john glenn


2016, that cruel year, continues to take our icons from us.  News just came over the wire (meaning the Internet)  that John Glenn is gone.  One of the Mercury 7 astronauts and the first American to orbit the earth, Glenn was a pervasive presence in the collective childhood of my generation and at least one that followed.  I don’t remember the Friendship 7 mission of February 20th, 1962 as it happened, probably because I had just been born the previous summer,  but it was part of every space race news story and school history and science lesson from then on.  Glenn’s face and voice and the distinctive corrugated black shape of the Friendship 7 capsule are still as familiar to me as just about anything.


The New York Times’ notice of his death, published less than an hour ago as I write this, is headed “John Glenn: American Hero of the Space Age”, and you can’t do much better than that as a description.  The Space Age as we remember it is long gone, but some of its memories will never fade.

God speed, John Glenn.john-glenn-3

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3 Responses to john glenn

  1. Kim says:

    What a great man. And after I read the book The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel a few years ago, I concluded that he was a great husband, too; because of Annie’s stutter, he did everything he could to shield her from the media when he was in the national spotlight. It’s no wonder he was admired and respected…

    • Pam Bliss says:

      He was an admirable person in so many ways, in a very mid to late 20th century way. His relationship with Annie and his support for her as she dealt with her stutter is also an important thread in the excellent film The Right Stuff, which is jam packed with the spirit of the time as I remember it..

      • Kim says:

        Absolutely love The Right Stuff – we own a copy. Astronauts were such a BIG deal if you grew up in Ohio. I was six years old and in Kindergarten when Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission, so I have a few memories of that time.

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