Friday, September 21, 2012

fly past

When I was very small, I remember being bundled up in a blanket and taken up onto the roof at Naworth Castle, where we'd rented a tower for a few years whilst my father worked at the nearby Blue Streak rocket site (one might say that I was used to space travel at an early age).  I've always thought that this was to see the first ever space craft - Sputnik I - but looking at the dates, I'm not sure that we were yet at Naworth.  Maybe it was the first US satellite, in January the next year?  (I certainly remember it being very, very cold).  I would have been thrilled, I know, if I'd known that I'd see a satellite pretty much flying over my house from much closer up, even if it was piggy-backing on a jumbo jet.

This was a more magnificent and stately fly past than I'd imagined.  Endeavour came slowly up through the haze from the coast, flew over down-town, and then disappeared - only to re-emerge somewhere between us and Griffith Park.  And at that point little cheers and squeals could be heard from all over the neighborhood.  The guy behind us was standing on his roof to take photos; the whole of the elementary school two blocks away were out in the playground.  The big bird curved round again out of sight - and re-emerged from another angle, having toured downtown again.  These photos don't quite capture what enormous presence it had.  It was quite something to have been in LA and able to see it from our deck.

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