1 January 1986 Wednesday
As this New Year begins I am thirty-five years old and still working for Utah Title Insurance. I live at 1320 Roberta Street in Salt Lake City at a house that my wife and I rent for $450 a month. Our heating bill is almost half that a month and without my wife really making any money we are having a hard time paying the bills.
My wife is working at Taylor Maids in the Cottonwood Mall doing acrylic nails. She only made $80 the entire month of December. Needless to say it is not real lucrative.
I have two dogs, a black Labrador named Sam age ten and a Dingo mix named Toby age six. We also have three cats, Killer, Baby, and Jack. The dogs are my babies and my life or at least they are giving meaning to my life. Otherwise I'm not sure what I want out of life.
Where am I going? I am going to be thirty-five soon, the middle of my span of years and I feel like my life is passing me by. What will this New Year bring?
I haven't been to church since coming back to Utah last August. There doesn't seem to be any answers there any more. I am completely disgusted over the Clair Harwood mess. I’ve got to have some answers soon.
I am really upset over the death of Ricky Nelson in a plane crash on New Year's eve. I kind of grew up with Ricky Nelson watching him on Ozzie and Harriet. I didn't call anyone to wish them a Happy New Year. Really don't know anyone anymore.
• Additional Material Gay and Lesbian students at the Utah Technical College on Redwood Road attempt to organize a Gay student union.
• AIDS Project Utah hired Carol Ellison, a psychiatric nurse to conduct a day training program in basic counseling. Duane Dawson organized the Salt Lake workshop based on the Shanti program and was attended by 15 people.
2 January 1986 Thursday
I didn't go into work today. I was still too achy from the cold virus. My wife is slowly getting better by me pouring Gatorade into her to keep her from dehydrating. My throat is really raw and hurts even to swallow. Ouch. It was supposed to have gotten up to 40 degrees today. The house is absolutely scummy.
3 January 1986 Friday
I tried going into work today not that I was feeling any better. It was snowing lightly. President Ray-Gun is sending our war planes and ships to Libya in retaliation to the terrorists’ bombings in Rome and Vienna last month that killed several Americans. The inversion is gone. It's about time.
4 January 1986 Saturday
I am still breaking a fever all night long. I am just drenched in sweat in the morning. I must be as sick as my wife is. We are such a mess. In the afternoon felt well enough to get out of bed and fix us some supper. We have been shut ins for nearly a week because of this cold and flu.
Poor old Sam, he had his black butt kicked so much this week for just being his usual obnoxious self that he is starting to feel insecure. He's such a bed hog and he's getting so old that he just won't move and he gets all the covers. Toby is so much better because he just rolls with us and goes with the flow.
• Additional Material Number One song on National Charts is “Party All The Time" by Eddie Murphy
5 January 1986 Sunday
I am just as sick as ever but will go into work tomorrow. I have too. We need the money. My wife is not as deathly sick as she was last Sunday.
Additional Material 6 January 1986 -Cory De Young, an employee of the narcotic division of the SLC police department claimed that Joe Redburn, owner of the Sun Tavern, referred De Young to a drug dealer. Redburn claimed that he was out of town on that date and De Young a former felon was not telling the truth. Incident sets off a vice Squad raid to close down the Sun Tavern. Redburn dismissed De Young as a thief and a liar. “I like Joe. But drugs are getting so bad; people are dying right and left, and you don’t ever hear about it really. It’s too bad that he’s involved because he could definitely run a nice club.”, stated Cory De Young. Joe Redburn stated, “I didn’t know my employees were dealing in drugs. They all signed a paper before they worked here that says they will not sell or use illicit drugs and will submit to a lie detector test if asked.”
7 January 1986 Tuesday
Today is our 9th Wedding Anniversary but we just stayed in bed and toasted each other with non-alcoholic wine. We were still too ill to do much else.
8 January 1986 Wednesday
My boss Bob E. changed all our desks around at Utah Title and placed me at the computer terminal permanently since I am the only one in the office that has any experience with a computer and I know nothing but the little I learned at Ticor. I don't know how it will work out but at least I don't have to answer the damn phones anymore. I really don't like my job but it does pay the rent. Maybe it’s the weather that's gotten me down.
9 January 1986 Thursday
Today is my old high school friend, John F. C.'s thirty-fifth birthday. Happy Birthday to you even after all these years.
My wife has the house buying bug again. I really don't want to buy a house yet. Don't know why.
The weather has been cold and foggy again. It's terrible. It's only thirty degrees out and there's still snow on the ground from last November. I am tired of not having any friends.
• Additional Material Farrell R. Hurst age 33 died of suicide. Born 23 September 1952 in Delta, Utah. Graduated from East High. Received a degree in music education from U of U. Attended Musical Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. An accomplished violinist and organist and skilled at home restoration.
Additional Material 10 January 1986 Mormons Excommunicate Repentant AIDS Victim Clair Harward A homosexual dying of AIDS convinced he would “go to hell” and needing spiritual guidance said he confessed his sexual preference to his local Mormon bishop and was excommunicated. Ogden resident, Clair Harward said doctors have told him he only has a few months to live, but he will die a non Mormon because the church will not consider whether to readmit him for another year. Mormon bishop Bruce Don Bowen confirmed Harward was excommunicated and was asked not to attend church because of fears he could spread the disease AIDS which is spread by sexual contact, largely among Gays. Bowen said Harward was excommunicated because the church believes homosexuality is an abuse of God’s gift of procreation. “We are forbidden to take life- except where the government does in cases of capital offenses- and there are great restrictions and guide lines on procreation which hold men responsible on how they use the gift”, Bowen said. “A sexual relationship within marriage is appropriate for men and women in His sight. Otherwise it is a sin second only to murder in seriousness.” Harward said he was diagnosed in 1984 as having AIDS and that he recently went to the church seeking guidance and spiritual comfort. “there was just so much guilt, ”he said. “I was going nuts and I was convinced I ‘d go to hell if I didn’t. I wanted peace of mind.” Harward who is unemployed said his will to live diminished after his excommunication but his roommate and other Gay friends gave him a free home and solace. “I felt that was more Christian than the way the church was treating me. They had done nothing. I was feeling rejected.” Harward said adding he told the church “You’re more concerned about your ten % tithing.” Harward said he wanted to repent and ask for guidance to emerge from years of a Gay life style. Bowen said he advised Harward to shun homosexual friends and activities and assume personal responsibility “not to endanger the public by attending church services.” But Harward said the Mormon bishop also asked him for a list of people he had homosexual contact with and that soon afterwards his roommate also was excommunicated. Harward said doctors told him cancer associated with AIDS had spread to his lungs and they could not operate, meaning he had only a few months to live. “When I need my friends the most, they’re asking me to be alone,” he said. Church policy states excommunicated members must wait 1 year before being evaluated again for membership. (The first known photograph of a Utah Man with AIDS. Harward is shown without his shirt showing clearly his KS spots. (01/10/1986 SLTribune B1)
• Homosexuality is a sin that runs “counter to divine objectives” according to a statement to local church leaders from the 1st Presidency. A Mormon spokesman said there are no official guidelines for AIDS victims attending church but sufferers should consider possible consequences of spreading the disease. “Homosexuality in men and women runs counter to divine objectives and the intended destiny of mankind. Some claim homosexuality is incurable; therefore they seek to be considered a legitimate minority group protected by law. We should not be deceived by these false rationalizations. We must never lose our perspective admits the world’s clamor to justify and normalize immorality.” Spokesman Jerry Cahill said Clair Harward had the choice to attend church or not. “What would be the effect of a man who came to church with the flu? The other concern is that little is known about how AIDS spreads.” (01/10/1985 SLTribune B1)
Additional Material 11 January 1986 Saturday LDS Say They Have Helped AIDS Victim The Mormon Church provided food and counseling to an AIDS victim who was excommunicated for homosexual practices, a church spokesman said Friday. The church’s comments was made in response to criticism for AIDS victim Clair Harward, 26, Ogden who said in a newspaper interview that he felt abandoned by his family, friends, and church since contracting AIDS. Harward was excommunicated in May 1985 after confessing to a Mormon bishop he had had homosexual relations for several years. Church spokesman Jerry Cahill issued a press release Friday that said the church has continued to work with Harward since his excommunication. “the church has supplied regular food orders, and counseling assistants to Harward and has attempted to meet his needs as he has expressed them during this tragic period.” Cahill said. “Mr. Harward local church leaders desire to continue to assist in lifting his difficult burden.” “Mormons compare this (AIDS) to Sodom and Gomorra ,”Harward said of his condition. (D4 SL Tribune)
•"That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warrick & Friends number one song on national charts
Additional Material 12 January 1986 Sunday The Gay/Lesbian Alliance and Heterosexual Alliance, two controversial student clubs at Utah State University are now officially recognized. The Gay/ Lesbian Alliance is a support group for homosexuals that has met weekly on Campus since October 1985. Club goals include “educating the public that we are normal people” and providing emotional support for homosexuals, then friends and families according to club representatives. The Heterosexual Alliance advocates the “advantage of being heterosexual” according to club president Nyles Stoddard. They also plan to provide information about AIDS and will attempt to provide counselors for homosexuals who wish to change their life style. The Heterosexual Alliance began meeting in November 1985 in response to a three part series about homosexual groups in the Utah Statesman, the university’s student newspaper. The series began with a front page photograph of two bare chested males in a partial embrace. President Nyle Stoddard 27, pre-law student said his club will monitor valley publications and watch for further questionable, distasteful, or offensive material. Members of the Gay/Lesbian Alliance who attended the first meeting of the Heterosexual Alliance characterized it as a hate group. Stoddard said the club also seeks answers to many questions about the spread of AIDS “Does society have a responsibility to stop it? Does government? Do individuals? I point at homosexuals because they comprise 75 % of the spreaders of the disease.” Heterosexuals meets monthly with 25 members. Gay/Lesbian Alliance meets weekly with same amount. Darren was the co-President of the Gay/Lesbian Alliance. (SLTribune 2B 01/12/1986)
• Salt Lake AIDS Foundation Headed by Dr. Patty A. Reagan will Provide Information Dr. Patty Reagan, as founder director of the Salt Lake AIDS Foundation may have jumped in where angels fear to tread. It’s part of her academic training and humanitarian concern, she said, to provide accurate non speculative information about AIDS, a medical condition 1st discovered in the United States in 1981. AIDS attacking groups on the margin of society-Gay men, intravenous drug users, and certain immigrants from Haiti-leaving them vulnerable to diseases healthy people rarely contract. By background and training Dr. Reagan is a University of Utah associate professor of health education, who this fall began sharing ½ her professional time as the new director of the Women’s Studies Program succeeding Dr. Margo Sargman. Dr. Reagan has shared information on women’s health, sexuality, women’s issues and health issues on and off campus. She’s a frequent and popular community speaker whose topic now includes AIDS. She was recognized for her concerns as a recipient of the Susa Young Gates Award presented each year by Utah Women’s Political Caucus for service to the state of Utah and a commitment to human rights. Dr. Reagan returned to Utah in May from a Sabbatical at the University of California at Berkeley doing post doctoral work in public health. It was hard not to be involved with AIDS as a health concern while there. The Bay Area is at the hub of the AIDS crisis and UC Berkeley has a million dollar grant for AIDS epidemiology study. “My concern coming back to Utah was that no one was doing anything as far as AIDS education. I’ve discovered since, there are individuals and groups a lot with in the Gay men’s community doing everything from collecting money to provide emergency food and housing to forming AIDS support groups. The need for education remains. “For example the social implications for mothers, families, extended families, significant others need to be addressed. The SLAF can help people like the woman whose sun was hospitalized with AIDS at the UCLA medical center. He was within three days of death He hadn’t told her until then because he didn’t want her to know he was Gay.” Part of what the foundation does through an AIDS telephone line, is provide accurate health information and referred. AIDS myths abound, Dr. Reagan said. If people generally deal poorly with sexually, they deal even less well with a sexually transmitted disease. Adding to the misinformation is a social system hostile to Gay men. On the patient’s side is a concern for the right to privacy while dealing with illness “In addition to a concern for physical illness, Gay men face a whole new set of social stresses growing around AIDS- loss of job, loss of housing, loss of support, in and out of the Gay community. According to a National Gay Task Force study, ¼ of American families has a Gay member. Dr. Reagan said in a 4 year study conducted in her classes, 8 per cent of students surveyed said they were Gay. “The data remains the same in Utah with rational figures begun with the Kinsey Studies of 1949. What that means is that here or elsewhere, the chances are not good for wiping out lifestyles that people don’t like. She said there is a large Utah community of bisexuals, the least studied of sexual variations. She said she has anecdotal evidence of Utah men, sometimes married, active sexually with women and men. That puts Utah women general in a low risk AIDS group at risk in a bi sexual community. “It’s my job, as a sex educator, to help eliminates or eradicate the AIDS myths. The most serious is that AIDS is easily communicable. The medical research and now history say that is not true. A person really has to work hard to get AIDS, with repeated encounters as the passive recipient of multiple, anonymous partners.” Dr. Reagan said the foundation’s AIDS information line originates with a telephone at the Wasatch Women’s Center, Ste. 102, 3450 Highland Drive where space is donated. Dr. Sandra Weins-Bagley is director. Lori Gregory a clinic health educator and Kristine Wimmer, a graduating senior in health educator and University of Utah, answer calls media attention to AIDS seems to trigger concerns and questions. Dr. Reagan pays the $70 a month to maintain the phone line. Ms. Gregory said half the calls come from those probably at risk, seeking referrals for testing and/or treatment. Questions from the public indicate the caller is misinformed, after asking ridiculous, but serious questions. On a Friday by 1:45 p.m. she had juggled 12 AIDS questions with Wasatch Women’s Center calls. “Sometimes someone calls, asks a question, hangs up, and then calls back 2 or 3 more times,” Ms. Gregory said. “It seems that one question unleashes a whole lot of concerns. Some days I get calls from a university student who may have seen our number published and who’s concerned about a contact he may have had 2 years ago.” She said the number of calls from men and women are about the same. “We get a lot of calls from women who panic and need information.” Dr. Reagan said the AIDS crisis has brought into focus some philosophical questions for instance school districts may consider policy on children with AIDS. Boys with hemophilia are another at high risk AIDS group. Although there’s no evidence that boys with hemophilia present an infection health risk, some schools are setting policies keeping these children from attending public schools. “The public heath question is where to terminate the civil liberties of a few for the rights of the many. Medical evidence says there aren’t many kids with AIDS. This is a chance for people to be advocate for those who need advocacy. Besides the information line, the foundation publishes a newsletter keeping volunteers and interested persons informed. Funding is an on going concern. Dr. Reagan said telling AIDS jokes as telling ethnic and religious jokes is a form of bigotry and prejudice. It shows insensitivity and personal insecurity she said. “Besides there’s a danger in telling AIDS jokes. You can never be sure to whom you are speaking and for whom it won’t be funny. Especially if 1 in 4 families in America has a Gay member. AT a recent American Public Health associated meeting in Washington DC. Reagan said the largest number of participants attended sections on women’s health concerns and AIDS. She said there was a lot of interest among Professional health care givers as to the role of women and AIDS. “Women are playing a special role in the AIDS crisis. Not because we are biologically nurtures, Men are that too. Women are the best possible ones physically and emotionally to deal with AIDS. We are at least risk. Women are at a unique pace to turn their energy and personal resources against AIDS.” (SLTribune 01/12/1986)
• Space Shuttle Columbia is launched with the first Hispanic-American astronaut, Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz.
Additional Material 14 January 1986 AIDS victim Clair Harward excommunicated from his church and abandoned by family and friends says recent publicity about his plight has generated an out pouring of sympathy calls, letters and money. Harward, 26, Ogden told the Ogden Standard Examiner in a copyright story that he is dying of AIDS related cancer and expects to live about 1 more month. Since his story appeared last week Harward said he has been inundated with calls and letters expressing sympathy for his condition. He said one caller promised to send Harward $1000 and patrons of the Sun Tavern which has a homosexual clientele have donated $500 to help him defray his expenses. Harward said his telephone had been ringing off the hook since the story appeared. “It was very rewarding to getting my story told, but I don’t want it to go on.” He said he probably would give the money to his roommate who has cared for him during his illness. “He’s been a real help. He’s taken care of me and I couldn’t have found that anywhere.” Harward said. The Standard Examiner reported it also has received numerous letters addressed to Harward and telephone calls expressing sympathy. Word of the support from strangers and friends elevated Harward’s mood described Friday as “dejected and depressed” by Sheldon Spears, a friend of Harwards who also has AIDS and founded the Utah AIDS Society last fall. (D7 SLTribune)
• Donna Reed, American actress died best known for role in It’s A Wonderful Life and the Donna Reed Show (1921-1986)
Additional Material 18 January 1986 "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warrick & Friends number one song on national charts
Additional material 19 January 1986 The first PC virus, Brain, starts to spread.
Additional Material 20 January 1986 The first federal Martin Luther King Day, honoring Martin Luther King Jr., is observed
Additional Material 22 January 1986 An excommunicated member of the Mormon Church suffering from AIDS whose plight received national attention earlier this month has been admitted to a hospital and doctors say he is expected to live only a few weeks. Inquiries from reporters through out the nation continued to trickle in after Clair Harward 26, Ogden, told his story about dying from AIDS. He was diagnosed as having AIDS related cancer in August 1984. Harward was admitted to St. Benedict’s Hospital last week after conditions worsened and he said the hospitalization was a welcome respite from the continual inquiries from reporters. Mean while the Mormon Church has offered to help and others are pitching in as well. Bishop Brent S. Farr who befriended Harward in his Ogden Ward after the AIDS victim was excommunicated by another bishop said he has received several letters for Harward and numerous callers have asked how Harward is doing and where to deliver food for him (C3 SLTribune 01/22/86)
24 January 1986 Friday
January is slowly dragging along but not fast enough for me. The weather has finally changed and the fog and cold weather has disappeared. The temperature is now in the high thirties and low forties.
Our Mountain Fuel Bill just came in the mail and from our last bill in December until now it has cost us $300. And we kept the thermostat down in the sixties so that goes to show how cold it’s been and how non-insulated this house is. It is depressing to have to pay that much money for a fuel bill and still be so cold. But we will be okay. Everything has a way of working out, I guess.
I can't believe how depressed I was during December because of the fog and cold. Just being able to see the sun shine has really lifted my spirits.
I am finally over my cold although I seem tired all the time. Its from not exercising I suppose. I haven't been to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting since before Christmas and I really need to find me a good meeting.
My wife is still looking for full time work since Taylor Maid just isn't cutting it. She's been applying up at the University but she is so discouraged because she can't seem to get hired anywhere.
Our cable TV was cancelled just the other day because we owed $7. Can you believe that? Well it’s just as well because it really sucks up too much of our time when we ought to be spending the money on food and the animals.
At my work it's still the same. I sit by myself at a computer all day. I don't have any friends at work like I did at Ticor in California. There aren’t any people here who really like me. I'm not Mormon enough with eight kids in preschool and four on a mission. Why am I so different? I thought I'm not supposed to have these feelings anymore.
The 19th of January was my dad's 61st birthday. When I called out there I only spoke to dad and not to mom as I usually do. It was the first time I ever called my dad to speak to him solely. It was really hard for me to do that but I felt like it was something I had to do, if not for him then for me. I asked him if he was having a nice birthday and he said at his age he didn't like birthdays.
I didn't get to send John F. C. a card for his thirty-fifth birthday but I did think about him a lot that day. Could I still be in love with John after all these years? Don’t those feelings ever go away? I wanted to send him a card but I couldn't find my old journal from last year that had his current address in it. I guess I could have called information in Oceanside and get his parent's address but I really didn't want to talk to him but rather just send him a card. The sound of his voice is too hard to listen to. Brings up too many memories.
I finished reading Woodward's biography of John Bulushi called "Wired". What a wasted life. He was a completely compulsive personality.
I've been following in the newspaper the story about this boy in Ogden, Clair Harwood, who has AIDS and is dying from it. He went to his bishop for spiritual reassurance during this time and instead he was excommunicated and told that he was not allowed to come back to church. The church embarrassed by all the negative publicity when it hit the national news wire, later came out saying that the Bishop Storehouse was providing Harwood with food and necessities.
But I am really disappointed in the LDS Church. I really don't understand their attitude. Christ came to save sinners and to heal the sick. The church just turns them away. My testimony of the LDS Church is at a all time low because of the way Harwood is being treated. Here this dying boy needs spiritual comforting at the hour of his greatest trial and the church kicks him in the face knowing that he will die in the state of excommunication. They washed their hands of him and salved their conscience by telling everyone, "Well we are feeding him." I don't know if I'm perfect enough to be a member of a perfect church.
• Additional Material L. Ron Hubbard, American writer and founder of Scientology died (1911-1986)
• Gordon MacRae, American musical actor, singer best remembered as Billy in Carousel died (1921-1986)
Additional Material 25 January 1986 "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne & Friends number one song on national charts.
26 January 1986 Sunday
Today is such a pretty sunshiny day and it has been for a while. The temperature has been in the forties. I just can't say enough how much I hated December and that awful foggy gloom. Today's weather is how I remembered Utah's winters and it's not bad at all.
Today is the Super hype Bowl Sunday and the Patriots are playing the Bears. I am not interested in the least who wins. In fact my wife and I got out of the house and went to the movies to see "Clue". It was cute, especially the line, "Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage." My wife and I have not made love together in months. I don't know why but I am just not interested anymore. I am so bored with my life.
We were so broke last week because of our $300 fuel bill and I was super depressed over our finances when out of the blue came a $100 refund check from Ticor for my wife's dental insurance. She was so shocked because she still believes that blessings are only predicated on obedience. However I know that the Lord loves me regardless, and I do believe He is just knocking himself out trying to do good things for me.
My wife feels spiritually low because she hasn't been attending church but I don't. I do miss true fellowshipping but I never got that from the church. It was always conditional. I just don't feel the need to attend a temporary Ward or at least at this point in my life. I just don't believe anymore in a conditional God that only bestows blessings based on obedience. I am so confused and turned off by the church's rejection of that boy who is dying of AIDS.
Yesterday at the Salt Lake Library I was “cruised” by a man who wanted to have sex with me in the bathroom there. I wouldn't but it was such a turn on to me. Why? Do I miss male companionship that much? A sponsor of mine in O.A. once told me that I wasn't Gay but that I was just attracted to men because I needed their approval.
That explanation seemed satisfactory for a while until out of the blue in 1983, when we were living on Bernadel Place in Santa Ana California, I had an epiphany. Without even asking, the Lord told me in no uncertain terms that I was unhappy because I kept rejecting his gift to me. I was told that homosexuality was a gift from God that allowed me to see the world in an entirely different perspective and that I should stop rejecting the gift.
I just want to find out who I am and what my potential is. I am a creative person but I feel as if I am dying inside by trying to measure up to the standards imposed by un imaginative people who have set themselves up to be my judge. The church has a stifling effect on me.
If my wife can't understand that then she really doesn't have the soul of an artist. An artist shouldn't be restrained by conventionality. Creativity is a God-like process and the more I am creative the closer I feel to the divine and stand in awe of His Creations. I have things locked up in my mind that no one else has, and I am frustrated by trying to find a medium in which I can express myself. I want to paint. I want to write. I want more from life then trying to be a good Mormon boy, afraid of experiencing life. I need to make some mistakes so I can learn from them and grow.
God has given me a gift that I had for so long considered a weakness because it is scorned in this world. But this gift has always made me remember God often and made me learn to depend on His love and goodness. I no longer believe that any man or church can separate me from that love. I have come to believe that there is something intrinsically wrong with a church that believes it has the power and authority to separate a person from his savior.
27 January 1986 Monday
At work today I was so surprised to hear a program on Radio Free Utah just for Gay and Lesbian people. I was at my computer in my cubicle listening to this neat station KRCL which I had just discovered and that plays Reggae music when all of a sudden I heard some Dave Brubeck intro music lead into a woman’s voice saying “Welcome to Concerning Gays and Lesbians. If you are, know, or love someone who is Gay or Lesbians you will find the next half hour entertaining as well as informative.” I nearly shit a brick but turned the radio down as low as I could and listened while watching over my shoulder.
At the end of the program they gave out a list of organizations in Salt Lake that act as support groups for homosexuals. They had a number for a Gay group for Mormons called Affirmation. I wrote the number down but I'm too scared to call it.
28 January 1986 Tuesday
What a tragic day. The space shuttle Challenger, carrying the first school teacher into space and six other astronauts, exploded about 90 seconds after lift off. They say the explosion was as strong as a small nuclear bomb and that they were killed instantaneously as their families watched in horror and stunned disbelief from the launch pad.
I was at work when I heard the news. It went through the office like wild fire. It just didn't seem like it could be true because all the space flights seemed so routine and safe. Especially the space shuttles. They made it sound like you were just taking a bus in to outer space.
What is even more upsetting to me is that school children all over the nation were watching the event because of the fact that the Challenger was carrying the first teacher into space. It's so very sad. Christy McAuliffe was so excited about being the first civilian in space. She was a school teacher from Concord, New Hampshire.
I've been so depressed all day over this terrible event and it feels very similar as to when President Kennedy was shot. Everyone seems to be in shock. This was so unexpected. At lunch when I came home to watch the news I started to cry. This us the first news story in years that actually made me cry.
I think after the initial shock wears off space exploration will go on. Fifty thousand people die in car crashes each year and we don't stop driving. Plane crashes are killing hundreds of people each year and we keep on flying. I think I would go up in a rocket if I could.
But still it’s so sad about Christy McAuliffe. She was so bright and optimistic about her great adventure in space and then BOOM! It really is a loss. All those astronauts who died. The flags are to be flown at half mast for 7 days to honor the seven crew members of the Challenger. Ironically yesterday was the 19th anniversary of the fire on a launch pad that took the lives the first astronauts to die in space exploration.
• Additional Material Names of Challengers Crew: Greg Jarvis (b. 1944) Christa McAuliffe (b. 1948) Ronald McNair (b. 1950) Ellison Onizuka (b. 1946) Judith Resnik (b. 1949) Francis R. Scobee (b. 1939) Michael J. Smith (b. 1945)
31 January 1986 Friday
The rest of the month of January was spent with flags at half mast as the nation mourned the loss of the crew of the Challenger. The experts now think a small crack in the rocket's boosters acted like a blow torch igniting the rocket fuel which caused the explosion. They say the Astronauts never knew what hit them.
It is just calamitous and I think America's belief in the supremacy of its own technology has vanished with the Challenger. Perhaps very much in the same way the British felt after the Titanic sank.
I wonder if the school children who watched Christy McAuliffe get blown to kingdom come will be less trusting in space travel and its technology than my generation who were raised with the Apollo Programs and landing on the moon.
We were led to believe that the space shuttle was as safe as taking a bus. We know better now. And for the rest of my life I will now hold my breath each and every time a rocket ship takes off with precious human cargo on board. But I do feel we must go forward and I hope someday to be able to go into space as in Space Odyssey 2001.
The space shuttle disaster has over shadowed all other news and events and it has really brought home to me how short and fragile life is. We have no guarantees. I must find out who I am before I die.
I still haven't decided what to do about Affirmation. I lost the number I had for it so I will have to wait until Monday when the next program comes on KRCL. I almost feel compelled to call. I am scared but excited at the same time like an adventure is about to happen to me.