Friday, December 9, 2016

The Right Stuff

American hero John Glenn died this week at the age of 95 years old.  This video shows him in action and why he commanded such respect across decades of time. 

The Wall Street Journal spelled it out yesterday on its editorial page:

With John Glenn, who died Thursday at age 95, some famous phrases come quickly to mind. They don’t make them like that anymore. The greatest generation. The right stuff.

Glenn came to be the personification of those traits when he became the first American to complete an orbit of the earth in the Friendship 7 space ship. He was the last surviving member of the original Mercury Seven astronauts who were America’s space pioneers.

But to understand the origins and pedigree of the right stuff, it makes sense to look at what John Glenn did before he became one of America’s first and most famous astronauts. It began, coincidentally enough, just after Dec. 7, 1941. Like many, Glenn enlisted, becoming a Marine pilot. He flew 59 combat missions in World War II, but he wasn’t done. He flew 90 combat missions during the Korean War.

In 1957 he flew a supersonic test plane, the Vought F8U-3P Crusader, across the country in three hours and 23 minutes. Plus a few seconds. Then he joined NASA’s new astronaut program. Sounds like he was ready for space.

On Feb. 7, 1962, Glenn and the Friendship 7 lifted off from Cape Canaveral on the eastern coast of Florida. After seeing three sunsets in four hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds, Glenn and his ship descended into the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas. John Glenn got out of the ship and stepped into history.

We live now amid the wonders of the digital age and many miracles of technology. But even digital software cannot create the wonder of what it felt like to be an American alive for John Glenn’s trip into space, as it was for those who experienced V-E Day in 1945.

Glenn’s flight transfixed the nation. Most people watched it on the small screens of black and white TV sets. Their young President was John F. Kennedy. This was happening in the shadow of World War II and amid the Cold War with the Soviet Union, a competitor in space. To Americans then it seemed like the dawn of an age of possibility. In hindsight, it was that indeed.

John Glenn went on to serve as a distinguished U.S. Senator from his native Ohio. He made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 against Walter Mondale.

His political misses didn’t matter much to his legacy. Those two words, John Glenn, are now part of the American vocabulary for a nation of dreamers, strivers and achievers.


Anonymous said...

An example of a guy without an ego....maybe he should have been more assertive....

What a hero

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Too bad he blew all of his his political capital trying to ban civilian ownership of firearms.

Anonymous said...

his 149 combat missions as a fighter pilot draw more of my admiration than the five hour "space" trip, but I realize how important that was to the country. I was a small child at the time and still remember how jubilant the country was. He was more of a symbolic hero than an actual space hero. He was though, a military warrior hero that doesn't get as much attention as is deserved in my view.

Anonymous said...

Compare him to the unbridled arrogance of John McCain.

Anonymous said...


Both men served this great Nation. Both are assets, McCan is a fine man in my book and each treated the other with respect.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS