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Mom and the Space Shuttle

Story ID:6741
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Mom and the Space Shuttle
Chuck Dishno

The year was 1981. It is when the first space shuttle, Columbia, returned from the first shuttle flight.
Roz, my Mom and I were driving to Kingman, Arizona to visit my brother, Bud and leave my Mom there for a few weeks. When we got near Barstow, California we noticed all the cars were pulling over on the side of the road. We were curious and pulled over too. We stopped right behind a California Highway Patrol car and when we did the officer got out and said we couldn't stop there and would have to go on a little further if we wanted to watch the shuttle land. I had forgotten about the shuttle or maybe I didn't know it was due back then. He was very nice and said if we wanted to get a really good look and to take some pictures, we should go about a mile down and turn off onto a dirt road. That would put us right at the end of the runway at Edwards Air Force Base. I think he was impressed with my Mom when we told him how old she was and that she was born in 1897, before the Wright Brothers first flight. We followed his instructions and got there before a lot of others began to arrive.
After about 45 minutes we could hear a radio announcer telling of the progress of the flight. We got out of the car and sure enough right overhead was the shuttle making a couple of giant “S” turns to slow down. A few minutes later it came right overhead at about 200 feet. Mom was ecstatic. Here was a lady who was born before the first airplane, watching the space shuttle about to land. After it passed over us it dropped out of sight and the next thing we heard was the chirping of the tires as they made contact with the runway. I did get few pictures but none too close. I was too fascinated watching my Mom experiencing history being made.
Mom moved with Roz and I to Montana in 1989. In 1992 Mom passed away at the age of 95. I believe she hopped on that Heavenly Shuttle and is there awaiting our arrival. “Keep the runway clear, Mom, we will be along soon.”
As per her wishes, we buried her in the Dishno family plot here in Dillon. Roz and I will be joining her in a few years when we hop on our own “Heavenly Shuttle”.