View Full Version : Challenger - 25 years later

01-28-2011, 12:12 PM
I may have posted something on this topic previously but a 66 year old brain has a crappy memory. Every anniversary of the Challenger disaster brings tears to my eyes as I was a close friend of Mike Smith, the pilot. We were advanced jet students together in 1969 at Kingsville, Texas. Mike, his wife Jane, my ex, and I would get together two or three times a week to play bridge or party at the Naval Air Station, Kingsville, Officers Club. I have some wonderful memories. Singer Tony Joe White, who at the time was a complete unknown, performed at the club on a regular basis and we partied hard to the beat of his music. After training he went on with his Naval career and I returned to the Marine Corps. Coincidentally, we both wound up flying the same type of plane, the Grumman A6 Intruder attack jet. Mike was one of the finest men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and he is dearly missed. God speed, Mike.

Here is his history: http://space.about.com/cs/deceasedastronaut/a/michaelsmith.htm

02-08-2011, 11:05 AM
Was it two weeks before the Challenger blew up ? or was it around Christmas time, a troop transport went down in Greenland killing 200+ and there was one or two days coverage. Then it and they were forgotten.

And then the Challenger grenades and the nation wailed and there were PTSD counselors in the schools.

Thats when I realized just how screwed up this country is.

Yeah, everyone whose name I could drop has effected me more than others who were mere observers.

02-08-2011, 01:57 PM
i'm sorry about your personal loss in this national tragedy, buzz. god bless his family that he left behind to truely live in the heavens.

and yeah, wart. things can be screwed up. but would you rather live anywhere else?

god bless america, and those who serve her in a myriad of ways.

02-08-2011, 02:42 PM
Thanks for sharing Buzz. That was touching and a glimpse into your life. I'll never forget where I was when the Challenger went down. It was a sad day. As was the day the troop transport went down and when the soldiers were killed in Lebanon. However the Challenger was something of a national achievement and this particular flight was taking our first teacher into space. It helped all of us to realize how easily it can all go so wrong, and what they had accomplished all those times before when they launched successfully.

Sorry for your loss Buzz.