"The summer had inhaled and held its breath too long..."
I run from tv news, even local programs for anything other than weather forecasts, having lost trust in their ability to tell wheat from chaff. While I spent this last full summer morning visiting with a life-long friend on what we call the stoop of our apartment, actual news was being made as the space shuttle Endeavour took its farewell aerial tour above California landmarks en route to LA International Airport and its eventual home in LA's California Science Center. I caught up with its flight as it made a final circle above LAX, then began the six-mile last leg from the Harbor Freeway to touchdown. I loved every minute of coverage I saw: the jumping, cheering children on school playgrounds; teary space program fans lining roadsides and elbow-to-elbow at Griffith Park Observatory; low-level passes above the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Santa Monica Pier; a tour of the 747 which impossibly ferried Endeavour across the country one last time.
There is not enough in the news that gladdens my heart. Today was another creature altogether. From my junior high science class and our first successful satellite through today's curtain calls for one incarnation of the U.S. space program, I have been among the awe-struck. I choose to believe that our most extraordinary advances in space exploration await. I've heard of a 100-year plan being put into effect, something so bold that the phrase "bending the space-time continuum" has been used in conjunction with it. Possibly apocryphal or my own wishful thinking, I have no reason to doubt that it could be true. Already I envy the wide-eyed. leaping students who will be here to cheer that mission's completion.