The stars put on a show for free

In 1962, Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote the classic hit, “Up on the Roof,” recorded by The Drifters and later James Taylor. The line I’d like to key on is, “At night the stars put on a show for free.”

I have always been fascinated by space, “The Final Frontier,” so eloquently voiced by Captain Kirk, aka, William Shatner.

As a pup, I would write to the NASA astronauts at Cape Canaveral, changed to Cape Kennedy,  changed back to Cape Canaveral. My heroes would actually write back and send an autographed photo of themselves in full space regalia, holding their helmets. And it wasn’t a phony stamped-on signature, it was the real thing.

I can’t remember who they were, and I truly wish I had kept them.

On July 20, 1969, my dad and I watched in awe on a black-and-white TV the night Neil Armstrong placed the first human foot on the moon while uttering the famous, if not garbled, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

I’m still a big fan of the far out — space-wise that is.

Just recently photographs of Pluto (that has always been a planet in my opinion) blew me away. The Mars rover consistently sends images from the red planet to us on the third rock from the sun. Only last week, one such image revealed a woman-like figure in the photo.

I suppose one can find anything one wants looking at such pictures, just like seeing what you want in cloud formations, but to me, it’s great fun scanning the images.

Also recently, we space cadets were treated to remarkable photos of the dark side of the moon as it passed by Earth from a camera one million miles away.

And just this week the stars “put on a show for free,” during the Perseid meteor shower.

I truly believe there is intelligent life out there, and the way mankind treats one another, it wouldn’t take much intelligence for these creatures to be smarter than Earthlings.

I hope some day contact is made with some of God’s creatures from another galaxy; and not the way Hollywood portrays such an encounter as an apocalyptic battle.

There’s a lot going on up and out there and I, for one, can’t get enough of each new discovery. That’s God’s country so you know it’s full of mystery and wonder. 

Take a look up at the night sky once in a while. You may not see any Hollywood special effects, but you will see marvelous things that spark the imagination and make you ponder the universe.

davejolivet@anchornews.org

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