in may 1961, i and the rest of my high school class were ushered into the auditorium to watch alan shepard become the second man, and first american, to be launched into space. i must admit, that at the time, while watching the grainy black and white photos playing out on the thirteen inch screen in front of us, i was much more interested in the fact that elliot weintraub had chosen to sit right behind me. did his throwing spit balls at the back of my head and swatting me on my shoulder with his lab book really mean, as i thought it did, that he liked me?
knowing less than nothing about the space program, and bored to tears by our science teacher, mr. morabito, go on and on about the "new frontier", i and the rest of my classmates were far more interested in the upcoming spring dance than this one, lone man's venture into the great beyond.
last week, my son adam flew down to orlando, florida to watch his friend garrett board the space shuttle for a two month stay on the international space station. that's right. my son has a friend who is an astronaut and garrett, the jewish astronaut, right now, as i am typing, is some where in space sending photos and e mails to adam - here on earth.
now, i don't know about the rest of you, but frequently my computer does things i don't even begin to know how to correct, and as far as downloading photo's from my camera - forget about it. but garrett, the jewish astronaut, is emailing and photographing with ease and adam and he are having fine old chats. i am amazed that, in the space of less than a lifetime, i have gone from, obsessing over elliot weintraub while history was being made, to witnessing my son corresponding with a pen pal from outer space.