Growing up, I had a big, noisy Irish-Catholic family, I’m the second-to-youngest of five siblings. My younger sister and I were born very close together, and our other brothers and sisters were older. I suppose we were uninteresting to play with (or probably they had friends their own age).
One of the many things we shared was growing up in the Space Age. Our Mom and Dad would point out Sputnik flying across the sky. I don’t think I ever actually saw it, in spite of the fact that we lived in Washington, DC and according to rumor, Sputnik was supposed to be making regular orbits over DC. Don’t get me wrong, we played with Barbies and Candyland, too, but the fascination of the day was space.
Who was going up? When would they go up? What would they see? Feel? Would they come back? I never seem to have let the Space Age go. I have watched The Right Stuff and From Here to the Moon and Apollo13 countless times with my children. We have taken them to Cocoa Beach,Florida and to Huntsville, Alabama and The Smithsonian Museum to see the launchpads, museums and artifacts of the Space Race. But, we have never been able to make them understand what a huge experience this was for us. This must be what it was like for my parents to explain World War II to me.
My sister and I have never forgotten the magic of those days. The present day and now defunct NASA is a shadow of what we remember, even though their present day accomplishments are technically greater.
However, art was never one of her interests. My sister loves my art because her beloved sister painted it. She went to the Smithsonian Aerospace museum while I stared at Vermeer’s Girl in a Red Hat alone at the National Art Gallery. I told her tonight that she was not following my fabulous blog. I said , “All you have to do is click on it. She said, “okay, Sheil-, but you know, the only Art I know is Art Bell.” Wacca Wacca!