#TBT: Remembering the Crew of Apollo 1

Remembering the Crew of Apollo 1

Remembering the Crew of Apollo 1, photo by NASA

“You’ll be flying along some nights with a full moon. You’re up at 45,000 feet. Up there you can see it like you can’t see it down here. It’s just the big, bright, clear moon. You look up there and just say to yourself: I’ve got to get up there. I’ve just got to get one of those flights.”
-Roger Chaffee (The New York Times, January 29, 1967, p. 48.)

Thanks to longtime Michigan in Pictures contributor Rudy Malmquist for the find on this. By total coincidence, Rudy will be back tomorrow with a photo!!

The National Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian shared this photo yesterday, saying:

Remembering the crew of Apollo 1. On January 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee perished in a fire during a pre-launch test for what was to be the first crewed Apollo mission.

Rudy pointed out that Chaffee was from Grand Rapids, and you can read a very detailed biography on Roger B. Chaffee from NASA’s History Office.  Here’s a few choice bits about his early life … and here’s hoping that Michigan in Pictures readers can do their best to instill a love of service, science and following ones dreams in the young folk in their lives:

“On my honor, I will do my best…” are the first eight words of the Scout Oath for the Boy Scouts of America. Individually, the words are short and simple. Collectively, however, they speak volumes and serve to inspire millions of boys to strive for excellence. Lieutenant Commander Roger Bruce Chaffee was a Scout for whom the Oath was more than just mere words. He took the pledge to heart and accepted the challenge to fully live the words of the Oath. Whether he was meticulously hand crafting items from wood or training to be the youngest man ever to fly in space, Chaffee always did his best by putting one hundred percent of himself into the effort.

…Earlier in his career, Don Chaffee had been a barnstorming pilot who flew a Waco 10 biplane. He was a regular sight at fairgrounds and made a bit of extra money on the side by transporting passengers. He also piloted planes for parachute jumpers. Later, Don worked for Army Ordnance in Greenville and in 1942, he was transferred to the Doehler-Jarvis plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he served as Chief Inspector of Army Ordnance.

Don shared his love of flying with his son and at the age of seven, Roger enjoyed his first ride in an airplane when the family went on a short excursion over Lake Michigan. Although it was a relatively brief flight, Roger was absolutely thrilled. To satisfy his continued interested in planes, Don set up a card table in the living room where he and Roger would create model airplanes piece by piece. By the time he was nine, Roger would point to a plane flying overhead and predict, “I’ll be up there flying in one of those someday”.

…By the time Roger was fourteen, he had developed an interest in electronics engineering and tinkered with various radio projects in his spare time. In high school, he received excellent grades and maintained a 92 average. Vocational tests showed that Roger’s strongest abilities were in the area of science. He also scored high mechanically and artistically. Mathematics and science were his favorite subjects, with chemistry being particularly appealing. Once the family switched to a gas heating system, Roger transformed the outdated coal bin area into his own private workshop where he spent countless hours experimenting with his chemistry set. By the time he was a junior in high school, he was leaning toward a career as a nuclear physicist. As a senior, he established a lofty goal for himself: he wanted to someday have his name written in history books. Before the world’s super powers took their first halting steps into space, Roger Chaffee had shared his dream of being the first man on the moon with his closest friends.

Here’s an article about the fire, and if you’re in Grand Rapids, check out the Roger B Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Museum.

A fond farewell to Michigan Radio’s Tamar Charney and the importance of local news

Tamar Charney On the Mic

On the mic, everyone pitches in, photo by Michigan Radio

“I’ve heard many people dismiss local news as parochial ‘not in my backyard’ disputes or worse, merely coverage of the latest house fires. But there are many local stories that should, and do, become national and even international news when they are told right.
~Tamar Charney, Michigan Radio

I’ve been telling the stories of Michigan for over a decade, and one person who’s always been there digging deeper on the stories of our state that matter is Michigan Radio’s Tamar Charney. No longer, as she announced that she’s moving on to work for NPR One. Her column A farewell reflection on Flint, local news, and Michigan Radio tells why she believes that local news still matters:

…The water crisis in Flint is an example.

Michigan Radio reporters have been toiling away on this story for months. It’s taken a while for it to get traction as revelation after damning revelation came out. But eventually this ‘local’ Flint story has become international news. The problems with the drinking water have roots in racism, poverty, failures of government oversight, and our country’s aging infrastructure. These are problems shared by communities all across the nation. It’s an incident that taps into our fears about the safety of our water and of our children. It calls into question whether we can trust our government.

We look down our noses at developing countries with unsafe water. We scoff at places weighed down by corrupt and incompetent governments. We pride ourselves on our American technological know how. But here is a city, right here in the US of A, where you can’t drink the water, where government failed the people, and the technical knowledge about how to keep lead out of the water wasn’t employed.

Telling this kind of story is what Michigan Radio does. It is what local news can and should be.

There’s all kinds of cynicism about journalists. But I have to tell you, the journalists at Michigan Radio are some of the most idealistic kind hearted people I know. They got in the business because they think the world will be a better place and our democracy will work better when citizens have information. These are people committed to finding out the truth and getting answers. It saddens me that society undervalues the work journalists do and even worse, blames them for causing the problems they cover.

The Flint water problems were being swept under the rug and nothing might have been done if it weren’t for a mom, a researcher, a pediatrician, and yes, reporters. It’s a story I’m proud to say Michigan Radio has been at the forefront of telling.

In this era of vanishing local journalism, it’s good to have people like Tamar and outlets like Michigan Radio still working hard. I urge you to consider a donation to Michigan Radio.

View this photo of Tamar bigger and see more in Michigan Radio’s A Day in the Life of a Pledge Drive slideshow. You can share your photos in the Michigan Radio Photo Group as well!

Let it snow … please

Brockit Holiday

But if you really hold me tight, all the way home I’ll be warm, photo by brockit inc

Still looking for some of that frightful weather so we can enjoy the delightful parts of winter!

View the photo bigger and tune into brockit’s Facebook for lots more creative portraits (that sometimes wander into the NSFW realm).

Jtomic

Jtomic

Jtomic, photo by farlane

This is where I’d normally post something about what most readers are thinking about today – Christmas Eve. Instead I’m going to wish a very happy 18th birthday to my high-flying son Jamie!

Here’s hoping you’re never too old for fun like this … and multiple takes to get the shot right!

View my photo background big on Flickr.

Might as well JUMP! with Michigan in Pictures.

Santa Claus for the Cause in Bay City

Bay City Santa Claus for the Cause

Santas invade Midland Street 2015, photo by Tom Clark

Tom took this shot of the assembled mob of Santas at the 2nd annual “Santa Claus for the Cause” event last Thursday (Dec 17) in Bay City. They raised over $15,000 for a bunch of worthy charities in Bay City with sales of Santa suits. More about the event from mLive – I’ll try and give you an early heads up for this next year too!

You can view the photo bigger and see more in the gallery from the Santa Parade on his website – follow him on Facebook for more!

Cyber Monday: 1950s Edition

Computers in the 1950s

Computers in the 1950s, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan

Sorry – this post was supposed to publish on Monday morning but it didn’t!

This Cyber Monday, I encourage you to consider a print from one of the many fine photographers featured on Michigan in Pictures! In addition to supporting one of the fine men & women who make this blog possible, it shares your love of Michigan and supports Michigan’s economy!

Regarding the photo, Seeking Michigan writes:

This image most likely depicts a Bendix computer model G-15. Although undated, it was probably taken during the last half of the 1950s. The Michigan State Highway Department offices would seem the likely setting. (The words “Department of Transportation” are stamped on the reverse side. The Michigan State Highway Department is a predecessor agency of the Michigan DOT.)

View it bigger on Flickr, see more in their General Photographic Collection slideshow and definitely tune into the Archives of Michigan at seekingmichigan.org!

MotorCity Horseman

Durell Robinson MotorCity Horsemen

Durell Montgomery of the Motorcity Horsemen, photo courtesy Apiary Projects

Here’s a cool benefit for MotorCity Horsemen at Two James Spirits of Detroit that my friend Andrea Maio of Detroit-based media production company Apiary shared:

Come celebrate the grit, determination and integrity that is #thespiritofdetroit with the December 13, 2015 premiere of our Johnny Smoking Gun Whiskey video featuring Durell Montgomery of MotorCity Horsemen with an original score by Flint Eastwood. Sponsored by Two James Spirits and Johnny Noodle King and produced by Woodbridge based boutique media production company Apiary, in collaboration with Territory Post Production and Assemble sound, the video highlights the story of Durell Montgomery, the dynamic young founder and owner of Motorcity Horsemen; a self identified cowboy who rides his horses along city streets and aims to start a riding center within the city limits of Detroit.

Click for more about MotorCity Horsemen.

The photo is a screen grab from the opening of the video. As promise, here is the video and here’s a link to Motor City Horsemen’s Go Fund Me campaign!