S: Rocket Boys
BC: "All one can really leave one's children is what's inside their heads. Education, in other words, and not earthly possessions, is the ultimate legacy, the only thing that cannot be taken away." - Dr. Wernher von Braun
FC: Rocket Boys Sputnik Chapter Two
1: Rocket Boys Homer H. Hickam, Jr. Mix Book: Michele Burzynski
2: It's 1957 and Sputnik just launched. The Russians are now ahead of us in the space race. Mom called me down to hear it on the radio.
3: "Why doesn't dad like me?" Ever since I was little my dad always favored Jim. Jim is my older brother, and we don't get along very well... I remember this one time when my parents weren't home and me and Jim got in a real mess. In the end my mom's cooking pot was dented and my ribs were in bad shape.
4: Jim and I have many differences... - I have all his hand-me-downs, he gets all new clothes. -He is a football star. I tried, it didn't work out. Enough said. -Jim spent an hour in the bathroom. His peroxide curl was perfect. I looked in the mirror for about two minutes and I was all set.
5: Since my dad is the superintendent of the mine, not a lot of kids like me. Actually, they beat me up a lot. | Sherman used to have polio so now his leg is crippled. | Roy Lee is a stud. He can drive a car and gets all the ladies. | O'Dell's dad is the garbage man so he brings the most random stuff to me.
6: Our bus driver's name was Jack Martin. If you were late to catch the bus, he wouldn't wait for you. The bus ride was long. Some of the girls were sleeping. "The road up Coalwood Mountain turned through one steeply inclined switchback after another." We passed Little Daytona, The Dugout, Caretta, and War. We climed up War Mountain too. In the 1920's the city of War was packed with dance halls and gambling houses. After winding roads and mountains, we reached Big Creek High School.
8: After the bus ride we would usually have about an hour to kill before school started. In this time we would usually swap algebra homework or check out cute girls. I only had my eye on one, Dorthy Plunk.
9: Dorthy Plunk | Dorthy Plunk was my dream girl.Lucky for me, I got to be her parter for dissecting worms in science. | "It was my opinion that Dorthy Plunk, a native of War, was the most beautiful girl in our class...She had a long shimmering ponytail and eyes the electric blue of my father's 1957 Buick." | I was so nervous around Dorthy. I told her i wasn't afraid of the Russians or the worm. As soon as cut into it Dorthy ran out of the room with her hand over her mouth.
10: The Big Store was a town favorite. The miners would hang out there on their break chewing tobacco and gossiping about the usual, football. There was some talk of Sputnik when I came in to get a pop. The men were "madder'n fire" about the football team.
11: I joined the Big Creek Marching Band. Jim would always make fun of me. Jim was like a celebrity in Big Creek because of his football skills. Dorthy is in the band too. "Boys don't play onna team gotta be chicken. Boys play inna band gotta be real chicken!" Jim always made fun of me. He called me his sister all the time.
12: Werner von Braun was my hero. He was one of the scientists down at Cape Canaveral in Florida. He was German. "I could just imagine him high on the gantry, lying on his back like Michaelangelo, working with a wrench on the fuel lines of one of his rockets." He was trying to send a satellite into space.
13: Sputnik was going to fly over West Virgina. I was so excited. Of course, my dad had to go to the mine. "President Eisenhower would never allow such a thing," he said. He walked away without even looking at the sky. The boys were in my backyard with me. While we waited Roy Lee gave me advice about Dorthy. "'Look! Look!' O'Dell suddenly cried,jumping up and down and pointing skyward. 'Sputnik!'"
14: I found out that when von Braun was little he sketched rockets. This inspired me. So after the Russian's launched Sputnik II, I decided to gather up Roy Lee, O'Dell, and Sherman. "Were going to build a rocket."
15: We took an empty flashlight and filled it with cherry bomb powder. For the fins we took some off a model airplane. We used the leftover fuses from the cherry bombs and light them with a match. We launched the rocket off of my mothers rose garden fence. She loved her roses. They were beautiful. I light the fuse and ran. There was an arc of fire and sparks spewing. It was a "glorious sight." "The only problem was, it wasn't our rocket that streaked into that dark, cold, clear, and starry night. It was my mother's rose-garden fence."