By Jerry Petermann, 2016
I remember it well. I was 11 years old and was helping load turkeys on to a truck for market well into the evening on our Central Texas farm. NASA had just launched a giant 100-foot-tall mylar balloon into earth orbit. In such an evening, this marvel of modern technology (created to bounce radio signals around the earth) would reflect the setting sun and glow as bright as the brightest star. It would also travel overhead, orbiting the earth every 90 minutes; such a sight!!!
An old farm hand was laboring with us to finish the job just as the satellite passed over in the western sky. I shouted to everyone, “Look, there goes Echo!!!” The old man kept his eyes to the task at hand on the ground. I said, “Mr. Henry, look. The NASA satellite is shining like a star!” He refused to look up. I asked, “Don’t you want to see it?” He kept his head down and simply said, “Don’t believe in that nonsense…”