The Memory Palace

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Episode 74:
Craning

Published
Aug 20, 2015

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Music, Footnotes & Ephemera

Episode 9 of the 2015 Summer Season.

Music
* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth’s Modesty Blaise score.
* There’re two pieces from Per Storby Jutbring’s album, Dance of the Diaper Fairy. Snowbound, up top, and the title track at the end.

Notes
* Hoo boy, have I read a ton of books about the space program, thanks to my stint on the writing staff of ABC’s Astronauts’ Wives Club last year. So, most of this piece is just stuff I now know. However: read numerous contemporary newspaper accounts.
* Also key was the lovely prologue to First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong, James R. Hanson’s solid (if a little hagiographic) bio.

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13 Comments | Leave a Comment

13 Comments on Craning

  1. Larry Wolf says:

    The episode touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. It brought back powerful memories. I was born in 1951. The space program, from X-15 and Vanguard to the Saturn rocket and the lunar rover were deeply embedded in my mind. So too were the assassinations and the riots and the war. It is all so current, not just in the evocative story telling, but also in the continued presence of those themes today. You touch on deep currents that connect us. Thank you.

  2. Lisa holiday says:

    What a freakin’ poet!!!

    Here I am in Brevard county waking up to this magical slice of life as though I was transported to a time long before I knew there was a Brevard county, but I knew that was where Jeannie and her master were from and I remember broadcasts from cape Camaveral them Cape Kennedy and back again. I remember the TV rolling into our classroom so that we could witness of the launches. On that day in July, no school, but everyone was in our the paneled basement around the big television wondering what was going to happen when the astronauts landed. Aliens? Cheese? And the sheer Geometry involved – what of they missed their target.

    We just didn’t know.

    Thank you again for such a beautifully compact episode.

    I’m so greedy, I’ll be revisiting these progrms until October – so long away.

  3. Megan says:

    “Hard to keep a dream in sight with so much smoke coming off your cities.”
    Best one-liner quote I think I’ve heard. Such an amazing piece. It’s always poetic history.

  4. Sarah says:

    The description of astronauts as “Vessels of Dreams” is incredibly powerful.

    I love how comfortable you are with this medium– your episodes keep getting better. Great work!

  5. Cory says:

    “…people who dreamed of a better life but maybe hadn’t quite gotten there yet. They all looked up.”

    You captured the magnitude of the moment (that seemed to have lasted a decade). Well done.

  6. BJ Orbase says:

    This was an amazing episode. Totally made my morning. Thanks Nate!

  7. kaber says:

    I loved this so much. I was moved! thank you!!

  8. James Patton says:

    I really don’t know why, but I had to work hard to stop myself crying for this one.

    You’re very good at what you do.

  9. Pingback: Best Reads, Listens & Views of 2015 » Biodiversity in Focus Blog

  10. Dario says:

    33 , Italian, not into space exploration. On the verge of tears during my commute to work.

    Well done Nate

  11. ApolloOrphan says:

    I have to stop listening to these while commuting – driving gets too hard.

    One of my earliest memories, being woken up to watch Armstrong walk on the moon. Shortly before my dad left for Vietnam.

    Every launch my class would walk from the school across the street to the kids house who had the big color TV. We’d drink Tang and eat Pillsbury Space Food Sticks and talk about how we were going to grow up and become astronauts and work on the moon and go to Mars and maybe beyond.

    I spent the next 25 years chasing the dream of Apollo through 2 engineering degrees, through the Challenger disaster, and satellite work for NASA. I stopped chasing it at age 30 disillusioned – the NASA of contractors was no longer the NASA of Apollo 13.

    So many of us are orphans of Apollo.

  12. Linda says:

    Having grown up in the space program in the 1950s and 60s, I too am an orphan of Apollo, so I too found myself with tears in my eyes as I listened to this. Thank you for having reminded me so poignantly of the events and experiences which ultimately influenced the values that continue to direct my life to this day.