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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pictures from the Space Center's Earlier Days. August 2002 Overnight Camp with Josh Webb's Birthday. Honor's Night 2002. The Briefing Room Pre-Phoenix. Theater Imaginarium.

Blast From the Past. The Early Days of the Space Center.  August 2002 Overnight Camp with Josh Webb's Birthday. Honor's Night. The Briefing Room, Pre Phoenix Days.

Starring: Bryson Lystrup, Landon Richards, Alec Fowler, Josh Webb, Chris Call, Josh Babb, Bryce Redd, Richard Orcutt, Alex DeBirk, James Porter, Kyle Herring, Julie Collett, Sam Brady, Metta Smith, Lorraine Houston, Ryan Parsons, Jennifer Halverson, Others from the back, and others whose names I've forgotten (but I still remember you!), and of course yours truly.

After an August 2002 overnight camp. Standing left to right: Bryson Lystrup, Landon Richards(?), Alec Fowler, ?, Josh Webb, Chris Call, Josh Babb, Bryce Redd, and Richard Orcutt. Seated left to right: Alex DeBirk, ?, and Jennifer Halverson.

I find there are those rare and occasional times when I repost a picture thinking I hadn't posted it before.  If that is true with today's post, please forgive and enjoy regardless. It is better to post and say oops than to not post and miss giving you a warm fuzzy when you remember your time at the Space Center as a staff or volunteer.

The picture above shows some of the overnight camp staff from an August 2002 overnight camp. We ran overnight camps every Friday night all through the school year and most of the summer. They started at 7:00 P.M. Friday and ended at 10:00 A.M. Saturday morning. The campers went to bed at 11:00 P.M. The staff usually stayed up to talk and enjoy the treats Mrs. Houston usually supplied when she'd come to chaperone the girls.  

Notice the beds behind the staff?  That's where the Phoenix sits today. Many of the staff didn't like my decision to build the Phoenix. They loved their little bunks in the wall, but I needed more simulators and that wall area was the last place in the school where one could be built.  After the Phoenix was built, the male staff slept on the Magellan bridge, the Briefing Room, and occasionally the Odyssey if it wasn't used by campers.  The girls usually slept on the stage. The Odyssey's control room door is still in the same spot. 

Josh Webb's Birthday, August 2003
     These Josh Webb birthday pictures were taken sometime between 11:30 and 11:45 P.M. during an overnight camp. The campers were in bed. The staff gathered briefing to gorge on ice cream, Mrs. Houston's treats, and soda.  This is where the staff learned Space Center lore. This is where they bonded. This is where the politics of volunteering and staffing played out. There was the good, the bad, and the ugly - as in any organization. 
     I was blessed to have the privilege of working with such fine young people.  They've all grown up now. Many have children of their own and have moved away. There is one thing I'm sure of, each one fondly (I hope) remembers his or her time at the Space Center. Their time at the 2nd happiest place on earth will always be a part of their lives.  

The staff and volunteers kindly listening to me babble on about this and that before bringing Josh to front for his cake.
A few you see in this picture: Scott Slaugh, Josh Babb, Richard Orcutt, Ryan Parsons, Josh Webb, Mrs. Houston, Metta Smith and others.

     Someone calling that late at night wasn't unusual. Parents had my number and could call at any time during a camp.  I loved my long desk. Some of the staff rudely hinted it mirrored my ego, but we all know that would be a lie.  I was and am humble to a fault. I just needed something larger than a normal desk because we used the Briefing Room for our Field Trip lessons back in the day and needed a long demonstration table.  What do you remember about the old Briefing Room?  
     Today my desk area is one of the Space Center's large storage areas, sitting in front of the new Odyssey simulator's bridge. 

Mrs. Houston is getting ready to cut the cake. The staff wait patiently, which was unusual for them. My "Love Me" wall is visible next to the Voyager's small doorway.


I'm still on the phone. Josh grew bored and decided to light the candles himself.

?, Josh Babb, and Chris Call. Chris was the Odyssey's Set Director at the time.

     The morning after. Josh gets his stuff to head out to the gym for the post overnight camp bombardment game. You see one of the young volunteers is on his way to the gym with the balls. 
     Bombardment was played after every overnight camp.  I'd try to make it into the gym to "call shots" (the cheating was rampant).  I called myself "Old Eagle Eye" and bragged that I never missed an infringement of the rules. The staff and volunteers would disagree with that but they're not the ones writing this history :) 

Josh and Alec Fowler leaving for the gym. Sam Brady and ? at the Odyssey's entrance.
     Shortly after this overnight camp constriction of the Phoenix began.
     I'm hoping you enjoy these trips down memory lane.  Please let me know your memories and thoughts so I can include them in this narrative. Email me at

Mr. Williamson

 Honor's Nights in the Old Days. January 2002

Mr. James Porter Receiving his Flight Director's shirt (If I'm correct). Is that you James?
I did my best to hold an Honor's Night every month, but it wasn't a steadfast rule. We had a large staff and volunteer program in those days - too many for a classroom to hold so often I held the event in the gym or lunchroom. 

Alex DeBirk Getting his Galileo pass pin I believe. Can you find yourself in this photo?
Kyle Herring is standing to my right.

Theater Imaginarium
The best gifs of the week edited for a general audience.

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