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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Old Timer's Recollections.

The Original Voyager Gary Remembers.
Ahhh those were the Good Ole Days.
We've Come a Long Way Since Those Early Days :)

Hello Troops,
I want to thank Gary Gardiner, an old Space Center Veteran from the Voyagers earliest days, for this comment on yesterday's Space Center History Post. If any of you other old timers have a moment please considering a short post on your recollections of the Space Center's early days.

Mr. Williamson

And Now Gary's Post:

An invitation to old timers to post a comment? Y'know, before these reminiscent posts (including this one and the superb Space Center History posts a few months back), I didn't consider myself an old timer. But then I thought about it... did some math... and holy cow! I was shocked to discover how much of an old timer I actually am.

I attended the Space Center for the first time when I was in 5th grade. Looking back, I now realize that that was in 1992!! I couldn't believe that I attended the Space Center only two years after it opened its doors. From the star-struck vantage point of a 5th grader, there was absolutely no indication that the Space Center was that young at the time. Everything worked seamlessly... at least to my eyes, which is a tribute to the volunteers behind the scenes at the time.

That field trip in 5th grade captured my imagination and I haven't been the same since. I came back as often as my parents could afford (far too little), but I filled all the interim time with my own dreams and imaginings inspired by the Space Center experience.

I remember one camp (probably an overnighter) where we got to fly the brand-spankin'-new ISIS (the Odyssey, for all the younguns reading this). I was in the second crew to ever fly the ISIS... the other half of our group were the lucky ones to be the first.

It really wasn't until I read these blog posts that I remembered how crews used to alternate between the simulators and the classrooms. I'd completely forgotten about that, mainly because all my memories revolved around the simulators.

... Although... I do have one traumatic memory from the classrooms. Mr. Daymont was leading our group in an interactive board game that used one of those huge laser discs. Anyway, the video featured a Klingon who captured the Enterprise, and it was our duty as Federation officers to try to reclaim the ship. I was a little slow at jumping to attention when "Captain K'vok" hollered from his TV screen at us, and Mr. Daymont singled me out for jeopardizing the fate of the whole Enterprise by being self-conscious.

It's funny how everything that happens at the Space Center gets etched into your mind... whether it be traumatic embarrassment for a split-second delay, or unparalleled celebration for whooping the aliens and saving the galaxy.

Yikes, now that I'm thinking about it a whole slew of memories are coming back to me... but I'll save them for another day, since I know there are those among our readers who have attention spans the size of Twitter tweets, so I'll save my old timer yarns for another day.

-- Gary Gardiner
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