Wow! Last night was the beginning of the “festivities” for the Naval Institute History Conference about space and to say that it was amazing is only the tip of the iceberg. For those of you who know me, you know that I can tend to talk just a little bit… well I think I may struggle to adequately find the words to describe how I felt meeting some heroes of mine so please bear with me!
To start my day of awesome we go to a little unofficial event that I was lucky enough to be invited to sit in on thanks to Ken. General Tom Stafford wanted to “pre-flight” his slides in Alumni Hall so I got to sit and watch that. I could listen to General Stafford tell stories all day long! And that’s a lot of what it was…. He was going through his slides but he was just casually telling many stories… what an incredible treat to be there and to get to listen in. My crowning achievement in this hour and a half was that I was able to quickly look up where the Mercury capsule that had been on display here at the Naval Academy had gone for General Stafford – it’s great to feel useful to such an American Hero!!!
The evening brought with it a reception at Buchanan House where the Superintendent resides. (On a side note – let me just tell all of you that if you ever have the opportunity to go to an event there – GO! Do whatever it takes to get there. The events are always amazing!) The hospitality of Admiral & Mrs. Miller is always impressive. This reception was so full of astronauts that everyone (not just me and the Midshipmen – all sorts of Navy Officers too!) was in awe! The sheer magnitude of spaceflight experience represented in that house was so incredibly impressive. As we all mixed and mingled I was happy to catch up with some amazing folks I already knew but I think I had the most fun introducing my best friend to some of the astronauts she had never met such as Charlie Bolden, Bob Cabana and Bob Crippen. (I am so lucky to have a bestie who works for the airlines and can just show up at cool events with us!) Captain Lovell and General Stafford were so surrounded by other folks that we didn’t get a chance to chat with them there but that was ok…. I knew there would be other opportunities! n
Miles O’Brien was the Forrestal Lecturer last night and while I already know I need to write a whole blog about Miles (and I will just give me a little time!) let me just say that he did an amazing job of being not just informative but also entertaining. Everyone truly enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe my luck that I was sitting behind Jim & Marilyn Lovell for this event. WOW! I was star struck! More on that later too…
The end of the official evening was the singing of the Navy Alma Mater http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_Blue_and_Gold.
I get this chills just typing this thinking of all the amazing people who literally surrounded me…. Jim Lovell, Frank Culberston, Bill Readdy, Ken Reightler, Charlie Bolden, George Zamka, and my wonderful husband Ken Ham too of course! Such a poignant moment…
Sorry folks I know this blog is containing a lot of “more of this later” comments but I just has so much more than I can quickly summarize (I warned you I might have trouble finding adequate words!) and now I absolutely must go and get dressed for the day…..
Stay tuned for more…..
As I mentioned before I will be doing my best to do some live tweets via @spacechelle and might I suggest you become an official follower of this blog so you know when I post more?