Sunday, October 23

Rockets '78

A blast from the past. Me and Todd, pictured, my neighbor for eleven-years on San Ramon , and five-years older.  He was all that. Todd taught me how to to make a proper paper airplane. We spent hours watching Star Trek then drew posters of the Enterprise phasoring some Klingon or getting sucked into a worm hole. He built tree forts - serious ones, that covered two trees. Once he dug a deep hole, maybe six feet, in the backyard. Why not? We found large pupae with jaw-claws that we paired off against each other. We patrolled neighborhood backyard passageways unknown to adults and explored an off-limits canyon at the bottom of the road. We collected bugs (killing them in a jar with kleenex soaked w/ ethenal).

And, then, there were the model rockets.  Two hobby shops, one on Telegraph Ave at 45th in Oakland and the other on Salano Avenue in Berkeley (both long gone), provided the kit:  walking in was like the smell of napalm in the morning. I saved my allowance for months to buy the Big Bertha or Mercury V (which , the first time, ended in tears) , engines , igniters , wadding etc &c.  Todd and I built the launch platforms ourselves, which you can see , Dear Reader, painted black, in the prior blog.  Our launch zone Golden Gate Fields, a Berkeley horse track between the Bay and the 580 highway. The parking lot gave us plenty of room but on a windy day the lance might carry over the Bay's marshy bog which would require a search party (car parked precariously by the freeway).

Today Todd lives in Chico, California, where he is a fireman and father of two boys.