An adventure you haven’t heard

There are 526,492 (plus/minus) podcasts currently available—at least that was the count when Kim Komando last reported. I listen to several of them regularly. Malcom Gladwell’s podcast is one of my favorites as is The Art of Manliness.

The author of a new book on Apollo Eight tells the story on https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/podcast-426-the-daring-odyssey-of-apollo-8/ It is fine radio—compared in my mind to the “days of yesterday when out of the west came….” Except it is real. Neil Armstrong said it is the biggest story of the space program. It is certainly high adventure!

Listening to this story of astronauts, I remembered several men and women we encountered when we worked in a small town just north of Cape Canaveral. We worked there 4-5 times and got to know several in the space program. One of the men told us stories of extreme stress. He said each day a space engineer would keel over. From others we learned about the wild-west living of the early astronauts. Lots of sports cars, fast driving, wild living. Apollo Eight was manned by extremely brilliant and normal men.

Frank Borman was captain of Apollo Eight. One of the unique characteristics of that mission is that it is the only one where all the marriages lasted. The rest of the NASA program was riddled with wide-spread divorce.

One of the NASA families we met included the man in charge of retrieving the space capsule from its landing spot and returning it to the Cape. The first time we talked, I asked him about a normal day. He said he would tell me about that particular day. “I went clamming.” He said he knew if he wanted to stay healthy and be available for the next mission, he had to take days off when his body hinted at overload. He talked about his physician son in South Carolina and his family. He chose personal trajectories carefully.

The podcast and the book are well-worth checking out. Call to adventure!
©2018 D. Dean Benton dean@deanbenton.org

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