Thursday, December 11, 2008

Space Shuttle Stops By

This morning, while baking, I kept hearing all about the space shuttle and how it was settled in for a pit stop here in Fort Worth last night. Most folks from Fort Worth, that are over the age of 40, most likely still refer to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserves as Carswell. I guess I've crossed over to that 'I'm getting old' side of life because of my increasing practice of starting my sentence with "remember when"?

Well: Remember when you would be outside playing or swimming and a giant shadow came creeping all around you and you look up to see a ginormous B-52 dragging it's heaviness gracefully across the sky? Or, remember when the windows would shake on your house as F-16s whizzed past in the western sky of Cowtown? Carswell, and (what once was) General Dynamics brought those experiences to North Texas, and I for one loved it!

As I continued to listen to the details about the Space Shuttle Endeavours stop here, I had quickly remembered another Space Shuttle pit stop story. Back in the early 90's we were stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene where my sidekick, Juaquin, was a navigator on C-130s. This assignment took dad/hubby away from us for weeks at a time.
Many of us wives-of-flyers were often single-moms during that assignment. While our airmen were away, we often gathered at the squadron for a little fellowship.

Well, one particular afternoon while driving past hanger after hanger (those are those big-giant buildings that serve as garages for aircrafts, for those that may be getting an image of a closet accessory =), our oldest son, Josh, pipes-up and says "Mom, it's the space shuttle"! Now Josh was about 5 at the time, and he was well aware of what the space shuttle would look like, but knowing we were in the middle of nowhere I immediately concluded that there was no way the Space Shuttle would be in Abilene. I did what all good moms instinctively do and reassured my dear 1st-born that he was just imaging things. I replied with, "It was probably a B-1, or a KC-135" (hey, toss a few numbers behind a letter or two and you might just get something right).
There was just one thing wrong with my response. Josh was an incredibly patient and bright boy and I could see in my rear view mirror that he was not happy with my lack of trust. So, I did what I didn't want to do...I stopped the van and turned it around so he could have a second look (and so I could prove that there was no Space Shuttle on the runway just hundreds of feet from us). "Okay....start looking,'s getting dark, so look really hard", I reluctantly stated. As we past our third or fourth hanger, I'll be darn...there, sitting just to the right of me, was this monster of an aircraft. It was, indeed the Space Shuttle, piggybacking on what looked like a dwarfed aircraft. I looked at Josh and began to apologize from the bottom-of-my-heart. I vowed to Josh, right then and there "I will always believe whatever you tell me!" Of course, that was before those High School years!

The Shuttle is suppose to take off from NAS, Fort Worth this morning around 11:00a.m. If time allows, take a peek to the western skies of our wonderful city to see for yourself!