Angie is the voice of childhood. She remembers the details, the feelings, the sounds and the smells. Here she puts what we lost on Friday in Newtown into context. Beautifully.

Childhood Relived

Challenger_explosionThe smoke twisted and turned across the sky in a fluffy white cotton candy stream.  I didn’t know what it was supposed to look like – should it look like this?  I looked to my teacher’s eyes and I knew – something was wrong.  The Challenger was broken.

But there I sat among the neat rows of 4th graders, in our Crayola-colored chairs, waiting for the explanation.  Instead, we heard gasps on location in Florida.  And we stared in silence at the television cart that only minutes before had been wheeled in for the momentous occasion.

For weeks we’d talked about the Challenger’s impending launch.  Christa McAullife would be on board — a curly-haired, common school teacher whose smiling face we’d come to recognize.  We’d read about her selection in our Weekly Reader and watched video of her training at Space Camp.  And now she was . . …

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Filed under Humor

12 responses to “

  1. Thanks for this one Elyse, great find.


  2. Thanks for sharing that. It was beautiful.


  3. Thanks Elyse.
    Left a comment over there.


  4. A wonderful bit of writing – I left my comment over there. Interesting how we seem to mark our milestones more with tragedy than triumph.


  5. I went, and it was a genuinely extraordinary experience. Enough for me to write this comment:

    “Brilliantly and unforgettably well written, in a way so universally emotionally evocative, that even a hardened and cynical 56 year old guy like me is genuinely moved by the power of reading what you have written here. Elyse sent me, and I’m glad that I made the trip. Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten how to feel… or finally become too numb to feel anything but my burning anger, when provoked by needlessly tragic and horrific atrocitties like Newtown… until someone like you proves to me that I still can feel empathy, sorrow and compassion. Which hurts… but it’s worth it and vitally important to me. Thanks for that.”

    Thank YOU, Elyse.


    • Angie is pretty terrific — usually in a funny way, though.


      • So I guess that her talent is also as versatile as yours is too, Elyse.


        • Angie is terrific — a writer who can get inside your head and your heart. She has the most amazing memory for details that I only remember when she reminds me of them. And sometimes I don’t remember them at all, but I still love being along for the ride. She is GenX, I am a baby boomer. What could we possibly have in common? A whole lot, actually!

          Glad you went on over to visit her. She was out of her comfort zone writing this piece, but like all of us, she had to. And she did so brilliantly.


  6. What… I finally return here from the land of lost bloggers, and you’re gonna make me read some stranger’s blog? Well, only because it’s your recomendation, Elyse. I’m not having an easy time of it posting any comments at all today, because once again I am stuck on my mother’s 2003 PC, which moves at a glacially slow pace, if it moves at all. And NO ONE can convince my mother that a PC can’t be expected to last as long as her Maytag washer and dryer, and still function with anything close to the same level of functionality. No, she won’t even entertain the idea of me buying her a new PC for Christmas, because that would just be a waste of MY money, and she’d just return it for a cash refund and give foolish me my money back!

    DEEP Breath…. BIG Sigh!!!


  7. Thanks for this reflection!


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