One of the common denominators through my life since I was eight years old has been the television show STAR TREK. I loved watching it.
What I found really incredible was that my Grandparents loved watching STAR TREK with me too.
When I heard the news in June 1983 that the space shuttle Enterprise was going to be piggybacked on a 747 jet over the city of Toronto, I immediately knew that this was one show that I didn’t want to miss.
Mind you, I wasn’t looking forward to facing Toronto’s busy afternoon traffic. If I was going to make this happen, my fears would have to be set aside. I was determined to watch this epic one time only episode of science fiction come to life.
It’ll be worth it I told myself. This will make for the memory of a lifetime.
Then I though to myself, how can I make this big occasion even better?
That’s when I made a quick phone call to my Grandparents to see if they were interested in joining me and Jennifer.
They accepted, of course.
Now, it wasn’t so much the fact that I was going to see the space shuttle that made me happy, it was the fact that I would be sharing the experience with my Grandparents.
So, I packed my three year old daughter in the car and drove across town to Scarborough to pick up the Grandparents. Then I set my coordinates for the Canadian National Exhibition waterfront where there was lots of parking and more importantly, an unimpeded view of the entire sky.
The weather was hot and sticky. Further, my Grandfather could only walk so far. There were lots of hoops to jump through to ensure that this adventure would unfold seamlessly.
I tried not to worry and kept telling myself, in the end, it’ll be worth it.
We arrived at our destination, parked, and proceeded to the viewing area. The media was present along with a light crowd.
Parts of the sky were overcast, and a cool breeze brought some relief from the heat.
We were situated right next to the Lake Ontario waterfront with our eyes on the skies, guessing that the space shuttle would be coming in from the east.
Then, there it was.
The jet flew in fast but low, ensuring that all spectators got a good look.
As fortune would have it, the moment that the shuttle was directly overhead, the cloud cover blocked the sun from our eyes. The resulting shade gave us a clear but very fast image of the space shuttle Enterprise.
My Grandmother was so delighted.
Incredibly, the whole thing was over in a single minute.
Then it was time to take everybody home.
In the weeks that followed, my daughter Jennifer received a toy space shuttle from my Grandparents. How they loved to watch her play with it.
I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to see the space shuttle Enterprise, namesake of the starship from my favourite television show STAR TREK.
I often look back on that incredible day, and think to myself…
Yes, it was definitely worth it!