On January 27th 1967. Hoosier test pilot and veteran astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom died along with Ed White and Roger Chaffee when their Apollo 1 space craft caught fire.
Born in Mitchell, Indiana, Grissom is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
I went to Grissom Elementary School, and there were framed photos of the astronauts and lunar missions all over the halls, and the Apollo 1 patch was in marble on the floor in the main hall and you got in trouble if you walked on it. Our school song had the line “like the astronauts bravely flying in the sky, we are proud our flag to fly" but no one really ever got into the details with us of how the astronaut our school was named after actually burned up on the launch pad, even after we watched the Challenger explode live on TV.
I am super weirded out by the term “push present” (even more so than “babymoon”). The concept is fine, none of my business - it’s always nice to give a present to someone, especially someone who’s just endured childbirth - but the phrasing brings to mind some hugely pregnant, petulant woman who has to be bribed with something sparkly in order to get that baby out, which goes against every single thing I have ever heard about childbirth. I think it’s the fact that it’s expected, and almost always expensive jewelry, not just some thoughtful gift, is what grosses me out. Just one more thing for the puckered dementor ladies in every office to demand to see. (These are the same ladies who care very deeply about what was on the middle of the tables at wedding receptions.)
One day in first grade, our teacher had us write letters to our parents. She instructed us all to begin “Dear Mother and Daddy,” because clearly that was what she grew up calling her own parents. I nervously raised my hand to make sure if it would be okay to say “Dear Mom and Dad” instead and this sums up my entire childhood and possibly my life.
Sarah Brown is the author of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Sock You Keep Your Dildo In, published in 2012. She lives in the Arctic Circle with her husband, Ivor, and their two children, Batman and Gwyneth. She is asleep.