The following was written by my late wife Elaine. She wrote a long book, a diary really, from which this is one passage:
Since I felt well and energetic during the last months of my pregnancy, 1957, I decided to answer an ad in the Washington Post for a “temporary secretary needed for 2 months” at the National Academy of Science. It sounded interesting to me, because I was alone all day while Dave was at the patent office, and didn’t know anybody yet in our apartment neighborhood. I was hired; I liked the work, and the people. The regular secretary, who I was replacing during her leave of absence, returned to the job; I left, and prepared for Carolyn’s birth, expected to be in late November.
In October, Dave and I took natural childbirth classes together at a church in Maryland and learned about breathing, panting, “the transition,” how husbands could help their wives relax throughout the labor, what to expect; the program we followed was Dr. Grantley Dick Read’s book, Childbirth Without Fear.
November 1957: We saw the rocket that launched the Sputnik I Soviet satellite pass overhead (Sputnik is a Russian word meaning “traveler”). We saw the excellent movie October Sky recently, 2000, and the first scene was of Sputnik passing overhead, seen by two West Virginia boys who were inspired by it to build a homemade rocket. Their project started small, got bigger and better, and it was also a very interesting story about their coal-miner fathers (the best depiction of that subject I’ve ever seen), and about the boys’ dreams of rockets and space. And as it passed overhead, it probably looked to Dave and I, 40+ years ago, just as it looked in the first scene of the movie about the “Rocket Boys.”
To be continued…
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is a nonagenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family