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Do You Remember?

Marvin Owen January 28, 2011

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Do you remember where you were 25 years ago today?

A quarter of a century ago the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. For me hearing the news that day burned into my memory just like hearing the news of President Kennedy being shot. Since my Challenger memory moment is related to working with ACS, I will share it with you.

I happened to be at Langley Air Force base in Virginia. A winter storm had come through the day before and there was snow covering the base. I believe the snow was from the same cold front that caused the failure in the O-ring at Cape Kennedy. ACS was working on a project to supply software to the Air Force Chaplain’s offices.

While the base chapel had their personnel and other expenses paid for as a part of the defense budget, they needed a system to track the non-appropriated funds that were collected on Sunday. Since we were specialist at tracking church donations, we were brought in to develop a specialized system. Langley was one of the test sites and I was in the Chaplain’s office working on some changes to the software.

The head chaplain came in that morning with the news of the tragedy and we all went to a TV to see the reports. Needless to say, it was tough to get back to work and concentrate for the remaining of the day.

Where were you when you heard the news?

PS.  One more memory about working with the Air Force; you have to learn to read lips. If you are in a conversation with someone on an air base and a jet takes off, they keep talking even though all you can hear is the roar of the jet engine. They must train themselves to have selective hearing and tune out the jets.

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