They were prepping for the passage of the Space Shuttle Endeavor as Kitty and I walked up Crenshaw Boulevard from our parking place on 67th. Big metal plates to protect the 100-year-old underground infrastructure. Kitty confessed that she reached out and touched one of them!
We arrived around 11:15 and found parking without too much trouble.
People sitting on a traffic light pole near the corner of Crenshaw and Florence. We asked a passing policeman on a bike how far away it was. He told us about twenty minutes if it could keep coming at the predicted 2 miles per hour. In reality, it kept having to stop for last minute tree-trimming that preserved most of the trees along the street, etc., etc. He advised us to walk as far toward it as we could and then wait, to shorten our day.
We did that, and waited about an hour from the time we found a shady green patch next to a building.
We found a spot across from Russel Herbal Co. and had plenty of time to appreciate their slogan, “If you wear out your body, where would you live?”
Several Endeavor film crews were out, probably working on a documentary to accompany the exhibit at it’s new home at the California Science Center.
We stood in a little patch of green yard next to Jack Stephan Plumbing (locals will remember the amateur TV ads… “Not Jack Stephanski…”) where we had some shade, a place to sit down, and the little kids around us could tumble and run together. I liked this little kid in the back. The shuttle is getting close and he wants to make sure the boy next to him can see it.
One of the women we stood near worked for the City of Irwindale and she told us that most of the trees that were uprooted along the route were moved to another street, not just trashed. She also said that the city would see many lawsuits claiming damages to the practice of business along the route. Sigh.
Here she comes! Everyone’s impressed.
Will one of these kids help build another version of the shuttle some day?
Close as we were, the transit was remarkably not too noisy.
Just as fascinating from behind. It took just a few seconds to go by us. We took off walking after it, at an easy pace.
I hope his self portrait came out well. He was standing on a fence and later rejoined his wife and kids.
They actually had to pivot the whole shuttle back and forth to maneuver between these palm trees. The tree you see further down the street had to be trimmed, but they only took what they had to.
We walked up to the end of the entourage, a few blocks, and then back down Crenshaw until we passed the shuttle again.
It was hard to stop taking photos. I have tons, as you can imagine.
It was a great experience. I was a little leery of the crowds. I don’t think I’m a crowd person. But as it turned out there was space for us to be individuals, and everyone was really friendly. The ten or twelve people who hung out on the green patch bonded temporarily. We told each other to be ready to stand our ground and not be pushed off our spot by newcomers if it came to that, but it didn’t.
It was a big deal, for some reason. Not quite as thrilling as the flyover, maybe because there was so much waiting involved. But how cool that so many people will come out to see this sort of thing…what we can do together if we pool our resources.
I couldn’t have done it without you, with the income taxes I’ve paid every year since the shuttle program began shortly before I landed my first tax-paying job. Thank you.
I handed the camera to Kitty and she got this shot. That’s my hat, but I have no idea what’s going on here!