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Sunday, May 25, 2014

A "Surprise" for Astronaut Story Musgrave

In our continuing saga of singing for astronauts, Kathy and I had the honor of staging a surprise musical tribute to astronaut Story Musgrave.  Dr. Story's list of  accomplishments read on and on like the exploits of a superman. This is the guy who repaired the Hubble Telescope. Try doing that extremely technical work in a space suit with the earth wheeling over your head at 17,000 mph. Screw up once and it's "Game over man!".

The city of Petaluma had made a formal declaration that Saturday, May 17, 2014 be "Story Musgrave Day" and Mayor David Glass and other dignitaries were on hand to give him a plaque honoring his many years of service. 

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! 

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