Thursday, February 04, 2010

"That doesn't look right."

This video of the Challenger disaster is just riveting, at least to me, because I remember standing on my patio at our house in Apopka that day. I found the link on HuffPo, where they said it was from a man in "Winter Gardens." It's Winter Garden, a few miles from Apopka.

I remember this day so well. It was extremely cold, and I was not working full time, just taking college classes while Boy was in half-day kindergarten, and I also watched Girl's little friend during the day. (Apparently I had a lot more energy then, because now I think college plus two kids plus sitting for a third plus house with husband who worked long hours and cleaning the pool and oh yeah, dogs and cats and such, sounds exhausting. Then, it was just life.)

I'm glad the girls were too little to care about the shuttle, because I would not want to have had to explain it to very bright not-quite-3-year-olds. I remember distracting them with snacks and such, and trying not to think of it myself. It was jarring, and it stayed with me for weeks.

As the man in the video says, it was "brighter than usual." I remember thinking that, too. We could see the bright flame of the rocket from the patio, but this one was twice the size of the normal, and then the big puffy cloud, and the little squiggly clouds that definitely signaled Oh Shit NO, and my stomach lurched. And the creepy part of it was that because it was a cold day with little humidity and little wind, that trail hung in the sky like that for HOURS. We went to pick up Boy at kindergarten - it was still visible. It finally faded around mid-afternoon.


caroline said...

it was so, so sad. It hit everyone like a kick in the stomach.

k said...

"That's trouble of some kind, George..."
And you know if it had been a big crash down at the bridge, those men and women would have been down there to help, any way they could.

Thank you for posting this.

Catherine said...

I swear, it really brought it back to me, especially that creepy broken contrail in the sky, as the rockets spun off on their own, instead of breaking away as they usually do. His video caught something I didn't notice - that puff of vapor falling away toward the right of the cloud, which I'm thinking is the shuttle itself dropping away. And yes, don't you love these good folks on their driveways, worrying? If it had been in their power to go on over and help, they'd have been there.

k said...

I was going to email you about my version of that day, then I figured I probably shouldn't; You have enough weight there on your own.
I worked in a photo studio then, and there was a teddy bear down in the studio proper where we watched the news.

Gigi said...

I heard it on the radio and was on my way to friend in Georgia, and ran inside and turned on the T., The radio guys said it and they always said jokey things, and then on of them said, no, really. And then they were quiet.