No matter where we lived he had a space where he set up his gear. There were maps on the walls marked with the places he’d “talked” to and he had tons of postcards sent to him from hammers he’d connected with. Now that I think about it, hamming is like the internet, like blogging. It was a way of talking to people from all over the world. Dad talked in Morse code. He could send and receive up to 60 (yes 60!) words a minute. I still remember his call letters, KV4BO.
All that to tell you about this. One night, Dad called us into my parent's bedroom where his radio was.
“Do you hear that?” he asked. Out of a tiny speaker came this little high toned “beep, beep, beep, beep.”
Ok, yeah, we heard it, so what….
“Follow me,” he said. And he took us outside. It was a clear night. The sky was absolutely glittering with stars.
Ok, yeah, so why are we out here looking up at the sky?
“There! There do you see it?” He was exited.
We looked where he pointed. It wasn't a plane…no blinking lights, besides it was too high. It wasn't a meteor…it was moving too slow. And it certainly wasn't Superman.
It was a moving star!
“That’s Sputnik,” he said. “The beeping you heard is its signal.”
It was 1957, I was seven years old, and that was my introduction to space. I had no comprehension or understanding of satellites, or the space race, nor did I understand the significance, the importance, of the moment. What I remember was how strange and exciting it was to see a star moving across the sky and hear the noise it made.
Later on we had a cat that spit and hissed at any little thing. We named her Spitnik.
Did you have a moment when you were introduced to space? Is there anything about the space program that interests you?