Remembering The Challenger


Isn’t it uncanny how certain news events deliver memories you can’t get out of your mind.

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded seventy-three seconds after its launch. I remember it as if were yesterday.  I was working for a bank in Jackson and we had just returned to our work stations after lunch.

My suite mate, Jim, came rushing in to tell me what had happened.  We turned on the department television and all 12 of us watched in horror as the shuttle charged into space, then suddenly took a nose dive.

For the first time, a teacher, Christa McAuliffe was accompanying the team of astronauts.  That brought the story closer to us somehow.

Everything looked perfect on that beautiful blue morning at Kennedy Space Center.  Reminds me of another beautiful clear day when an airliner crashed into the World Trade Center.  And that rainy fall day when President Kennedy was assassinated, or that hot summer day that Elvis died.

Thankfully, there are also happy memories to offset the disturbing ones: the brisk spring morning when my first son was born, or the sweltering summer day which ushered in my second son.  Those are the ones I try to dwell on.

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