A small confession: I was one of those kids who sat up at night, watching CBS' coverage of the space program. I managed to get my hands on a simple telescope, I looked at sun spots, I saw the rings of Saturn in my yard.
I don't remember what was said or how I was dressed when the Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But, it was a night when I was there, watching, like every other kid.
Last month I stopped writing for a few weeks. I'd taken off very suddenly. The weekend of the Future Media Conference, NASA had postponed a shuttle launch. The following Monday morning they rescheduled it for a night launch on Wednesday, June 17th. I drove 22 hours to be there. I was sitting across the bay from the 39A pad, at 3:30 AM when I noticed the locals were leaving.
The launch had been postponed.
It would have been my second night launch and first shuttle launch.
In the last week, that shuttle finally got into orbit. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of that moon landing. Bright spots were observed on Venus and on Jupiter. The longest solar eclipse in the century occurred. We wondered where the sunspots went. And we lost our Uncle Walter.
It would be nice if I could say my lay interest in space is due to sitting listening to Walter Cronkite, and others. But I don't remember. I just know that it is.
God Speed Walter Cronkite.