Topic: "Rocket Man" (5)
Frodo wanted to be an astronaut. Frodo wanted to be an astronaut, not like every little one wants to be a cowboy, or a fireman, or a psychologist (a la Niles Crane), but when he was older, Frodo wanted to be an astronaut. The greatest obstacle to the achievement of this goal was his complete and utter ineptitude in anything touching on science or technology. So Frodo determined that what NASA truly required was someone who could describe the wonders of the extraterrestrial from the platform of space, and who better than the smallest of all the wordsmiths in Middle Earth?
Frodo learned that Walter Cronkite had the same dream, and that he went so far as to actually propose his role in space exploration to powerful people in Houston, Washington, and beyond. Frodo consoled himself that if Uncle Walter was unable to accompany Schirra, White, Conrad, or even Laika into Earth Orbit, then his failed dream was a surety. Frodo decided therefore, that he would be a critic of any who attempted to take keyboard in hand and to describe the indescribable. Frodo was never seriously challenged.
James Michener's "Space," may have been the worst of the magnificent writer's creations. It was a pithy story, wrapped around success and tragedy on the dark side of the Moon, and the reader was left knowing even less than his imagination dared invent. Frodo cannot recall any mind's picture even of a blast off, with requisite thunder and lightning of superhuman proportions. Frodo ignored the book and never recommended it to anyone.
Thomas Wolfe's "The Right Stuff," was less about the magnificence of the universal environment than it was a chronicle of the sexploits of those whom Frodo idolized. Frodo will always remember that he has to separate Ed Harris from his amazing physical resemblance to John Glenn. Beyond that, the only other recollection of merit is of the sandy discomfort which accompanies sex on the beach.
The Hubble Telescope has filled Frodo's cranium with spectaculary gassy creations of color, reminding him of the opening introduction to Walt Disney on Sunday evenings in his youth. Frodo thought that his personal fantasies could use these pictures as a backdrop that would have to sate the dreams of one who still wished to glance back at the small, blue planet, from God's right hand. That was the case until he was introduced to Chris Jones.
In the book, "Too Far From Home," Jones wrote the following descriptive paragraph, which Frodo uses as praise for one who has done better than even Frodo ever imagined could be done about anything so limitless in scope and so breathtaking in imagery.
"And in that moment, just when it seemed as though their men would make it safely into space after all, something switched over in the wives. Suddenly, the spectacle outweighed the sensation, and their worry was replaced with a kind of wonder. By the time the shuttle had traveled 27 miles straight up, twisting ever so gently on its way to finding its orbit, and its solid rocket boosters had been jettisoned on the heels of a telltale flare, the wives gasped not out of fear, but from awe. They were no longer seven women standing on a rooftop watching their husbands ride fire. Instead, they had joined the tens of thousands collected along Florida's coast that big starry night, feeling subsumed, insignificant, as though there were no greater cause than to follow this beautiful light with their wet eyes on its way to the end of the earth."
Frodo can only add, "Go baby; go baby, go." Words like these remind us, dear reader, that we can do anything.