tomorrow, lunch with my niece-in-law by the ocean and then we head inland to swamp country. Maybe I will get a pic of an alligator then – before he gets a bite of me! In the meantime, I will share some buzzard pics in preparation for creepy Halloween…See ya’ tomorrow from the bayou!