Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Love is in the Air by Katherine Pym



Johnson Space Center Houston

I was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin. When I was 16 my dad landed a job at NASA in Houston, so we loaded up all our stuff and headed down there. 

Texas Country Road
Steer Skull

I knew nothing of Texas. My imagination considered it a scrubby land with cactus and steer skulls scattered about, from the Panhandle down to the Gulf of Mexico. Was I wrong? Oh my yes. 

Early NASA, Mission Control
We landed at Hobby Airport in mid-July. When the airplane door opened, the hot humid air took my breath away. I’d never seen palm trees and the highways were lined with them. The land was flat and you could see a long way, much different from where I’d come from. 

When I started school after Labor Day, I wore a long sleeve blouse and woolen knee-high socks. I don’t know what I was thinking. The days were still warm and I was miserable.

During the hottest part of the year, I walked outside and saw how heat had burst the rear window of a car. At Christmas, I was amazed we could wear flip-flops and shorts instead of heavy coats and scarves. I found out later that had been a warm winter.

But I adjusted. 
Apollo 11, the Lem on the Moon 1969
The kids at my new high school aligned themselves into two groups, the surfers and the cowboys. The surfers wore their hair longer, the cowboys drove trucks with rifles in the back windows. Along with most of the astronaut's kids, I fell in with the surfers. After all, Galveston wasn’t far away. It was wonderful to be so close to a warm seaside.

I made some good friends, with whom I am still in contact today. The school year rolled around to spring. The high school campus had an open air courtyard. As the prom neared, my best friend, Teri, waved me over one day. She stood near a boy who sat on a brick wall that lined a flowerbed. She said, “Kathy, this is Ricky. You are going to the prom with him and you'll be doubling with us.”

Ricky and I looked at each other. We shrugged and said, “Okay.” It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship we have to this day. 

 Many thanks to Wikicommons, Public domain.
 Images in this blogspot fall under US copyright Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107
Photograph, Aerial view of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Courtesy of NASA. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107


  1. How very interesting and what a great capsule portrayal of Texas and the teens in the era. I lived in Texas for 12 years and the contrasts also made a huge impression on me when we arrived in Baytown in what was winter elsewhere. Great images. Jude