Damn, they moved the cheese again. *
For the past several weeks, a few 'friends' on Facebook have chastised me for my lack of posts, my social media silence, on the fate of NASA. You see, once upon a time, I was a space geek and my fellow space geeks just assumed I had something to say. Well, I do. And they aren't going to like it.
Growing up in Space City USA, we took NASA for granted; there was always a spare astronaut around at any function. I even baby-sat for the children of Apollo 7's Walt Cunningham at some point in my teenage years although Walt likes to tell people I baby-sat for him.
It was David Crosby of Crosby Stills and Nash along with the blind date efforts of some of the Challenger widows who turned me into a space geek. The short story: the Challenger widows set me up on a blind date with the late astronaut G. David Low. David Crosby of Crosby Stills & Nash introduced me to astronaut Bonnie Dunbar. Crosby asked me to coordinate an 'astronaut field trip' for Low, Dunbar and a few others to a CSN show in the early 90's. Low was my date for the show and Dunbar brought her friend, NASA plot Charlie Justiz. For the last 20 years, I have been Mrs. Charlie Justiz. (I told you, this is the short version.)
I married into the NASA community and was soon hosting many meals, glasses of single malt scotch, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Cuban cigars for various and assorted astronauts and other NASA personnel at any given time. From there, I created and founded The Space Store, becoming the leading purveyor of that nasty Astronaut Ice Cream, astronaut patches and more. I went on to become the de facto space food expert in the country and then a space marketing/social media consultant. Go figure.
Through it all, I've watched NASA do some great things and some not so smart things. All in all, it's been exciting, inspiring and yes, at times, lucrative. I've also watched our space agency become more and more bogged down in bureaucracy as well as government rules and regulations. What started as a group of young engineers with a wild dream and goal to go to the moon turned into politics and the politically correct 'no' people. NASA took the most exciting adventure in the world and turned it into one of the most boring, unattainable things possible. Have you ever watched NASA TV? I rest my case.
At a recent radio industry function, I listened to the radio deejays I used to work along side, repeatedly say "I wish radio would go back the way it was." Now, I am surrounded by people who want NASA to do the same thing--go back the way it was.
Well, folks, neither radio or NASA will ever be the same or go back the way it was. Nor will the music industry, the movie industry, the publishing industry and more. You have to shake things up, leave some things behind and move forward to succeed. The cheese on the moon and on the Earth is moving and will continue to move. That's called progress.
Instead of sitting around griping and moaning about the current administration and the fate of human space travel, look at how it is changing and go where the cheese is. If those space cowboys in the late 50's and early 60's had listened to all the griping and moaning about the possibility of a space agency, we wouldn't have Astronaut Ice Cream ... or a few moon walks to brag about.
Look ahead. The cheese has moved. Go find it and figure out how to make it yours.
*With a tip of my space helmet to Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and In Your Life, one of my favorite books of all time.
For more information, visit www.daynasteele.com.