TIF Challenge (Feb) "73 Seconds"

Finally, a moment to post. Life has been busy for me of late but just because I haven’t posted doesn’t mean that art hasn’t been flowing.

I promised to reveal my TIF challenge quilt so here goes. The one thing that kept pushing its way into my brain was the sad occurence in Jan 28th, 1986. The day was beautiful, clear blue skys and wonderful weather predicted all day.

This shuttle launch had been postponed a few times, but this day NASA gave the go ahead for the launch to take place. Seventy-three seconds into the Challenger Space shuttle launch, it blew up….in front of a large crowd gathered to see the special launch. You see, on that flight was the 1st candidate for the TISP Program – Teacher-in-Space Program.

Christa McAuliffe wanted to be an astraunaut but instead found her calling as a teacher. She was getting her wish though and trained hard after she was chosen to fly in space, along with the shuttle crew in their 51st mission into space.

I stood transfixed by the cloud formation that billowed in the sky after the explosion. I remember feeling tears on my face and thinking incredulously that what I just saw happened did not occur, but sadly it did. That event still has the power to make me weep.

I must say this idea for the TIF challenge came to me right away but I thought it was too serious. Why didn’t I parody “Who shot JR? or the fight of Crystal and Alexis Carrington on the hit show “Dynasty” or that long ago writing tool that kids can’t fathom…the typewriter.
It was good to get this quilt done. It needed to be done but I did not realize this fact until it was completed. Funnily enough, exactly 15 years later to the day, my son was born on January 28th, a beautiful day with clear blue skies.
How do you remember this day? Post your thoughts on how it affected you and those around you.
See you next time “In the Hayloft”,


6 Responses to TIF Challenge (Feb) "73 Seconds"

  1. sodypopsart says:

    I remember that day clearly. I was working for Ginny and Tom, in their basement and went upstairs with Ginny to watch the lift-off, and I cried off and on the rest of the day.

  2. paulahewitt says:

    I think you have done a really good job on this – it was a stunning shocking thing to happen – – the blue sky seemed almost to make a mockery of waht happened – i really like the way you have put the elements together – i think youd even get a sense of the story without the astronauts names on it.

  3. Lynne says:

    I remember this in a slightly unusual way: I used to go into my local prison one evening a week to run a library session for the inmates. That evening when things were very busy, a prisoner came in and announced that the shuttle had exploded. Prisoners were always talking a lot of nonsense so I thought, yeah right, and took no notice. It was only when I got home and watched the evening news I realised it had really happened. You’ve done a lovely piece.

  4. Grace says:

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments about my piece.

    Paula you are so right, the brilliant blue sky was incongruous to what had just occured that day. But I had to put the names on, it was their deaths that made it such an horrific tragedy for me especially. Life senselessly taken away and life is so very precious.

  5. lyric says:

    It is a very thoughtful piece. Our teacher brought in a TV set and we all sat and watched and cried. I was on my favorite perch sitting by the window and it was a lovely blue day where I was too. I wonder if my fascination with space was not cemented that day. In spite of her death the teacher who headed to space inspired many, many young people to look to the skies.

  6. Diane says:

    Grace, I like the thoughtfulness of your blog. You have heart. I remember the day the shuttle exploded. I don’t think I had words to describe it then and probably still don’t. In a way, it seems as if words are not only inadequate but maybe even not necessary. I think we all shared feelings we can’t express in words, don’t we.

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