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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mark and Logan Honored and Mr. Williamson Caught Accepting a Bribe from a Fan.

Space Center Fans Waiting outside the Center deliriously hoping to catch a
glimpse of Mark and Logan. Mark and Logan are the Space Center's
newest teen idols after receiving their awards on Saturday.


Hello Troops,
Celebrity is a burden many of our volunteers carry after being honored at one of the Space Center's post Overnight Camp meeting's.

"Before today I was just, well you know - Mark," Mark said after receiving both his Odyssey and Galileo Pins. "Listen to those screams. How am I going to get home in one piece?"


Mark receiving his Odyssey Pin from Christine, Odyssey's Set Director

Mark getting his Galileo Pin from Ben Murdock. Stacy, The Galileo Set Director, was absent.

Stacy was on the program to award a Galileo Pass Pin to Mark. However, at the appointed time Mark had no choice but to accept the award from Ben Murdock. Stacy was unable to get to the meeting. Crowds of Mark and Logan's admirers, along with Pleasant Grove's paparazzi, filled the parking lot and blocked every entrance into the school.

Luckily one of the younger volunteers saw Stacy's head bobbing up and down over the crowd near the flag pole while watching Mark and Logan's screaming fans from the school's front doors.

"Mr. Williamson!" the volunteer shouted from the foyer. "I see Stacy near the flagpole. She can't get through the mob."

I looked for myself. The volunteer was right. Stacy's green flight director shirt was spotted in the sea of delirious teenage fans. I organized a posse of older staff and volunteers to push their way through the crowd to collect her.

"Its a madhouse out there," Stacy said breathlessly after having been half carried, half dragged into the school. We sat her down on one of the foyer's benches with a cup of hot cocoa. Erin put a blanket around her shivering shoulders. She apologized to Mark for missing the awards. Mark understood. He knew her experience was soon to be his when his ride home arrived to collect him.

"Am I in time to give Logan his Galileo Award?" Stacy asked.

"Are you up to it?" I asked.

" I am," she replied. "Logan worked to hard for me to delegate this to someone else. I'll push through the pain. Help me up."

We helped her stand and walk to the Discovery Room.
"Stacy's here," a voice shouted.
Applause rang out when she walked through the classroom's door. Stacy stopped for a moment to accept the staff and volunteer's appreciation of her harrowing ordeal before walking to the front of the room to meet Logan.

"There's hundreds of screaming girls out there calling out your name," she said while pinning the pin on Logan's lanyard.

"Welcome to my life," Logan responded. "How to you think I got these?" Logan held out both arms. Partially healed scratches covered each arm from elbow to hand. " Your life is no longer your own once word gets out you're going to get a Space Center award."

"Amen!" shouted many of the gathered staff and volunteers - each having lived through their own ordeal of getting an award.

Stacy Awarding a Galileo Pin to Logan.

I stood and made an announcement after Mark and Logan were honored .

"Troops, today we say goodbye to one of our own who will be leaving for an LDS mission to Argentina." I paused to let the news sink in. Everyone in the room stared at Abram. Abram waved from his chair in the back of the room.

"Abram, we have a card for you and a small gift." I called Abram to the front to receive everyone's gratitude for a job well done.

Abram started at the Space Center while in junior high. Over the years I was impressed with his can do attitude and good naturedness with the students, staff and volunteers. They don't come better than Abram. We all wish him the best in Argentina.

Thank you Abram!


Isaac bearing a Brib... hummm a "gift"

And finally a confession which could land me in a spot of trouble. Last Thursday a young man named Issac arrived with friends to attend the Phoenix's Open Mission, flight directed by none other than the Space Center's very own Dave Daymont.

Isaac walked up to me while I was seated at my desk and slipped me this note. Attached to the note was real American money. Yes, I'm talking about real American money - none of that phony Canadian stuff. On the note he'd written that he was a regular reader of The Troubadour and had read how easy it was to bribe me with a Diet Mt. Dew. The note went on to say that the cash was to be used for a Diet Dew.

I say this could land me in a spot of trouble because of my position as an employee of the Alpine School District - a government organization. We don't take kindly to the bribing of government officials in this republic of ours, so I hesitated to accept the card and money. But in the end I confess to accepting the "gift". How could I turn down such a heartfelt offer from a young Space Center fan. I only hope the judge feels the same way if any of you turn me in to the authorities.

Now let me emphatically repeat that giving gifts to government officials is frowned upon in our American culture. However, until our elected leaders in Salt Lake and Washington decide not to accept all the freebies showered on them by lobbyists and political action committees, I'll feel perfectly fine accepting the occasion soda from a well wisher wanting to grease the palm of someone who could make or break his simulator mission :)

Thanks Isaac. The Diet Dew was delicious and thank you for being a regular reader.

Mr. Williamson
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