December 8, 2016

John Glenn (1921-2016): Now He Is Starlight

"I pray every day and I think everybody should.

I don't think you can be up here and look out the window as I did the first day and look out at the Earth from this vantage point. We're not so high compared to people who went to the moon and back. But to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is, to me, impossible. It just strengthens my faith."

Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 8, 2016 1:02 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

A man for the ages. He was a model for Marine and Navy pilots alike. Unlike many fighter jocks he was not a hell-raising womanizer. Soft-spoken, with a stainless steel spine, and a love of God and country.
High Flight
John Gillespie Magee
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

God speed, John Glenn

Posted by: Jimmy J. at December 8, 2016 2:03 PM

Such courage.

Posted by: Leslie at December 8, 2016 2:57 PM

We're the right age to know what a hero he was to this country. Tom Wolfe had it right, there was never anything like the astronauts in the late '50s.

I met some of his colleagues when I sang a concert outside of NASA in early 1966, and I was looking for him in the crowd. I finally met him in an airport down in SoCal in the late '80s.

Godspeed, indeed.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at December 8, 2016 3:50 PM

John Glenn joins his comrades in that greater space. Roy Batty, too, welcomes him home.
These quiet or boisterous ones know the best.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at December 8, 2016 8:17 PM

The WWII generation truly was the Greatest Generation. I'm not sure if we are fit to stand on their shoulders.

Posted by: Mumblix_Grumph at December 9, 2016 8:59 AM

Unaccountably, several news media have been saying that John Glenn was the first person to orbit the earth. No, he was the first American to orbit earth. The first person to do so was Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

This is to take nothing away from Glenn's truly deserved hero status. I just never want to miss a chance to slam the media.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at December 9, 2016 9:49 AM

You have to admire a guy whose wingman in Korea was Ted Williams--a dude who wasn't known to defer to anyone. Williams was definitely a tough guy, and he greatly respected John Glenn.

Posted by: Gordon at December 10, 2016 8:53 AM