In junior high I filled scrapbooks with clippings of everything NASA was doing. I had a poster of the Solar System on my wall. I dad's telescope into the back yard to gaze at the moon.
In 1969 I wrote a poem about Apollo 11 and men walking on the moon. And much later I created my quilt, When Dreams Came True, to celebrate the men and their achievement. I used photos from NASA for the fused applique images.
|Showing my quilt When Dreams Came True|
|When Dreams Came True|
|detail When Dreams Came True|
|Detail from When Dreams Came True, the astronauts|
What a joy to read! Massimino has achieved remarkable heights in his career, yet he comes across like a regular guy who just happened to get a few lucky breaks thanks to the efforts of others.
"We have this idea in America of the self-made man. We love to celebrate individual achievement...I think the self-made man is a myth....I can honestly say that I've never achieved anything on my own...I owe everything...to the people around me---people who pushed me to be the best version of myself."Massimino's personality just shines through the book. Concerning his flight training on the T-38, he recalls The Right Stuff astronauts and the glamorous lifestyle they led, "astronauts racing Corvette convertibles across the California desert" and laughs at himself "rocking out in our Nissan Quest mini-van."
Team work, he insists, is the real 'right stuff,' trust, character, and service, being there for each other as part of a small, select family. When Massimino's dad faced a health crisis, everyone pitched in to support him. When his dad needed blood, they donated. When he needed plasma, they donated.
"I'd only been an astronaut for a year...I knew that teamwork and camaraderie were an important part of it, but I didn't understand what that really meant until my father got sick."A self-avowed people person, a man who never backed down from a challenge, these attributes brought him to be chosen to be on a Hubble mission team. The highlight of his career was to switch out a Hubble array, 350 miles above the earth. Viewing Earth from space was a transformative experience, bringing an epiphany that altered his perception of life and the world.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to read this book. You do need to love an inspiring story told by a man whose love for his work, his family, and his friends shines through every page.
I received a free book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
$28 hard cover