Lest we forget…Enterprise!

by John on July 8, 2011

Note: This post was scheduled for today’s launch, however it may not happen due to the weather. I say screw it, I’m posting this bad boy anyway!

“JP come over here, you’re going to miss this and it’s something very important” exclaimed my father as he stood watching the television. “What, what’s going on dad?” I replied. “JP pay attention this is something you’re going to remember for the rest of your life.” “In fact, I don’t want you to ever forget this name, can you remember Enterprise?” he asked. I don’t remember promising that I could, however it’s true I never did forget that moment. A quiet moment shared by a father and son.

Thus began my love affair with planes, the space shuttle, and astronauts. Growing up in Florida trips to Disney become commonplace and at times very expensive, but a trip to Cape Canaveral was always filled with wonder and imagination.

I’ve tried to watch every televised launch and if possible landing. In grade school we’d convince our teachers to turn on the dusty old televisions watching with excitement and anticipation. Today, I’ll watch it on my computer from my desk at work.

I can still tell you exactly where I was when Challenger and Columbia were lost. Seventeen years had elapsed between the events but both had a deep and meaningful impact on me. I had come of age during that period, lulled into not believing the risks involved with that line of work. My life was still ahead of me. I felt that I was not limited by anything. Sadly, those events were a sobering reminder that I needed to be a bit more aware.

So today with the final shuttle mission about to take place, I’m immediately transported to a small house in North Miami and to the small black & white RCA television set and to a father who wants to share a love for aircraft and instill in his son a sense of awe and wonder.

Those feelings I’ll never forget, along with the names Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour, and

Why do I feel this way after so many years? Well, when you’re asked to make a promise as a five year old, and your hero is the one who’s asking, that’s just something you never forget.

I never forgot Dad, just liked you asked me to…

Godspeed Atlantis!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

KD July 11, 2011 at 11:01 am

John –

Thanks for sharing this one. Amazing how some simple things, quickly forgotten by others, burn such an imprint into our minds. I have the same type of memories, it’s amazing how our parents impacted our interests and how we view the world.

Can we do the same for our kids? Man, I sure hope so.

Be well – KD

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