BP #83 EDITORIAL, SPRING 2018
By A.M. Stickel, Editor
ENDURANCE…and Old Age
editorial intent for BP #83 was to
review Astronaut Scott Kelly’s out-of-this-world book, ENDURANCE (A YEAR IN
SPACE. A LIFETIME OF DISCOVERY). His is one of those weighty tomes one thinks
they’ll never get through, complete with pictures, both black- and-white and
color, as well as an extensive index. At nearly 400 pages, there’s a lot of
ground to cover. I hit the “pause” on the woes of aging long enough to read
Kelly’s autobiography, almost without pause. But how could I possibly do
justice to something so awesome?
Radio (NPR) featured an interview of this author, which led me to request a
gift copy in hard cover from Someone Special, who also read it. While female
characters (like Kelly’s two daughters) are not neglected in ENDURANCE, it’s most
definitely a “guy” thing. Originally, the main draw for me was the study of
Kelly and his identical twin, and how space travel created at least temporary
differences between the two. And, like many others, I was too interested in essential
life support elements involving hygiene
in a weightless environment.
In my early
twenties, back when Star Trek was
popular, I dreamed of being in the Space Program…or at least striving for World
Peace. After being rejected for the Peace Corps, I aced a basic entrance exam
offered to college graduates (even females) at the time by the Air Force. They
decided my aptitude (then) was for cryptography (oh, yuck!). I decided to see
Earth from the ground before making a final decision, and left for 99 days in
Europe. Besides, I loathed taking orders (which also nixed any plans for
joining a convent). I ended up going into a civilian field of medicine
requiring licensure after a “boot camp” of an internship in a teaching hospital.
Now, with the
hindsight of Old Age, comes the acceptance of past decisions, and a lot less
envy for hotshot daredevils who do remarkable deeds. In the end it comes down
to the Human Factor. The most impressive part of Scott Kelly’s many missions,
to me, was not technical achievements, but friendly interactions with other
astronauts, especially the Russians. So I feel just fine about taking out my
LIVES OF THE SAINTS every day to learn from the ones who may never have gone to
the stars, but will shine like stars forever.
Happy reading this
spring, you heroes and heroines! Dream big. Wage peace.