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Thirty Years

On this morning thirty years ago, I was getting dressed for a genetics lecture at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Our little black-and-white TV set was on, and we were watching the Challenger launch. I was watching when the O-ring seal in the right rocket solid rocket booster failed during lift off. It's hard to recall how I felt. I think, more than anything, I must have felt shock and horror. It was one of those moments – like the news of the murders of John Lennon and Anwar Sadat and the dissolution the Soviet Union, and the morning of 9/11 – one of those moments. When I got to class, the professor read a short announcement about the disaster, then went ahead with the scheduled lecture.

I was twenty-one.


Currently, it's 34˚F here in Providence and sunny. I am weathering this winter far better than I weathered the last three. We think that, in part, it's because the gabapentin was a) making my depression more severe and b) making it hard for my body to regulate temperature. It also helps, of course, that we're having a very mild winter. For Rhode Island, I mean. I only hope the good weather holds until April arrives, and we are safely out of the woods. So to speak.

Yesterday, I rewrote two paragraphs I'd written on Tuesday, but I didn't accomplish much else. Today, I have to do much better than that. I don't have time for lost days. I'd like to have Sirenia Digest #120 out by the first week of February, at the latest. I have a book to write. Which means I first have a proposal to put together, and sample chapters to write, and...so on.

I do not yet have a title.

The novel that will not be Interstate Love Song

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. We have some hard-to-find items listed.

“I'm not sure about themes except the basic loneliness of man. That's always there.” ~ Shelby Foote

Do not forget, Providence people, tomorrow evening at 6 p.m., I'll be reading at Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council at 65 Weybosset Street, in the Westminster Arcade (the oldest indoor mall in America, built in 1828).

And I think that's all I have for now.

Aunt Beast


( 5 comments — Have your say! )
Jan. 28th, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
I was a junior in HS and was at the bowling alley with my phy ed class and we watched it happening on TV.
Jan. 28th, 2016 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thirty years ago I was nine and at school. Living in central Florida it was customary for all the classes to go outside and watch the launches. The town I grew up in was about sixty miles from Kennedy Space Center. I remember seeing the shuttle go up and then something definitely didn't look right but no one knew exactly what happened. When we got back into our classrooms we found out the shuttle had exploded. I remember a lot of kids were very upset and crying. It was a memorable launch for us because of Christa McAuliffe, who was supposed to become the first teacher in space.
Jan. 29th, 2016 05:01 am (UTC)
Good thoughts for your writing. I hope the weather will remain bearable for you.

Today I was reminded of Christa's quote "I touch the future. I teach." The photos of contrails are etched into my memory even after this time. I remember standing at the TV and being horrified and probably numb in disbelief. I don't remember much else of the day but later in the week having a conversation about it w. a teacher who had a classroom of hysterical kids to try and calm bc the schools were watching the launch.

It's neither here or there, but I will always believe Challenger was launched despite there being questions about the safety bc Ronald Reagan insisted it was to be the backdrop of his State of the Union speech.

Jan. 29th, 2016 06:12 am (UTC)

One of the few things in my life that I still remember vividly. I was about to head out to an afternoon lab course in college, but decided to be a bit late in order to watch the launch. I was a huge shuttle fan, and watching it destroyed live was stunning, in the most literal, negative sense of the word. Took me hours to fully process.
Jan. 29th, 2016 08:43 am (UTC)
I was also 21 years old (nine days your senior) and can distinctly remember the moment when I heard the news. Debilitated by a whiskey hangover, I was barely able to make it to my dead-end job that morning where I detailed rental cars for a low budget company in Reno. While cleaning the interior of a filthy brown Chevy Cavalier, the classic rock station I was listening to was interrupted by the announcement of the Shuttle disaster and I was truly shaken. In my limited experience in life at that point, there were no comparisons. I barely got the car door open and then puked on the pavement.

I have been following you on LJ since sometime in 2005 I think, but this is my first post. Sorry for the gore.
( 5 comments — Have your say! )