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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stories From the Space Center. Your Bedtime Read.

Hello Troops,
From my favorite chair I see a storm blowing in across the valley. My view of Lehi disappeared first. As I watched, American Fork vanished from view, swallowed in a wall of white resembling a curtain starting on the ground and ascending into the sky and out of view. This white opaque curtain is rolling closer and closer to my home up on Pleasant Grove’s hillside. It’s an eerie sight. I feel like I’m in a some kind of an’ end of the world’ movie. I have a powerful but controllable urge to grab a flashlight, a first aide kit, and my emergency backpack and hunker down in the cement walled pantry. Instead I’ll sit here and type. If my home starts disintegrating around me this post will come to abrupt end. At least I went down in mid sentence. Taken to my reward in mid thought. Isn’t that nice to know? The last thing on my mind will be a hopeful question concerning what I’ll write after this sentence.

Well, I’m still here. I'm still thinking......... my mind’s drawn a blank - just as blank as this wall of white that has now passed. It had gale force winds for awhile but calm has returned.
It was fun sitting here watching members of the Grovecreek 8th Ward run by my home. One dad has his daughter in one arm, his scriptures in the other and looked like a real dunce running down the sidewalk. I wondered why he was running . It wasn’t that cold. It wasn’t raining. It was just a good wind. Perhaps he was concerned about his hair. I doubt it. There wasn’t much left on top of his head. Again, just another thing to add to my every growing list of things that confuse me.

Humans........ I’ll never figure you out.

I may have said too much.

Moving along, let’s discuss a few things concerning the Space Center since that ‘s why your reading this on the Space Center’s Blog.

What A Dunce !

Earlier I used that word to describe the grown man running in fear of a little wind. Now I use it to describe myself. I’m a Fool! At least when it comes to some things. Take the microphone in the Voyager Control Room.

For two weeks my mic’s cable has been shorting out. During a mission I’d be in mid sentence as Tex or the computer and suddenly I’d find myself talking to me and my fellow Troubadours in the Control Room. My characters weren’t being heard on the Bridge because of a short in the mic cable. With a twist of the cord the connection would be reestablished and I’d continue where I left off. Irritating was the word to describe the situation.

Emily Perry was about to start a mission in the Voyager Friday afternoon. I decided to do her a favor and replace the cable. I found one in storage, went to the sound mixer and started unplugging what I thought was the old cable. Once it was out of the way I plugged in the new one. I sat back in my Flight Director’s chair beaming with pride at my technological accomplishment.

What a Dunce! The mic didn’t work. I’d messed up somewhere. I pulled the mixer out and took a look in the back. What I found sent a humbling shiver down my spine. Mine eyes beheld a spaghetti bowl full of black cables and wires. going every direction, including a few in extra dimensions of time and space. I tried to unplug a few more. Nothing. Panic set in. Not only was I making a fool out of myself in front of the two Supervisors but also the volunteers. Here he is, the Master of the Space Center, unable to change a simple microphone cable.

I had no other choice but to call Kyle Herring - our resident genius. The mission was 30 minutes from starting. He didn’t answer. I called again and again. Finally an answer. He was just out of the shower dripping wet. Kyle had returned from Chicago an hour or so earlier. I explained the problem. I told him he could have anything up to half my kingdom if he would just put on a hat and get over to the Center right away.
“OK, well I’m standing here dripping from the shower. Shall I just put on a hat and rush over?” he questioned.
“Yes,” I insisted.
“Just a hat?” he continued in a very calm voice. He could of dropped the whole matter, dressed, and came over but he just had to see this one through. “Just A Hat?” he questioned again. “You really want me coming to the Space Center wearing nothing but a hat?”

Well, I got it. After another sentence to clarify I hung up. Kyle made it just in time. He corrected my mistake with out belittling me in front of the staff. He gets a ‘Get Out of Jail Card’ for saving my bacon on Friday.
Thanks Kyle.

An Opening in the Space Time Continuum

We hosted seventh and eighth grade students from Lakeridge Junior High’s STY (Smarter than You.... the Gifted) class this weekend. They were a great group. Dallin was one of the boys on the mission and a rabid fan of the Space Center, not to mention, a regular reader of this Blog (hello Dallin, here is what you wanted - something about your mission).

Dallin is one of the two happiest, most cheerful, bubbly, friendly, outgoing, optimistic people I know in this world. The other person is Christine Grosland, one of our Odyssey Flight Directors. She is the Poster Child of the Worldwide Optimists Club. Now let me get the picture straight for you - we had, under the same roof , the two happiest people on the planet and therefore possibly in the universe. I wondered what the result would be if they got too close together. The consequences were beyond my ability to calculate. It was best to keep them separated.

Well, my best laid plan of segregation failed on Saturday morning. It was breakfast time. Everyone was in the Cafeteria except for Christine. Dallin was full of energy and natural joy and was moving around the room sharing it with everyone. I myself was the beneficiary of two blessings. My day was made better because of it.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Christine. She was walking toward the window to pick up something to eat. I searched the room for Dallin. He was on the move. I quickly did the math. They were on a collision course. Destiny had brought them together. Like two trains racing toward each other on the same track, their paths were about to collide. I turned to Brittany, Magellan’s Flight Director, who was sitting on my left. “Oh No, they are going to touch,” I said. Brittany looked over to where I was pointing. I started to jump up from the desk I was sitting on but realized there was nothing I could do to prevent what destiny had appointed. I sat back down wondering if the world would be the same once their hands met. I pictured a bubble of brilliant white joy starting from their joined hands and expanding outward at supersonic speed encasing everyone on the planet in pure happiness. Could I live with myself if I was happy all the time? What about my sarcasm? What about my dry wit? What about my evil sense of humor that drives me to laugh at other people’s misfortune? Would the very essence of who I was get stripped away? I sat back down to await my fate.

Their hands both went up at the same time to give each other a High 5. Six inches of separation changed to 5, then 4, 3, 2, 1............ I held my arms out in supplication, asking my creator to spare at least something of the old Mr. Williamson. They touched. They laughed. They separated. I looked around. Everything seemed to be normal. I turned to Brittany and asked if I was wearing a smile. She assured me I looked like I always did - slightly ill.
“Yes!” I shouted. The space time continuum was not broken. Brittany started to laugh. Bradyn Lystrup didn’t understand the commotion and waved off an explanation. It was going to be a good day after all.

One Great Worker

I want to take a moment of your time to publicly thank one of our staff for always going the extra mile. His name is Spencer Robinson. He comes in when needed to do our repairs.
He is working on new set pieces of the Odyssey. He also recently painted the blue trim on the Voyager’s desks and will soon start on repairs to the Voyager’s Captain’s Loft. Spencer has a fantastic attitude about work. He enjoys to be busy and we are the beneficiaries of that work ethic. Thanks Spencer for a job well done.

Saint Sheila on BYU Television

Yes, our very own Saint Sheila of Lehi appeared on BYU television last week. They ran a piece on the Space Center as part of their nightly news. The reporter spent nearly an hour at the Center. Most of the time was with Aleta Clegg. A few minutes of the reporter’s time was with Sheila. Well, what did the reported choose to do? She decided to use the Saint Sheila footage and nothing from Aleta.

Aleta admitted defeat the following day. Up until then Aleta privately doubted the sainthood of Shiela. She ignored the growing evidence claiming it was all random occurrences brought on by statistical chance. Not any more. Aleta is now suggesting we have an official portrait painted of Sheila to hang in the Discovery Room. Small prints of the portrait could be sold in the Center’s Gift Shop along with candles. Surely a portrait of Saint Sheila with a candle or two on any home’s mantle would bring blessings.

Aleta, we welcome you to the growing congregation of Sheila admirers. She is one great gal.
And yes, you may keep all the proceeds from the sale of the pictures and candles. That will be your blessing.

Well, have a great week everyone. Thanks for reading, and to our staff and volunteers -thank you for your dedication. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fantastic people that work here. I’m am your greatest fan.

Mr. Williamson
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