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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1970's Florida--Actually Could be 1950's!

The last time I traveled US 1 the length of Florida it was a series of small towns and orange groves and tangled vegetation. This stretch from NSB to Titusville is just the way I remember it. The orange groves are there but most of the trees are dead--damaged by the ice storms of 1985--or, if producing and some are--neglected because I 95 has taken away the cars that would stop at the stands to buy bags of them.  Sad in some ways but made me happy to see Florida the way I remember it. Old motels and pastel houses and buildings in Mims and Titusville.Went out to the Space Center but the admission price is ridiculous--45 per person and far too much to try to walk around to see in this heat. We returned to the Astronaut Hall of Fame and paid 20 per person, were indoors and cool and spent 2 solid hours reliving the memories.

I was standing on a footstool in Freshman Chem class at Mount St Vincent weighing out a reagent on a microbalance as Alan Shepard made his sixteen minute orbit of Earth. I sat in my parent's living room worried that Grissom wouldn't get out of his capsule before it sank into the ocean. Those guys had splashdown in the ocean and had to wait for Navy divers and helicopters to pluck them out of the drink and onto a Navy carrier. I was with friends as we watched the grainy shots of the man on the moon. I don't remember where I was when Gus and his crew were incinerated in less than a minute but I remember the incredible sorrow I felt. I was pregnant and supervising a study hall in Chelsea when word came that the Challenger had exploded and we turned on the TV and watched in dreadful silence as they showed the explosion over and over again.  And now we are done--the Russians and Chinese are giving us rides. I guess we lost out to Sputnik after all. I wonder how this chapter of history will be rewritten by the victors?

NOAA has developed the Lesson on a Globe--how I wish I'd had such a great item to teach Earth Science. Guess they are installing four of these in four museums though they did not say where. Just a wonderful teaching tool about our planet,its sun, its moon and its neighbors--in this case the giant, Jupiter. Fascinating.

Finished the day with dinner at Bob and Trish's --pork kabobs on the grill, sweet potatoes, salad, roll, cauliflower and broccoli and a Klondike Bar for dessert--Double Chocolate! YUMMY!

Good fun,good talk, good food , good friends. hopefully, St Augustine, tomorrow!  Night all

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