Friday, January 28, 2005

On this day in 1986--more first grade memories

There was no snow on the ground, but there it was extremely cold. They actually cancled school that day. I remember that mom had a bright idea that since I was home, I could scrub the yikky orange carpet under the kitchen table (It was my grandfather's bright idea to lay carpet in the kitchen and hall, consequently the fumes from laying it killed my fish). It was just before noon, and Dan Rather cut into The Price Is Right to inform all the viewers about The Challenger exploding. I was under the kitchen table, scrubbing in futility with a brush at some stain under the table that I'm sure my mother blamed completely on me.

A neighbor that my mother used to clean for, Mrs. Congelio, had died a year before, so I understood death, in my own childish sort of way. I still spent the better part of the day, mostly by myself, listening to the almost continuous news stories, and soap opera interruptions, trying to fathom a scarry tragedy like that.

I remember them talking about it, trying to explain it to us in school the next day. I thought it was a little weird how thanks to the news, every adult in the world including my dad who always watched the news with a newspaper opened in front of him could explain all the parts of the space shuttle and had suddenly become an expert. I also couldn't get over that we had the ability to send people into space (I still thought airplains were magic), but a little piece of rubber (o-ring, it was later determined) could fail and kill a bunch of people.

I guess you could say that was my introduction into the ways of the adult world--civilization's ability to accomplish great things, and civilization's suseptability to great disaster though such a small tip of the balance.


Blogger Gretchen said...

More great memoir. :)

12:14 AM  
Blogger Dante said...

just goes to show... the devil is in the details.

i don't recall what i was doing or where i was when the challenger exploded.

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sedond grade 1986...I must have watched that shuttle blow up over 100 times that day. I reflect on two years ago now in my mind and how it suddenly became politicaly incorrect to broadcast the towers fallen. My my how we have fallen eh?

your friend

The Master Chief


p.s. the [-p] stands for pablo

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stangely, I don't remember much about the Challenger explosion either, other than vague recollections of newsbits. I should remember more--I mean, I was ten years old when it happened, old enough to pay attention.


10:14 PM  

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