Kathy and I were stealthily positioned in the Walnut Park gazebo waiting as he and as his entourage came around the corner. As he approached the stage unaware, we launched into "Rocket Man" with everyone around joining on the chorus. A big smile spread over his face like a kid at his own surprise birthday party.
The guy has nerves of steel and a very warm heart. He hugged everybody before he was presented the plaque. It was a thrill to give him a disk our original "space rock" songs, and he accepted the gift like we gave him the keys to the city.
After years of opening for astronauts I've noticed some things they have in common. A light-hearted enthusiasm and politeness seems to animate them.
All those hours of circling the Earth seems to whittle away at the human ego. They have internalized how rare and vulnerable we all are in the vastness of space.
While we were talking with Story Musgrave a thought occurred to me...he should run for president.
What a great leader he would make!