Well, Michael and I made our appearance for the Road Scholars (Elderhostel) last week and as usual I couldn’t sleep very well the night before. I kept thinking that I might become tongue tied or forget all the facts that we would need to provide at least some intelligent information to the people in attendance.
It didn’t happen. I didn’t forget anything, and I didn’t get tongue tied. I didn’t turn into a frog and we had a real good time.
As usual there always seems to be someone in the audience that was somehow connected to the Air Force One project. Its one of the things we love about speaking. In this case there were two people. One was a scientist who worked for Boeing and assisted NASA. She was able to provide us with some interesting dialogue about the spacecrafts she was involved with. Her job was to work with live animals that were sent into space and determine how they were able to survive the experience when they returned. It turns out that in almost every case the experience on the animals had little or no effect. But they put them through all kinds of test any way. I guess that’s one of the reasons the job she had went away. So she is now unemployed and traveling. I liked her, she had a real curiosity of flight and of space, and what it means to all of us in the future.
The other person we met was actually a docent and the Reagan Library. She came to the seminar specifically to hear us talk about Air Force One (SAM 27000) and although she was provided with some basic historical information when she got the job, she wanted to hear more of the back story, more about our personal experiences, more about how we felt during certain segments of the process. So, we shared some of those feelings with her and the people that were there.
She told us we were famous around the Library and that the book sells very well there. Needless-to-say our chests puffed up a bit. Then I realized they that we may be famous around the library but it would be even nicer if our notoriety could expand beyond those boarders. After all we are human. Come on now, who doesn’t want to be famous?
We have a DVD we show that lasts about ten minutes and we usually close the seminar with it because it gives the folks a real sense of being there. You can actually meet the people we talk about in the book and hear them explain some of the issues they were facing. You can see the components coming off of the plane and watch them being transported on the freeways with the Highway Patrol escorting us during the trip with flashing red lights and all.
Last but not least you can see that I do not turn into a frog.