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Ed Dwight Jr, from Astronaut to Artist

Ed Dwight Jr, from Astronaut to Artist

Ed Dwight Jr. was the first black man trained as an astronaut ahead of Apollo 11, but he never made it to space.


Ed Dwight Jr. was born in the Kansas City, Kansas area on September 9, 1933 to Edward Dwight Sr. and Georgia Baker Dwight. Dwight’s father played second baseman for the Kansas City Monarch.


There was a time when famous men tried to mold Ed Dwight, and make him a symbol of a brave new era. They wanted to hurl him at the stars, bring him back and pin medals on him. They wanted to make speeches, saying anything was possible in the America they were trying to bring about—that Ed Dwight, a young black man who grew up poor on a small farm in Kansas, could travel into space, and if that could happen, there were no limits.


It never happened, and today Dwight, who used to look at the stars, turns his eyes downward as he works in the most earthbound of the arts. His sculptures of the famous have made him rich.

This time around, Ed Dwight molds the famous men.

 At age 4, Dwight built a toy airplane out of orange crates in his backyard.  As a child, he was an avid reader and talented artist who was mechanically gifted and enjoyed working with his hands. He attended grade school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Kansas City.


While delivering newspapers, he saw the Kansas City, Misouri native Black man and Air Force pilot, Dayton Ragland on the front page of “The Call” newspaper.


Having grown up in racist segregation, he instantly “wigged out”, becoming inspired to follow this career path while thinking “This is insane. I didn’t even know they let black pilots get anywhere near airplanes. … Where did he get trained? How did he get in the military? How did all this stuff happen right before my nose?”.


In 1951, he became the first African-American male to graduate from Bishop Ward High School, a private Roman Catholic high school in Kansas City, Kansas. He was a member of the National Honor Society and earned a scholarship to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. Dwight enrolled in Kansas City Junior College (later renamed Metropolitan Community College) and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in Engineering in 1953.


Dwight joined the United States Air Force in 1953, pursuing his dream of flying jet aircraft. He became a USAF test pilot, and in 1961 earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University.

After earning his aeronautical engineering degree, Dwight was referred to President John F. Kennedy as a space candidate by Whitney Young Jr. In 1962, Dwight was entered into the U.S. astronaut training program as an experimental test pilot in preparation to become the first African American astronaut candidate.

Ed Dwight Jr.

According to J. Alfred Phelps’s book They Had A Dream: The Story of African-American Astronauts, the Kennedy Administration was very aggressive in looking for “Negro” candidates to place in the NASA astronaut candidate program.


It all began with a telephone call from the White House to the Department of Defense. There was no arrogance in the caller’s voice; only a simple question:
‘Does the Air Force have any Negroes in the new aerospace research pilots’ course being set up at Edwards Air Force Baser in California?’


After what was probably an extended pause came the answer: ‘No, there aren’t any.’


It was an ordinary enough question, but the call came from an extraordinary source.


Had it come from an ordinary White House, the reaction might have been mild, nothing more than grist for a workday tale some government employee could tell at a weekend gathering. But this call came from the Kennedy White House, that place called “Camelot,” which had seen the beginning of civil rights ‘sit-ins’ and had sent troops to get a black man into a university in the Deep South.
It was a White House that had used its influence to gain Martin Luther King’s release from jail.
Perhaps the recipient of the call knew all of this and felt a bit like a person in a closed garage slowly filling with carbon monoxide. In any event, the reaction was predictable: something had better be done — and rather quickly. The innocuous-sounding call thus became something of an edict.


In 1961, President John F. Kennedy’s hand-picked candidate Ed. Dwight Jr. to became the first-ever African-American astronaut.


Dwight felt an immediate backlash as he appeared on national magazines, TV news broadcasts and radio programs.  Racist politicians, reporters and citizens questioned his physical and mental fitness, scheptical that a black man had what it took to make it to space.


“Those guys – I call them the forces of darkness – came in with all kinds of medical and intellectual questions about black people’s physiology and intelligence,” he said.  “They did studies and presented them to the White House and Congress, saying my capabilities weren’t in the ballpark.  It was incredibly controversial and political.”


Some of Dwight’s Air force colleagues also saw his selection as symbolic and political.

“Chuck” Yeager. the first to fly faster than the speed of sound. On 14 October 1947 Yeager flew a Bell X-1 aircraft at a speed of 1078 kilometres per hour at an altitude of 12,800 metres – equivalent to 1.015 times the speed of sound. Yeager had begun his career as a fighter pilot during World War II, destroying 13 enemy aircraft.


Chuck Yeager


Starting in 1962, Dwight trained on the ground and in the air with Chuck Yeager
( the historic pilot who first broke the sound-barrier ) and others, flying experimental aircraft and undergoing a battery of tests designed to establish his overall demeanor, problem-solving skills and knowledge.  He relished the opportunity and delighted in the access to cutting-edge technology.




In a companion book to the American experience film on PBS, “Chasing The Moon,”
On page 117, it says,
Dwight got along well with the other pilots, but was also viewed with suspicion.


There were rumors that due to his friends in the White House, Dwight had an unfair advantage, and that his Success would only come at the expense of his fellow classmates.

Ed Dwight Jr., among his Scupptures

Chuck Yeager, Edwards’s ( Air Force Base ) commandant, did nothing to make Dwight’s situation any easier.


Yeager had been pressured by Air Force Chief of Staff general Curtis LeMay to admit Dwight. A request that LeMay said came directly from Attorney General Robert Kennedy.


Believing that the school was being used to further the administrations political agenda, Yeager did nothing to hide his resentment.


During this time, Yeager’s own fame was being eclipsed by attention accorded the Mercury astronauts, an elite club Yeager could not have joined because he lacked both a college education and engineering degree.


Prior to coming to Edwards, Dwight had idolized Yeager.


Once there, however, he encountered a man who exerted strict control over his school and he didn’t appreciate outside interference — especially when it originated in the White House.


A confident at the school told Dwight, that Yeager had assembled his entire staff of instructors to inform them that the White House has forced him to enroll Ed Dwight in an attempt to promote racially equality.


Dwight was told that Yeager then suggested that if they all failed to speak, drink, or fraternize with him, Dwight would be gone in six months.


Dwight persevered until President Kennedy’s death, when government officials created a threatening atmosphere. He resigned in 1966, never having gone into space. Dwight’s talents then led him to work as an engineer, in real estate, and for IBM. In the mid 1970s, he turned to art and studied at the University of Denver, learning to operate the university’s metal casting foundry. He received a Masters of Fine Arts in 1977 and gained a reputation as a sculptor.


In 1975, while in the Masters of Fine arts (MFA) Program at the University of Denver, Ed was commissioned by the Colorado Centennial commission to create a series of bronzes depicting the contribution of Blacks to the American Frontier West.  The series of 50 bronzes was exhibited for several years through the United States, gaining widespread acceptance and critical acclaim.  In 1979, while the series was on exhibit at the Jefferson National Memorial, Ed was encouraged to create a bronze series portraying the history and historical roots of Jazz.

TITLE: Pure Jazz

The series created, entitled “JAZZ: An American Art Form,” now consists of over 70 bronzes, characterizing the creation and evolution of Jazz, from its African and European roots to the fusion of contemporary music.


Dizzy Gillespie


Ray Charles                            


In 1978, Ed’s first large-scale commissioned work was the abolitionist Fredrick Douglass.  The life-sized monument was commissioned by the National Parks Service, and is on display at the Douglas Museum in Anacostia, Maryland.

Harriet Tubman

Since this commission, Ed has completed over 128 Public Art and Large-scale memorial installations throughout the United States.  He has also created over 18,000 gallery sculptures, and is represented in several galleries throughout the country.


In 2009, Ed was honored with a commission to create an historical life size sculpture presentation of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration scene.  The scene includes the President, The first lady, the two Obama girls and Chief Justice John Roberts administering the oath.  The exhibit is on tour throughout the U. S. in museums and other venues.

President Obama and Michelle

Currently, Ed operates a 30,000 sq. ft. studio/gallery and foundry in Denver.  He employs several artisan craftsmen.  He is the recipient of an honorary Doctorate from his Alma Mater, Arizona State University and hundreds of “Living Legends Awards” from around the country for his achievements and contributions to the racial progress through the many Memorials and Public Art.  Museums, institutions and art appreciators through the world rigorously collect Ed’s sculptures.


“I was poised to be the first black Astronaut, but
Today I am recognized for “Something I Diden’t Do.” 
Ed Dwight Jr.
CLICK Video Below:



History of the Car Radio

History of the Car Radio

History of the Car Radio

By Rich Buhler & Staff / March 23, 2017

History of the Car Radio-Truth! Unproven!

This is an interesting Article about the invention of the Car Radio that I thought People would like to know about.


A link to the original article and others is below:

A “History of the Car Radio” commentary states that two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering developed the first car radio after one of their girlfriends suggested that a romantic evening at a look out point in Illinois would have been made better by music.

The Truth:
There are conflicting reports about the history of the car radio and who first developed it, but we can definitively say that many of the details in “History of the Car Radio” are accurate.

William Lear (who went on develop the now-famous Lear Jet)




and Elmer Wavering (who went on to invent the alternator and to serve as president of Motorola) were friends, inventors, and radio enthusiasts in Quincy, Missouri, (the commentary incorrectly referred to Quincy, Illinois) during the 1920s.


Lear and Wavering are often credited with inventing the car radio, as “History of the Car Radio” claims, but the idea that they got the idea from a girlfriend at “lookout point” and a few other details are more folklore than proven fact.
William Lear’s Encyclopedia Britannica entry, for example, seems to downplay his role in the history of the first car radio. Lear is credited with coming up with the concept of the car radio, but the entry states that he sold the idea to the Motorola Company early on in the process — which doesn’t mesh with the legend:
After completing eighth grade, Lear quit school to become a mechanic and at the age of 16 joined the navy, lying about his age. During World War I, Lear studied radio and after his discharge designed the first practicable auto radio. Failing to secure the financial backing to produce the radio himself, Lear sold the radio to the Motorola Company in 1924.
Elmer Wavering’s 1998 obituary in the New York Times provides a little more detail about Wavering and Lear’s hand in inventing the car radio, and it credits Wavering with coming up with “what eventually became the first commercial car radio,” which lends credibility to the idea that the concept was fleshed out by Motorola, not the young men from Quincy:
When he was in high school, he worked in a radio parts store run by Bill Lear, who went on to found the Lear Jet Corporation. They helped customers build their own radios.
By tinkering and absorbing engineering on his own, Mr. Wavering worked with Mr. Lear and built a car radio that could withstand the rigors of bumpy roads and severe climate changes.
He met his future wife, Vera Deremiah, a teacher in St. Louis, on one of his trips to sell his radio.
The radio was later called a Motorola by Paul Galvin, the founder of the company that eventually became an electronics giant. Mr. Galvin thought the name suggested sound in a motor car.
The radio was made up of a receiver, a bulky black box with vacuum tubes and an octagonal box that contained a speaker and was mounted under the dashboard.
A smaller box housed a tuner and volume control and was mounted on the steering wheel. The receiver was connected to two batteries under the seats. A V-shaped aerial ran from the controls and was connected to the rear axle.
Costing about $80 on cars that sold for $600 to $800, the radio was not for everybody and was slow to catch on.
So, those historical records don’t mesh with key details in the story. The most important being that William Lear and Elmer Wavering built and installed the first fully-functional car radio and installed it in their own car. In reality, it appears that Lear and Wavering came up with the concept of the car radio and sold it to Motorola, where Paul Galvin took the rains and brought it to market. Wavering became CEO of Motorola in the 1950s.
And there isn’t agreement about who, exactly, developed and built the first car radio. Many radio enthusiasts credit George Frost, a young man from Chicago, with being the first build a car radio in 1922, according to Radio Museum:
Initially, it was portable battery radios that were individually adapted for installation into a car. The radio that George Frost, President of the “Lane High School Radio Clubs” in Chicago, had installed in his Ford-T-Model in 1922 is one of those receiving wider recognition. Another example, also dating back to 1922, is the “Marconiphone” radio installed in a “Daimler” that could be seen at the “Olympia Motorshow” in England. Some cities experimented with radio receivers in early patrol cars in an attempt to reach officers wirelessly.
So, some of the facts in the “History of the Car Radio” commentary are true, but others can’t be proven or are disputed. We can definitively say that William Lear and Elmer Wavering played a role in developing the car radio. Beyond that, other claims are debatable.


FREE Science Fiction Short Story For My Friends!

Hi!  My name is John Meyer.

I want to give something to my Facebook friends and I thought you might like a F-R-E-E “Download”  of my science fiction short story, “Prelude To Destruction.”

This book is a prequel to the novel “Time of Destruction”, which is an exciting Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Thriller, of epic proportions!

On my site you’ll also see:

  • Video “Book Trailer” for “Time of Destruction”
  •  A profile of the author, John C. Meyer
  • Video of John’s Interview with David Prowse, the actor who Played Darth Vader
  • Customer reviews of “Time of Destruction”
  • John C. Meyer’s BLOG

Last, but not least, please feel free to tell your friends about this “FREE” download of “Prelude to Destruction,” and forward this email to them, so that they can ALSO get my book for F-R-E-E

Coloring Books For Adults, Teens and Kids


Since everyone is staying at home right now, I know you’re looking for something fun for kids and adults to do, besides watching hours and hours of streaming videos.

Coloring in coloring books is a wonderfully relaxing and creative activity for adults, teens and kids alike.

It’s a perfect way to pass the time for total beginners as well as advanced colorists, because when you’re coloring, there is no right or wrong way.

It’s a chance to let your inner light shine.

My coloring book, bookstore, offers eleven coloring books. Each book has eight pages with very intricate and inviting black and white drawings to color on;
Each of the eleven coloring books has a unique theme or story that is indicated by the book title.

Each book can be customized with the owner’s name on the book’s title and on the title of each page inside of the book.

Click below to Access my “Coloring Book, Bookstore”


After you click, scroll down to view all eleven coloring books.

When you see a book you might like, “Click” on the book cover, then click the “Look Inside.”
The book will open so you can see the first five pages, and you can decide if you wan to buy.
Click the “BUY” button for a book you want to buy, and a page will open to allow you to pay by “Pay Pal” or “Credit Card.”
Fill-out the information for the payment method you have chosen, then, on the next page, you will TYPE IN the name YOU want on the “Book Cover” and on the titles of the inside pages of the coloring book.
Then, please type in the email address where you want the coloring book emailed. Within a few days you will receive your personalized coloring book as a PDF.
You can print out the PDF on any printer, and keep it for yourself or give it as a gift.
I look forward to serving you.

For “A Unique, Time and Space Travel Adventure,”
check out my Science Fiction Novel:

“Time of Destruction.” By John C. Meyer

Go to

Halt and Catch Fire TV Series “REVIEW”

John and Celene at the Movies 

by Celene and John Meyer

(we’re really at home watching movies)

We give Halt and Catch Fire  2 Thumbs UP.  


This Netflix (4 season) series was one of the very best we’ve seen. Each episode left us begging for more.  The series dramatizes the personal computer boom of the 1980’s, through the stories of several innovative visionaries and dreamers.  They confront the corporate giants of the time, making their mark, by changing the personal computer culture, while carving out their piece of the pie. Whether for fortune or fame, they leave a lasting legacy for future dreamers.

Excellent acting and story.

Ray Crock: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

One of my favorite success stories, along with Chester Carlson of Xerox, Philo Farnsworth who invented TV, and John Houbolt: The Man who knew the way to the Moon, is Ray Crock, who built The McDonald’s Corporation.

To find coloring books for kids and adults, which consist of beautiful black and white designs for coloring, that can be personalized with the owner’s name in the title and in the titles of all of the inside pages,

 CLICK on the LINK below, then scroll down

I have posted blogs recently about the other three, and now I will briefly tell you the Ray Crock, McDonalds story.

Ray Crock is credited with the following quote:

“The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.”

That was certainly true about Ray.

Ray was born in 1902 in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, IL.   In 1917, at the age of fifteen, Ray lied about his age and was accepted by the Red Cross to serve as an ambulance driver in the First World War, a position for which he trained alongside Walt Disney.

At one time, Ray worked for room and board at one of Ray Dambaugh’s restaurants in the Midwestern United States to learn the restaurant business.

Between the end of WWI and the early 1950s, Ray tried his hand at a number of various trades, including a highly successful stretch as a Lily paper cup salesman, pianist, jazz musician, band member and radio DJ at Oak Park radio station WGES.

He eventually segued the income he earned selling Lily paper cups into an even more lucrative career as a multi-mixer milkshake machine salesman, traveling across the country, beginning during WWII.

In 1954, Ray was the owner of a company that provided restaurants with the multi-mixer milkshake machines.

When Ray received an order from the founders of McDonald’s, brothers Richard “Dick” and Maurice “Mac” McDonald for eight machines, it left him curious. Up until that time, the most that had been ordered at a time had been one multimixer, as the age of the “soda jerk,” so popular up until the late 1940’s, and had been the bulk of Ray’s business, had been on the decline.

Ray was extremely curious about the McDonald brothers orders, and he decided to travel to San Bernadine to visit the McDonald brothers’s restaurant operation in person.

Ray was impressed with the cleanliness of the establishment and with the speed with which customers were served. He saw that the business had great potential.

Convinced that the setup of this small chain had the potential to explode across the nation, Ray offered his services to the McDonald brothers who were looking for a new franchising agent.

A deal was then struck between Ray and the McDonald brothers which permitted Ray to sell franchises. In 1955, Ray founded “McDonald’s Systems Inc,” later renamed “McDonald’s Corporation,” and opened the first franchise store in Des Plaines, Illinois. Ray called this store, “McDonald’s #1”, somewhat confusingly because the McDonald brothers had already opened eight restaurants of their own before Ray became involved in the business.

Ray, who would remain active in Des Plaines for the rest of his life, would frequently phone the manager of his flagship store across the street to remind him to clean his restaurant properly.

The Des Plaines location boomed, raking in hundreds of dollars on its opening day. Ray franchised out scores of restaurants to eager franchisees. The brothers were satisfied with the money they had, though, and did not feel a pressing need to expand their empire.

By 1960 there were 228 McDonald’s franchises in the country. But to expand as he dreamed, Ray needed fiscal experience and contacts in banking. He got both by bringing in a partner, former Tastee-Freez executive Harry Sonneborn, who worked out a lucrative plan for the parent corporation to lease restaurant sites as well as sell franchises

Ray eventually became increasingly frustrated with the brothers’ desire to maintain only a small number of restaurants, so, in 1961, he bought the company for $2.7 million, enough to pay each brother $1 million each after taxes.

By 1972 Ray was wealthy enough to celebrate his 70th birthday by giving more than $7.5 million to charity, part of it to his own Kroc Foundation, which supports research in diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The philanthropic endeavor, which he launched with wife Joan, was dear to his heart, as Kroc himself became afflicted with diabetes and arthritis in his later years.

In 1973, he resigned from his post as corporation’s CEO, handing the job to Fred Turner, who had worked as a cook in Kroc’s first McDonald’s franchise and had been named president in 1968. Turner had also helped Kroc launch Hamburger University in 1961, which now serves as a training ground for McDonalds restaurant employees.

As CEO of the McDonald’s Corporation, Kroc amassed a fortune of 500 million dollars.

Ray was named by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the category, “Titans of Industry”.

Ray was married three times, first marrying his high school sweetheart, Ethel Fleming, in 1922; the couple divorced in 1961, upon his acquisition of the McDonalds Corp. His second marriage was to Jane Dobbins Green (1963-68), a secretary, which also ended in divorce. His third marriage, to the former Joan Mansfield Smith, a recently divorced ex-wife of one of his early franchisees, Rowland F. Smith, a WWII Navy veteran, was on March 8, 1969.


Ray died of heart failure at a hospital in San Diego, California on 14 January, 1984 at age 81.  Upon his passing, his wife Joan inherited his fortune, estimated at $500 million. By the time of Kroc’s death, McDonald’s had 7,500 locations in 31 countries and was worth $8 billion. His wife Joan also inherited ownership of the San Diego Padres MLB team, on the team jerseys, his initials, “RAK” were emblazoned on the left sleeve of the jersey that year, as the team then went on to win the National League Pennant in 1984, losing to the Detroit Tigers in that year’s World Series. Joan, who carried on husband Ray’s legacy of philanthropy, in contributing to many charitable causes herself, died in October 2013 of brain cancer.

Ray Kroc was portrayed by actor Michael Keaton in the 2016 film The Founder. Critics praised Keaton’s performance for his portrayal of Ray Kroc.

In 2020, the company has over 36,000 restaurants in over 100 nations.
Ray Crock Wikipedia:



Who is Leonardo Torres, and why should I care?

I have sometimes wondered when the first remote control device was invented and what it was, but I was completely surprised by what I recently found out.

To find coloring books for kids and adults,

which consist of beautiful black and white designs for coloring,

that can be personalized with the owner’s name in the title and in the titles of all of the inside pages,

CLICK on the LINK below, then scroll down

In 1903, Leonardo Torres,

a mostly self-taught inventor presented the Telekino at the Paris Academy of Science, accompanied by a brief, and a demonstration of the device. In the same year, he obtained patents in France, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States.

The Telekino consisted of a robot that executed commands transmitted by electromagnetic waves. It constituted the world’s second publicly demonstrated apparatus for radio control, after Nikola Tesla’s Patented “Teleautomaton”, and was a pioneer in the field of remote control.

In 1906, in the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Torres successfully demonstrated the invention in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore.

Later, he would try to apply the Telekino to projectiles and torpedoes but had to abandon the project for lack of financing. In 2007, the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) dedicated a Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing to the Telekino, based on the research work developed at Technical University of Madrid by Prof. Antonio Pérez Yuste, who was the driving force behind the Milestone nomination.

He also received acclaim for his invention of a semi rigid airship that was manufactured in quantity and used by both sets of military forces during World War I. One of his inventions is still thriving as a tourist attraction at Niagara Falls: the Spanish Aero, Car, originally installed in 1916.

In 1911 he made and successfully demonstrated a chess-playing automaton for the endgame of king and rook against king. [Anon., “Torres and His Remarkable Automatic Devices,” Scientific American Supplement, Vol. 80, No. 2079, 1915, pp. 296-298.] This chess automaton, believed to have been the world’s first, was fully automatic, with electrical sensing of the pieces on the board and what was in effect a mechanical arm to move its own pieces. [The one earlier apparent chess automaton, exhibited by von Kempelen, turned out to have a small human operator hidden inside; see Chapuis, A. and E. Droz, 1958. Automata: A Historical and Technological Study, Basford, London.]

Some years later Torres made a second chess automaton, which used magnets underneath the board to move the pieces. Like a number of his other inventions, this one still exists and is still operational.

The two links below give further information about
Leonardo Torres y Quevedo:

Robert A. Heinlein: One of the Greatest Science Fiction Writers

Robert A. Heinlein, often called the dean of science fiction writers, is

regarded as the “most influential” writer of modern science fiction, in the whole history of the genre.


For   “A Unique, Time and Space Travel Adventure,”

check out:

“Time of Destruction.” By John C. Meyer

Go to

He is ranked by many as one of the four luminaries of the Golden Age of science fiction, along with Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Philip K. Dick.

He was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, and was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction.

His published works, both fiction and non-fiction, express admiration for competence and emphasizes the value of critical thinking. His work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, and on modern culture.

Heinlein is a timeless inspiration to writers and readers.

One of the most lasting testaments to Robert Heinlein is that he created many of the science fiction genres, and Inspired generations of new writers, scientists, and astronauts.

Robert Heinlein is one of the authors that I grew up reading, and I have always found his books to be highly readable and very enjoyable, starting in 1958 with “Have Space Suit Will Travel.

This novel is a wonderful adventure for all ages.

I was in the sixth grade, and was not much of a reader, when my school started bringing books from the public library to our elementary school library.

When I saw the book title “Have Space Suit Will Travel,” and the picture of a man in a space suit on the book cover, I was intrigued.

I immediately checked out the book, and read it twice, and did not want to check it back in.

I had some money saved from cutting grass in my neighborhood, so I claimed that I had lost the book, and paid $5.00, the cost of the book, to Gates Memorial public library in Port Arthur, and kept the book.

Twenty-six years later, in 1984, I met Robert Heinlein at an L-5 conference in Houston, Texas, and he autographed the book on an inside title page.

Heinlein did not start out as a writer.


In 1929, he graduated from the Naval Academy with the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering, ranking fifth in his class academically but with a class standing of 20th of 243 due to disciplinary demerits. Shortly after graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign by the U. S. Navy. He advanced to lieutenant, junior grade while serving aboard the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931, where he worked in radio communications.

In 1934, Heinlein was discharged from the Navy due to pulmonary tuberculosis.

After discharge from the Navy, Heinlein supported himself at several occupations, including real estate sales and silver mining, but for some years found money in short supply.

While not destitute, he had a small disability pension from the Navy — Heinlein turned to writing to pay off his mortgage.

His first published story, “Life-Line”, was printed in the August 1939 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Originally written for a contest, he sold it to Astounding for significantly more than the contest’s first-prize payoff.

Some saw Heinlein’s talent from his first story, and he was quickly acknowledged as a leader of the new movement toward “social” science fiction.

Thus, began Heinlein’s writing career.

Robert Heinlein is considered one of the greatest and most essential writers in the SF cannon, not only because of his excellent narrative and literary qualities, but as a pioneer in the field, a paladin of critical thinking and of rational pragmatism, owing perhaps to his formation as an engineer.

His ideas and reflections, have been poured into his hundred Plus Works, that remain relevant today.

Heinlein has always had great fun pointing out human oddities and foibles as he did in his most famous novel, “Stranger in A Strange Land,” showing in it, for example Michael Smith trying to grok the world around him, while creating an enjoyably nasty future world.

In an interview, Heinlein is said to have snickered over the idea that a religion had been founded upon Stranger in a Strange Land.

Heinlein does have a tendency to lecture and harangue, but generally does an excellent job of making palatable some challenging ideas.

Heinlein is, in fact, the author of the Libertarian battle cry TANSTAAFL! (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch)

If nothing else, science fiction is always going to be grateful to Robert Heinlein for giving us this word.


Heinlein was clearly passionate about the things he believed, but Heinlein is not for everyone; he was not “Politically Correct.”

But if you find him too preachy in novels such as “Time Enough for Love,” then you should probably stop there; latter Heinlein is not for you.

It’s a generally-held tenet that the novels of Robert Heinlein are better before 1970 than afterwards, and with few exceptions, his earlier works are his masterworks.

At his intellectual best, and his most provocative, Robert Heinlein is formidable.

He integrates a systematic and unique philosophy in his writing, and it is generally believed that Heinlein is one of the giants on whose shoulders modern SF authors stand; but giants don’t get much admiration in their own time.

Heinlein is the only author to have won four Hugo awards for best science fiction novel during his lifetime, for Double Star, Starship Troopers (1959), Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and was given the first Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement.

He was also awarded three more posthumous Hugo Awards

Heinlein is just the kind of author who writes some books you love, and some you probably hate, but every writer since Heinlein has learned from him.

I know that I have.

Robert A. Heinlein Biography

Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein Interviewed by Walter Chronkite

on the day of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing


Robert A. Heinlein Guest of Honor Speech at “1976 Worldcon.”

Robert A. Heinlein 1973 speech to The Naval Academy

AUDIO:  Volume is lower during the 2 minute introduction of Heinlein, but much higher when he speaks



What in the world is “The War of The Worlds?”

For   “A Unique, Time and Space Travel Adventure,”

check out:

“Time of Destruction.” By John C. Meyer

Go to

Picture above is H. G. Wells


In this “POST” I am following up on a preceding program about Jeff Wayne’s
“Musical War of the Worlds,” with a chronological listing of productions of H. G. Wells’ novel,
The War of the Worlds.

As a novel, radio programs, TV programs, and movies.

The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells, first serialised in 1897 by Pearson’s Magazine in the UK and by Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The novel’s first appearance in hardcover was in 1898 from publisher William Heinemann of London. Written between 1895 and 1897, it is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race.
The 1938  “War of The Worlds”  radio production ( also called “The Panic Broadcast” )

is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series,  “The Mercury Theatre on the Air”

directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, as an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel,

The War of The Worlds., with an origional script by Howard Koch.

1938 PANIC Broadcast link below:

After the 1938 broadcast of this radio show there was some panic, but no deaths were reported as a direct results of the broadcast.

In 1940 the following interview was broadcast from a San Antonio radio station with H. G. Wells and Orson Welles discussing the 1938 radio broadcast. 3 Minutes

Another Orson Welles interview is below about the 1938 broadcast:
2 Minutes:

In 1949, a Spanish-language version of Welles’s 1938 script was broadcast by “Radio Quito” in Ecuador, Chili, resulting in a local panic.

Quito police and fire brigades rushed out of town to fight the supposed alien invasion force, but

after it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot.

A local newspaper that had participated in the hoax by publishing false reports of unidentified flying objects in the days preceding the broadcast, was in the same building as Radio Quito,

and that building was burned to the ground by the mob, killing 6 people inside the building.

In 1953 the first “War of The Worlds Movie,”  was produced by George Pal For Paramont Pictures.

The film is a loose adaptation of the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells, the first of five film adaptations. It is a modern retelling of the 1897 novel, changing the setting from Victorian era-England to 1953 southern California. Earth is suddenly and unexpectedly invaded by Martians, and American scientist Clayton Forrester searches for any weakness that can stop them.

The War of the Worlds won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and went on to influence other science fiction films. In 2011, it was selected for preservation in the United States’ National Film Registry in the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Link to 1953 Movie Below:


On October 31, 1975, “The Night That Panicked America,”

A movie about “America’s” reaction to the 1938 “Panic Broadcast.” of The War of The Worlds,

was broadcast on ABC TV.

Click below for information about that broadcast;

In 1988, PBS produced a  50th ANIVERSARY radio Broadcast of War of The Worlds.

A slightly updated version of the 1938 script by Howard Koch, adapted and directed by David Ossman, was presented by WGBH Radio, Boston and broadcast on National Public Radio for the 50th Anniversary of the original Orson Welles broadcast. The cast included Jason Robards in Welles’ role of ‘Professor Pierson’, Steve Allen, Douglas Edwards, Hector Elizondo and Rene Auberjonois.

Click the Link below for the 1988 radio broadcast:


In 1988, a War of The Worlds TV Series was broadcast:

War of the Worlds was a Canadian/American science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons, from October 7, 1988 to May 19, 1990. The series is a sequel to the 1953 film The War of the Worlds, a loose adaptation of the novel of the same title by H. G. Wells.

Click link below for the 2 seasons:

In 2005, a War of The Worlds Movie with Tom Cruse, was produced by Dreamworks Films and Directed by
Stephen Spielberg:

Dockworker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) struggles to build a positive relationship with his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin). When his ex-wife, Mary Ann (Miranda Otto), drops them off at Ferrier’s house, it seems as though it will be just another tension-filled weekend. However, when electromagnetic pulses of lightning strike the area, the strange event turns out to be the beginning of an alien invasion, and Ferrier must now protect his children as they seek refuge from the Alien invasion.


In 2005 Classic War of the Worlds, is a direct-to video production:
  • In one of the most faithful adaptations of HG Wells’ science fiction masterpiece, Martians launch a ruthless assault on an unsuspecting Victorian England, in an At the end of the 19th century a large cylinder falls on the English countryside. A young writer is among those who witnesses the event. But soon the cylinder opens and a group of Martians appear. It soon becomes apparent the Martians intend to attack. The writer soon finds himself fighting for his own survival as the military fights to stop the Martians, society collapses, and as the human race fights to win the war of the worlds.


In 2005 “H. G. Wells: The War of The Worlds” is an HBO TV production of the Martian Invasion set in present time.

In 2008 “War of the Worlds: The Next Wave” Is an HBO production, and a follow-up of their 2005

“H. G. Wells: The War of The Worlds” with the Martians returning to continue the invasion, after their first wave was defeated.


2012 “War of The Worlds: The True Story” is a film in Documentry style, using film footage from the film

“Classic War of The Worlds”

It tells the story of the Martian invasion, several decades later, through the eyes of a witness to the Martian invasion.



Why hasen’t NASA Sent More Missions To The Planet Mercury

Exploring Mercury


For   “A Unique, Time and Space Travel Adventure,”

check out:            “Time of Destruction.” By John C. Meyer

Go to


If you have ever wondered about NASA’s exploring the planet Mercury, here is some good information.

Mercury is the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System. Its orbit around the Sun takes 87.97 days, the shortest of all the planets in the Solar System. It is named after the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger of the gods.

Why haven’t we been to Mercury as often as we have to other inner planets such as Mars and Venus?

Because Mercury is a speedy little GUY, close to a seriously powerful gravity well, that’s why.

A spacecraft trying to go to Mercury has to slow up—a lot—to reach the planet, which orbits the Sun every 88 days. But trying to “help you along” is the Sun itself, pulling a spacecraft even faster and off-course.

To get into orbit around Mercury means that you have to bring a lot more fuel than one can realistically bring to slow down from the speeds that your orbital path and the Sun have forced on your spacecraft.

It takes a stupid amount of delta-V ( Differntial-Velosity ) to get to, and then slow down to reach it.

In the early 1970s Mariner 10, the first fly-by spacecraft, made a series of fly-bys, using the planet Venus as a gravity assist, accelerating it to match speeds with the planet.

Mariner 10 picture is seen to the left

The MESSENGER spacecraft of the early 2000s became the first orbiter. It took several fly-bys of Earth, Venus and Mercury itself over seven years to work out a speed that allowed it to attain orbit.
Neither NASA spacecraft would’ve arrived at Mercury without the work of Giuseppe Colombo.

To honor his work, the third Mercury probe, a two-orbiters-in-one mission known as BepiColombo,

Picture of BepiColombo, is seen to the left

is on its way to Mercury, launched in October 2018 and scheduled to arrive in 2025. It’s a mission by the European Space Agency and the Japanese space agency, JAXA.


On its seven-year journey, BepiColombo will use ion propulsion, a very weak but high-efficiency way to get around, to make very tiny changes over the fly-by slingshots for a remarkably easy orbital insertion using a small amount of conventional fuel.



Planet Mercury Wikipedia: