I'm like 7 years old. My dad is working for Boeing doing sheet-metal work on B-52s, we are living in Mulvane, Ks and I'm watching this local TV show every day. It's 1962. The Mercury 7 Astronauts are the Knights In Shining Armor of the Kennedy Camelot, riding fiery rockets to joust against the godless, baby-eatin', Communist Cosmonauts.
Between the B-52 Overhaul Base and the F-105 Squadron at McConnell AFB, it's like an air show everyday! Bombers and fighters flying at tree-top level, sonic booms. You could wave at the airplanes and the pilots would tip their wings at you to say hello.
So McConnell AFB is going to have an Open House and Major Astro will be there to sign autographs. OMG!
We are walking through this huge hanger, getting my first close-up look at these incredible airplanes. I'm in 7 year old heaven!
I look down this obscure administrative hallway. Here comes Major Astro in his needlessly silverized, Mercury 7 Space Suit, space helmet tucket in the crook of his right arm, flanked by high-ranking United States Air Force officers, doing The Hero Walk.
It was one of the most awe inspiring moments of my life.
What can I say? I'm a techno-geek.