Some works and words from alumni...
Mostly, I remember the nights...
Boca Raton in the last half of the 60's was the time and place I was a teenager.
A hard time for most of us then, with the turmoil of the world of the 60's and
the ever-present turmoil of our teenaged bodies and minds-- we are talking
constant turmoil, here...
Mostly, I remember the nights...sometimes I feel like Billy Pilgrim, and I have
come unstuck in time.
...The beach at midnight, the stars in the sky. I have always loved the dark, the
stars, the moon, the sky. Space. the night represents relief from the heat, I
suppose, although that is not all it is relief from. It is 1967 and I'll soon be 15
years old. late Spring-- a good time to be at the Boca Beach around midnight,
since you can see the top three stars of the Southern Cross, and sometimes
imagine the botom one if the air is clear and the city glare fromMiami/Ft.
Lauderdale isn't too bad. Mars is almost overhead. Back in 2003, I check on
the Internet, and see when Mars would have been nearly overhead at midnight,
and I see it must have been mid-April 1967. That I could check this in a few
moments in 2003 would have been no surprise to me in 1967 (Science Fiction
had predicted that and more, after all), although I'm not so sure the 1967 me
would have believed that I'd still be alive in 2003, with WWIII seeming so
inevitable and all...
...Back in 1967, Mars is in Virgo-- not my favorite constellation, mostly
sprawling dim stars, but Mars is bright and red. I wonder, as I always do (Will
do? Have done? I am unstuck in time, for sure) when I look up and see Mars in
the sky-- when will humans (or our successor sentient beings) set foot on that
planet? The 2003 Steve Welch is proud to have contributed in a small way to
making that inevitable step happen. Again, I am pretty sure the 1967 Steve
wouldn't be surprised to hear that from his very ancient 2003 self (with his salt
and pepper hair, and a beard, finally! I didn't start shaving until I was about
20). In a couple of years, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin will step out on the
surface of the moon, that already seems real to me, here in 1967.
Many years after his first steps onto the surface of the moon (in 1988,
maybe?), I will spend a few afternoons with Buzz, and we will talk and
brainstorm about Mars and when humans will go to Mars. I'll ask him (at a
urinal in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC, but that is another story ;-)
about the last time he got together with Neil and Michael Collins. As he tells
me, I'll understand that I really don't have the foggiest notion of what nostalgia
really is-- this man has walked on the moon for crissakes! As Buzz talks, a bit
wistfully, about Neil and him "drifing apart", I am acutely aware of that an
honor and responsibility it is to be a human at this time in our history, as we
take these next steps out on our exploration of the universe... Marse Becons!--
this was the name of a scifi book I read, way back when.
Back to Earth in 1967, there is the smell of seaweed and salt-spray... I am
alone on the beach.
Class of 1970
I Remember Boca!