MY LIFE AFTER MHS OR

50 YRS IN A NUT SHELL

  My Life After MHS or 50 Years in a Nutshell   After Minden I went to La. Tech, graduated in 1957 with a scholarship to UCLA and emigrated to California. Spent the next 43 years earning my fortune in So. Calif. and No. Calif. Retired to a small mountain community in Colorado in 2002. My wife Maggie and I keep ourselves busy spending our three children's inheritance, mostly on our four grandchildren. I've had a very full life with an exciting time working in the space program years ago (I was project manager on the first Apollo flight to circle the moon), traveled extensively, most recently on a church mission trip to Hungary and Romania, two ex-Iron Curtain countries. I consider myself very blessed by God, in spite of how I lived my younger years.

  Chuck (a.k.a. Breezy) _________________________________   More on Apollo   My favorite Apollo story has to do with astronaut Jim Lovell.
I joined the Apollo program in 1962, shortly after the project started. NASA was very new and on a major hiring spree, mostly green kids fresh out of college with little or no experience. I worked for the prime contractor, North American Aviation, in Downey, CA. As a part of my assignment, I traveled to the Space Center in Houston often, sometimes to give technical presentations. On this particular trip, I gave a presentation on the status of our efforts to solve a very sticky problem. Because of the importance of this problem, the presentation room was filled, standing room only. The majority of attendees were the green "rookie" NASA engineers. During the presentation I was hit with many questions, most of them stupid and totally ridiculous. But I noticed that one fellow standing in the back of the room was asking very intelligent and thoughtful questions, much better than from any of the young "squirts". After the presentation, I asked one of the NASA guys who the fellow in the back of the room was. He replied, "That's Jim Lovell, one of the new astronauts." I was surprised because most of the astronauts that I had met up to that point were not very sharp technically.
I walked up to Jim, introduced myself and thanked him for his probing questions. After talking with him for a few minutes, I saw that he was not only technically sharp, but a true gentleman as well. During later trips to Houston, I would occasionally cross paths with Jim, walking across the facility grounds or going into a building. Every time that happened, he would always greet me and call me by name. None of the other astronauts I worked with ever did that. Of all the astronauts I met, I had the most respect for Jim Lovell.
Jim's first Apollo flight was Apollo 8, which was the spacecraft I was Project Manager on, and was the first manned spacecraft to go to the moon. Jim served as Command Module pilot on that mission. Apollo 8's mission was to loop around the moon without landing, which it did on Christmas Eve 1968.  As the spacecraft was moving around the moon, Jim offered up a special Christmas Eve prayer that was very moving.
Jim was the commander on Apollo 13, the mission that experienced a major explosion in the service module on the way to the moon. I died a thousand deaths over the three days it took Jim and his crew to nurse their crippled spacecraft safely back.
I now realize how strong Jim is in his Christian faith, and that's what made him the great person he is.
  Chuck
________________________________   More on Hungary/Romania Mission Trip     There were so many deeply moving and emotional experiences during this mission that it was impossible to chronicle them all. Instead, at a special Sunday evening service, each member of the mission team told their favorite story to the congregation. Those stories were compiled in a short mission report, a copy of which I have attached for you.

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