S: Rocket Boys 5
FC: The Rocket Boys | A scrapbook of chapter 4, The Football Fathers
2: This is my story. | My brother Jim was one of the best. I, on the other hand, was far from what you would call "the best"
3: We were all humiliated from our rocket blowing up. I couldn't go anywhere without my brother's football friends calling me names like, "Little idiot moron sister" My dreams of becoming a rocket builder looked more difficult everyday.
4: I didn't have time to care about the football guys, I had my own friends to worry about. Roy Lee, along with the other guys, told me at lunch that they didn't want to build another rocket. I was angry at them for giving up on me, so I answered sharply, "Fine, I'll build one myself!" Then the boys walked away. I knew then, I needed help. I couldn't build one by myself!
5: When I was trying to figure out my rocket problems, the football boys had problems too. The football team had come to the season's end, winning all their games. And just like the Athletic Association told us before, we were not eligible to play in the state-championship. And just like everyone thought, the football fathers wouldn't take it. The uproar began.
6: Dad wasn't going to take the Association's rules. He told all of us at the dinner table he was going to see a lawyer about it. Mom didn't like the idea, but as always dad didn't care what she thought.
7: Mom and dad argued about the choice to hire a lawyer in Welch for some time,dad wasn't going to change his mind. Jim acted like a baby the entire time. Slamming his bedroom door, winning about how things aren't fair, and telling dad to make everything better.
8: Mom was trying to convince dad that it would be completely stupid to get a lawyer just for football. Then Jim had to interrupt and act like a child. | "Mom, Dad's got to do something! We deserve to play!"
9: Dad and the boys. | A week later, dad and the football fathers had a little suit all made up. Even though the championship game was only a week away, the sent it off to have a judge look at the darling thing. Three days later, the judge took a short look at it, and through it out of court on a technicality.
10: "Winter came to West Virginia late that year. It was a splendid fall; the leaves their bright burnt color well into November, and the sky turned a pale but pretty blue, like robin's egg."
11: "Winter storm clouds scudded in, got snagged on our hills, and stayed. Everything just seemed to turn black, brown, and gray after that."
12: It was the beginning of winter, and the annual social event was being planed. Jim and the other football boys put on Marine uniforms and pretended to raise the flag on Iwo Jima.
13: I was proudly playing the drum with the Coalwood marching band. I was one of the five drummers. | Dad's eyes were on Jim the entire time. Then when i came into his vision he turned to go talk to someone. "Attaboy, Sonny," I heard my mom proudly yell.
14: The union leader in Coalwood was named Mr. John Dubonnet, a classmate of my mom and dad in high school. He left to be in the war, while my dad stayed back. While Mr. Dubonnet was gone, dad opened a new part of the mine. A very rich vein of "high quality coal.
15: Over time, my dad became the mine superintendent. Because my dad was only a high school graduate, many people thought my dad was not qualified. He proved them all wrong.
16: Around Thanksgiving, Doc Lassiter wanted dad to get a X-Ray. Dad didn't want to, but was ordered. He went to Welch to get it done. When he came back, he went up stairs to where mom was. I heard him say to mom, "A spot, about the size of a dime." It seemed like he didn't even care. "Oh, Homor, for God's sake, what are you going to do?"
17: "... I never imagined the common disease of the mine could effect my dad. He seemed too tough for that." - Sonny, page 59
18: In December of 1957, the USA for the first time attempted to put a satellite in the air. I was watching the launch on TV and saw it blow up. It barely got off the launch pad, and then turned into loud explosion and flames. It wasn't a pretty sight.
19: There were many smart people who built Vanguard. Many. But it had still failed. I was basically trying to do the same thing as those many men, but I was only one person. | VANGUARD