I’m always looking for meaningful stories. I found one in the protection of the endangered New Mexico silvery minnow, endemic to the Rio Grande. The story I wrote just went online at Earth Island Journal. You can read it by clicking on this link:
February 6, 2018
Today is my birthday, and I was given a wonderful present.
Late this afternoon, SpaceX successfully launched its very first Falcon Heavy rocket into solar orbit. The two strap on boosters returned successfully to landing pads at Cape Canaveral. The core booster apparently experienced a problem and missed its target on a barge anchored offshore. The second stage powered Elon Musk’s wine-red Tesla electric car … along with a mannequin named Starman … into orbit around the sun, then past Mars, into the asteroid belt and beyond.
Why was this such a wonderful present? When I was seven, my dad to my brother and me to see Robert Heinlein’s story, Destination Moon. I was so impressed, I decided then and there I was going to be the first man on the moon. Of course, life didn’t work out as I planned. I never made it to the moon.
So I’ve been waiting 68 years for a private company to build and launch a rocket into orbit … and recover the boosters for reuse. That’s the way it has to be done, if we earthlings are ever going to leave this planet and colonize other planetary bodies.
When I covered the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, I interviewed Robert Bigalow, real estate billionaire who established Bigalow Aerospace. Bigalow has developed an expandable habitat for use in space. He told me he was just waiting for the rockets to catch up to his work. Now that’s happened.
There is only one destination in space at the moment — the International Space Station. With SpaceX’s success, there is now an opening to develop enterprise in space and establish as many destinations as we want … including Destination Moon.
I will never fly in space, but I will live long enough to see people walk on the surface of Mars, establish a permanent base on the moon, and perhaps even mine an asteroid in situ. I am watching my dream come true, albeit vicariously.
Today I began the first in a year-long project of writing travel features for the Las Cruces Sun-News, to be published every other week. Now, some people have children and grandchildren, some people play sports or have engrossing hobbies, something — anything — that gets them out of bed each day and engaged in life. For me, that’s writing.
Storytelling is much more than stringing words one after another. And, to be sure, writing is a very solitary enterprise. But, the act of meeting and interviewing people I’ve never known before, visiting interesting places — some natural, some historic — and just wanting across this Land of Enchantment is more than sufficient to get me out of bed and my creative juices flowing.
I’d be interested in knowing what makes each of your days worth living.
January 10, 2018
Why I’m Blogging …
New web sites — as of this date — are intriguing, often thought provoking. But without a way for the viewer to respond, it’s decidedly a one-way street and woefully lacking in the kind of community interaction many website developers hope to achieve.
Therefore, I’m starting a blog. For the past dozen years, I’ve lived and traveled throughout New Mexico, writing stories for local papers and magazines. Cheryl Fallstead, my friend and business partner, and I did a radio program for three years, writing an producing New Mexico Mile Markers. I’ve decided to include some on my website, under the Mile Marker tab.
Learning about the people, places, history and culture of New Mexico has been an intellectually stimulating endeavor. Where I’ve gone and what I’ve seen has been an adventure. The people I’ve met and interviewed has been a sheer delight. And I want to share these experiences, perhaps provode a comment or two of your own experiences.
At regular intervals, I will comment on my travel experiences, which continue. It’s what gets me out of bed each day. I will engage you in my other interests, namely commercial and personal spaceflight, water issues in a desert envronment, and promoting preservation and conservation of the natural beauty of the only planet in the universe of which we are certain there is life.
So … come away with me … join me in this adventure. Let’s talk about what we’ve seen, how we feel about it, what we like or dislike, and — if we disagree — how we can find common ground on the predominent issue of stewardship of earth. I invite you to comment and I promise to reply to every response, with the exception of any that personally disparage or demean.
Ready! Set! Go!