Saturday, August 22, 2009
When I was a senior in high school back in 1964/65 I had the opportunity to spend a Saturday with the 7 original NASA astronauts. WOW! That was inspiring and awesome. My favorite was Wally Schirra. Little did I know that 12 years later he would be the VP of Marketing for Johns-Manville. I was a productin manager at our plant in Texas. I met him in my boss' office during a trip from a plant in Texas to HQ in Denver. My boss asked if we had met and I said, "No, not really." Wally blurted out, "Didn't we meet in Texas a few years ago? You were in high school and on a tour?" I was floored. No wonder he was an astronaut and I was just a production manager in a pipe plant! These guys were gutsy, full of life and adventure, ready for whatever was thrown at them. I wanted to go into flying and maybe into the space program but being 6-1 and 185 pounds made that impossible so I went to Engineering School so I could design things that were exciting, like rockets maybe. Did work on some weird science stuff like terrain following radar and laser guided bombs. This was back in the late 60's and early 70's. Had a secret clearance and had a blast working on conceptual ideas and prototypes but that soon faded and I got out of that business.