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Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Report on the Space Center's 25th Anniversary Celebration. The Imaginarium.

The Space Center's 25th Anniversary

November 7, 2015

     We opened the Space Center on November 8, 1990.  We opened with the USS Voyager and the Briefing Room. Amazing we were able to pull off two class field trips with just one simulator, but thanks to my great daytime staff, Lorraine Houston, Bill Schuler, and Dave Wall, we did it. I flew the mission with Lorraine and Dave on the bridge. Bill taught the class. 
     We had half a school year to prove the concept if we wanted the Alpine School District to support the center by funding one teaching position.  Considering the Space Center is still at Central and open, you see we were successful.  

     Many of the Space Center's current staff and volunteers, along with a few ancient relics (complete with walkers and portable oxygen) from the Center's earliest staff were on hand to celebrate the silver anniversary. 

     The celebration started with a luncheon for the old timers and current staff.  I was immediately confused by the signage, not knowing which was the true direction to the staff party. Luckily the volunteers pointed me the right way????

     There were good eatins at the staff pre-celebration, celebration. The food was heavily spiced with great conversation and reminiscences. After the luncheon, it was time to start mingling with the visitors. I did my best to get around and say hello, but recognizing my limits, went to hide out in the school's conference room. Several attendees walked by and saw me despite my best efforts at contorting my body to fit perfect next to the weather computer. I waved, they looked confused, and continued on toward the free planetarium show offered by Lorraine Houston and Aleta Clegg.

     Mr. James Porter organized the event. It was his baptism by fire into Space Center Directorship. Realizing the potential that a large and possibly unruly space center fan contingency might attend, Mr. Porter issued a subspace message asking for Imperial help. His call was received, registered, cataloged, filed and considered.  Much to his relief, a squadron of Imperial Stormtroopers arrived to insure order. The first to be arrested for excessive noise, general delinquency, and antisocial behavior were Mr. Porter's two children shown above. Luckily James rescued them just after they were placed in custody. Had he arrived at the school's front doors two minutes later, they would have been on their way to Coruscant for trial.  

     This incorrigible was arrested and last seen peering out the window of the transport ship mouthing, "Help Me!"  So long Todd.....

     The Galileo was requisitioned for Imperial enhanced interrogation techniques.  There were rumors Jedi and Federation sympathizers had infiltrated the event. 

     Scott - a known Starfleet agent, Jedi in training, and master of disguise, was apprehended in the hallways dressed like a Borg operative. He was threatening to assimilate everyone within reach. The stormtroopers were not amused.  

    Everyone entering the school received a friendly welcome from two smile ready space center staff before being searched by Imperial forces. 

     There was a doctor on hand ready to administer electrical shock therapy to elderly former staff and those emotionally overcome by the experience.

     I was please to see that today's Space Center volunteers are as creative in costuming as they were during my time as director.  If it's wearable, it is fair game for a costume piece.

      On overly friendly Klingon was spotted in the Odyssey simulator.  Klingons only show that much teeth when facing a glorious and honorable death.  Perhaps the smile was the result of the company he was keeping.  

     "Yes, four humans deceived into believing my bat'leth dull and my mannerisms charming. Come closer..... yet closer still so that I may strike and remove your heads to the glory of my people!"

     Adam's plan was thwarted by the large crowds. Realizing there would be no heads available for removal without creating too much of a fuss, Adam disappeared into the bowels of the Odyssey to attempt to learn a Federation secret or two. Perhaps there was another reason for his sudden departure.....

     Perhaps Adam disappeared for a secret rendezvous with a comrade in arms.
It's apparent they both use the same hair dresser on Kronos.  Unisex hairstyles and uniforms are all the rage in the Klingon Empire these days.

     Aleta Clegg and Lorraine Houston were running a 'brisk' business offering free planetarium shows.  I attribute the lack of names on the register to Connor and his demonstrations of nothing in particular. Most people were too fearful to enter the dome, thinking that if the planetarium show was anything like Connor's expando demonstration, their safety was in jeopardy.    

      Of course, there are always a few brave souls willing to try anything just once.  

      Down the hall from the planetarium, tours of all the simulators were well underway.  Stephen Done and Michael Bristow were spotted on the Magellan bridge inspecting the latest in cool software.

      Magellan staff member Andrew (green shirt) was present soliciting donations. Notice Andrew's outstretched hand. Logan did his best to brush him off but failed in the end. Isaac saw to that.  

     Several visitors found the Discovery Room a great place to meet up and visit.  You can always find a friendly face in the Discovery Room - case in point, Warren and Lorraine.  

     The gift shop was a staff gathering point. Devin and Zac looked innocent, but I knew what they were up to - wait until Mr. Williamson was out of the room, then help yourself to a candy bar or two. Yep, I know you all did it during my watch. Don't think you pulled a fast one on me! 

     Wyatt and Zac are both Space Center legends.  Wow, getting to see all the old timers made the celebration well worth the time.

     Admiral Schuler was on hand for the celebration. He was on temporary leave from  Starfleet Command's Home for Retired and Confused Command Officers. He found Casey Voeks in the Discovery Room. The Admiral always has stories to tell, which is why the Home was so happy to ship him off to the event.  Casey was kind and generous and listened. Later that afternoon, Admiral Schuler was seen complaining about carpet lint. 
     After the tours, speeches were given in the gym to commemorate the anniversary. I spoke for a 'few' minutes covering a smorgasbord of topics.  People commented my talk was like the wind, shifting from direction to direction, blowing sometimes warm and sometimes cold.  I blame my topic jumping on the lack of a lectern.  Bad Mr. Porter.....


     Allen Stewart spoke on what the Space Center did for him.  He did a great job and stuck to the topic.  

     Mr. Porter gave the keynote address. He did fine, as he always does. He is a gentleman, scholar, and good judge of mission worthiness. 
     The highlight of the program was a reenactment of the first missions I flew in my classroom back in 1983.  My thanks to Isaac and the young volunteers for taking the time to remind me just how embarrassed I should have been.  

     With the celebration over, the staff, volunteers, and a few old timers gathered for a good old time game of Bombardment - Space Center style.
     You can read all about the event from a reporter's viewpoint by clicking on this link. 

Mr. Williamson

The Imaginarium


 "Now son, do you know what you did wrong?"
"Yes sir, I shared something on Facebook without checking facts and encouraged falsehoods to propagate, leading to the dumbing down of humanity."

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