We start this Saturday with a chance encounter between a gentleman and a Gold Star Kid.
It is a kindly reminder of what is most important in life.
Saturday at the Space Education Centers
Red Shirt Nathan received a great honor at the Discovery Space Center in Pleasant Grove. On the invitation of Flight Director Bradyn Lystrup, Nathan was invited to move one place to the left in the Atlantis Control Room and occupy the seat of strangely missing, Sarah Glad.
"I'm overcome with emotion," Nathan confessed. "I've sat on that other chair for so long and dreamed of the day when Sarah would finally take a day off so I could sit in her chair and do this job." Nathan's countenance changed as he spoke. His voice darkened. "I got so tired of waiting for her to take some time off, I had to arrange things myself, if you know what I mean."
Sarah, if you're out there, your family, along with the Discovery Space Center, would like you to contact them right away.
Sitting dangerously close to Nathan was Farpoint Volunteer Harrison. "Can I take a turn at Second Chair?" Harrison reached over and touched Nathan's keyboard.
"Get any closer and you'll lose that hand," Nathan whispered. Harrison laughed. "Literally, you'll lose that hand." Nathan's crooked smile defined his mood. Harrison wisely put a few extra inches between his chair and Nathan's.
New Farpoint Volunteer
The staff and editors of The Troubadour are pleased to introduce you to Hunter, the newest Farpoint Cadet. Hunter is 15 year old student at AF Junior High and a long time fan of the Space Center. Welcome to the Farpoint program Hunter!
|Hunter pictured at the DSC where he was about to do his first mission on the Columbia|
as an official volunteer.
It's All Go at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center
I found Farpoint Volunteer Isaac at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center ready and willing to throw the switches to put the Galileo into Red Alert. "How long have you been waiting to go to red lights?" I asked.
"Maybe an hour or so," Isaac responded. I noticed his fingers trembled with excitement.
"You really like working those light switches, don't you?"
"It's allot of fun to have this much power at your finger tips." Isaac's voice quivered as he wiped a dipple of drool from his chin.
Farpoint Volunteer Kayla is seen here assisting Nathan on the Galileo five hour mission.
She didn't look happy.
"What's wrong," I asked before snapping the photo.
"Isaac got here before me and is hogging the lights."
"So that's the reason he won't move."
Kayla nodded her head. "The second he walks away, he knows I'll run over and take his spot."
"I don't think he's going to move anytime soon," I replied.
Kayla smiled. "Don't be too sure. I'm bringing him lots of drinks."
I found Connor L, Magellan's Set Director, in a good spirits. We spoke in the Control Room while a crew of young boys trained for their Death Trap mission on the Magellan bridge. After ten minutes or so, Connor left the control room to give the crew their final briefing. While he was gone, I took the opportunity to question his staff.
"Connor seems like he's in a really good mood for a Saturday," I observed.
"That's because he finally found something strong enough to mask the smell of children," Supervisor Jacqueline replied. "Don't get me wrong, Connor's a good flight director, it's just he can't stand the smell of kids. At the end of two missions he's a basket case."
"So normal air fresheners don't do the job?" I asked.
"No way," she replied while reaching for a small aluminum aerosol can stored on the top shelve. "Febreeze won't even dent the smell of 15 boys on a five hour mission." She held up the small can of Yankee Candle Midnight Breeze. "This is the stuff we use now. It destroys orders on contact. We have to be careful when we use it though. Last week we sprayed the bridge after a flight and it knocked all the volunteers out cold."
|The Magellan's Farpoint Volunteers just before their 'accident' on the Magellan Bridge.|
It was touch and go there for a minute or two but I'm told they are all recovering nicely.
|Connor delousing the Magellan Control Room's atmosphere with|
Yankee Candle Midnight Breeze - Industrial Strength
"Fids, Lids, Sids, Bids," Connor exclaimed as he capped the can to put it away.
" I DON'T SMELL THE BLOOD OF ENGLISH KIDS!"
I found a random stick behind the sound computer in the Magellan Control Room.
"Is this someone's wand?" I asked sarcastically.
"It belongs to one of the Central volunteers," Connor answered. "She left it here after her
The Farpoint Volunteers watch as Odyssey Set Director, Christine Grosland, enjoys a Subway Sandwich, chips and a drink. Many of the volunteers had been there since the early hours of the afternoon and were surviving on the paltry two candy bars issued to them by Megan Warner. I saw one of them approach Megan as she stood behind the candy counter inspecting the stock.
"Please Ma'am, can I have some more?" young Oliver spoke softly.
"MORE?" Megan shouted, shaking the cardboard sign over her which read "God Is Good"
"Yes, Ma'am. I'd like some More."
Megan steadied herself on the counter. The request obviously caused her great distress.
"Hold that lad!" she shouted. Christine and Jon jumped up and grabbed the boy before he could get away.
Megan cleared her throat before speaking.
"Oliver, Oliver Never before has a boy wanted more.
Oliver, Oliver Won't ask for more when he knows what's in store.
There's a dark, thin winding stairway without any banister
Which we'll throw him down and feed him the cockroaches served in a canister
Oliver, Oliver What will he do when he's turned black and blue
He will rue the day somebody named him Ol-i-ver.
Many heads were turned when Jordan showed up for training with a new haircut. Jordan is a long time volunteer at the Space Center and is currently training with Alex Anderson to become a Phoenix Flight Director. Alex thinks flight directors should be clean cut and clean shaven. Perhaps that's what motivated Jordan to remove his golden locks.
"You do what you have to do to get ahead," Jordan was overhead saying to one of our volunteers when asked why he did it.
After Twenty-two Years and Mountains of Begging, the Space Center Gets a Credit Card Reader.
Space Center Assistant Director Jon Parker proudly shows off the Space Center's new iPad, credit card reader recently approved by the Alpine School District's Accounting Office. "Megan and I were able to get it for the Center," Jon bragged after reminding me of my failure in getting one while I was the Center's director. He offered to let me touch it if I wanted. I declined.
"Let's see if work," I asked despondently.
"Oh, it's not connected. They have to come back to hook it all up."
"And when will that be?"
"They say within the next 22 years or so," Jon mumbled.
"So, its just an expensive paper weight right now?" I observed. Jon got up and walked out of the room.
Please take the Ordinary out with you and leave the Extraordinary.
|A toast for your next big event|
Alternative Children's Literature
We are a Daring People