It was a sunny hot day. It was an Alabama sunny hot day in August. I sat in the parking lot of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center debating to myself whether I should go thru with this.
After several minutes, I decided that I came this far, I might as well go all the way. So over my shorts and T-shirt, I placed the thin aluminum style suit on. Not much people noticed me. When I was done and zipped the suit up, I became very warm and unusually uncomfortable. I placed the other accessories on like an old Army pistol belt and boots. The suit was made to resemble a Mercury silver spacesuit. There were no african-american astronauts that were part of the Mercury 7 team, but a person can still dream. They fueled the imagination of many Americans regardless of race and gender.
As I proudly walked to the entrance of the Space and Rocket Center, I then noticed the stares. Little children were pointing their finger at me. All I could do was to wave back at them with a nervous grin.
About sixty years ago, other men wore similar suits like mine. The only difference is that theirs was the real McCoy and they were the real pioneers of this new frontier of space.
It started with a dream from individuals like Copernicus, Katherine Johnson and Werner Von Braun. They had a dream and their contributions helped us to the land a man on the moon.
In pursuing their wildest dreams, there are setbacks and sacrifices. Many lives were lost in the launch pad for both the United States and the former Soviet Union.
But the dream didn’t die.
They learned from their mistakes and paid homage to those we lost who dared to believe.
The dream went on. From it, it launched new innovations and sciences. From it, we built a shuttle and then a space station where human beings has spent over a year in orbit. We have sent probes to Mars and to the very boundaries of our Solar system and beyond.
As I walked through the rocket center taking video I would use later on, people began to come up to me to shake my hand. Some employees, who never saw me thought I worked there also. Every person I saw greeted me with a smile.
Soon my nervousness went away and I did what I determined to do.
My goal is nothing to compare with landing on the moon. But it’s still worthwhile. To show those that anyone, I mean anyone, can fly on a rocket or have impossible dreams. It becomes possible when you begin to believe that you can do it.
I left with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
From the video footage I filmed, I was able to craft a science fiction short film called Opportunity 7.
Dare to Dream.