03. October 2007 · Comments Off on Space Camp · Categories: General

Red Haired Girl departs at 09:30 hours tomorrow via motor coach to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Actually, it is an abbreviated version called Pathfinder, facilitated by the local 4H chapter. She will be gone for four days, with two days actually “training” for the astronaut corps. While I’m very excited for her, Real Wife and I face the next few days with much trepidation with this being the longest (other than church camp, which is only 8 miles away) and furthest that she has been away from home without us. Her primary concern seems to be availability of electricity to charge her iPod, with my primary concern being…everything else. I emphasized a number of points: 1) sleep when she can, 2) she is there to learn and experience – on topic. I do NOT, repeat NOT, want her to feel compelled to ride her bicycle three counties over wearing a diaper and carrying mace, etc., to avenge a love affair gone wrong, 3) before she does anything not closely supervised by instructors/adults-in-charge, to ask herself what I would say. If she imagines that I would freak out, then it’s probably a bad idea, and 4) enjoy an experience of a lifetime that most kids will never have. The closest I ever came was physiological flight training at Pease AFB and I loved every minute of it (other than laying awake all night after the first altitude chamber flight absolutely convinced that I had the bends).

A friend of mine, retired USMC colonel, just had a new engine installed in his rather old Cessna 170, so we will also be doing some local VFR flying in the next couple of weeks. He’s offered RHG some flight time if she successfully completes her Space Camp regimen. He’s a very cool guy, having flown both prop and jet fighters (WWII and Korea) and one of the few great representatives left in this area from the Greatest Generation. I don’t think RHG is headed for a career as an Airman or an astronaut, but whatever she ends up doing, I think all of this will stay with her in a positive reinforcement way, and maybe as a lifetime reminder of one of the true passions her dad had.

Lastly, a hat tip to our departed cyberspace friend Joe Comer, who I am sure would have shared my excitement.


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