October 13, 2012

mission 26

As you may have heard, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is making its way this weekend from the Hangar at LAX Airport where its been for the last couple weeks to its new home at the California Science Center near downtown. LA seems to love something like this and its fun to watch the ways a procession like this gets embraced by crowds who want to get a glimpse. We recently had a similar procession as a huge boulder was transported through town as part of a new permanent art installation at the County Museum of Art. Maybe that helped as an unintentional dress rehearsal for the Shuttle. I had hoped to try to catch it earlier in the day yesterday when it was stopped for a while at a lot in Westchester, but some work deadlines kept me from being able to break away. Later that night, I messaged my friend and neighbor Michele to tell her I was going to go play "find the shuttle" in case she wanted to come along. She said sure, but then a few minutes later I got a message asking if I could leave right away. It turns out some friends of hers were at the Toyota Tundra event and were able to have us join them if we could get there. It was an amazing and lucky coincidence. Apparently its the first time any of the shuttles have had to be transported through a city's streets, so it comes with its own set of challenges. One of those is that the transporter was too heavy to take it across the bridge that spans the 405 Freeway. So the Science Center contacted Toyota, who arranged to have a Tundra tow it across the bridge. They were filming a commercial for it and also had a tent and viewing area on the corner where the famous Randy's Donuts is. At one point I was standing next to the owners of Randy's and the Chairman of Toyota with the Shuttle just feet away on the other side of me. It was a bit surreal, but thats not unlike life in California. Just another reason we love it here.

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