Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Happy Birthday, Heinlein

The author had a tremendous impact on my thinking when I was still very young. I started reading his work as well as Clarke and Asimov at 12 years of age. Never again could I look at a situation without fairly deep analysis. It made me something of an outcast and not much fun at parties.

The quotes here have always remained with me.

There is a debt I owe to him...that he formed my mind in a time when it could have so easily been forced into a different mold. Those three men provided a greater education than my brief formal attendance ever had. Bless them all.

3 comments:

Ahab said...

Damn! Wish I had known a girl such as you when I was young. To have had a friend, and a girl at that, who thought as I did, was influenced by whom it was influenced me, would have been magnificent!

LauraB said...

Ah, Ahab...I am sorry about that. I was quite at a loss with my peers. None of it made sense to me. And that...elevated...view made it all seem even harder to bear.

I am sorry to know you dealt with the same hellish boredom.

Ahab said...

Well, that's ok, Darling Woman, eventually I grew up. What I learned along the way, even though I never found a woman with whom I could share my thoughts, was not to hide them. Eventually, as well, I found a peer group that satisfied my my needs. We have another thing in common, I see, too. Having recently, two years ago, retired from Lockheed/Martin Aerospace, I bless them as you have. There I found most of what I was looking for, and there I got to put an imagination that was nurtured by Clark, Azimov, and Heinlein, to excellent use. I was with Martin Marietta initially, then Boeing on the Missile Defense Program (we built the working prototype), and then again with the merged Lockheed/Martin until retirement.

Very weird, for an aerospace engineer anyway, I never graduated college. All those ideas spawned by reading the greats as a young teen allowed me to progress through that magnificent industry on dreams and a "can do" attitude almost exclusively. Oh, and yes, as I needed specific knowledge, I took the appropriate courses, then used that new knowledge to design wondrous things, some of which are orbiting earth still today.

When I retired in '08, I was the last of my kind, a "non-degreed engineer." Sadly, the last great rocket program I worked on is being dismantled by the Obummer, the Missile Defense System. Babe, you'd have loved that one! My only regret is never having found a woman with whom it would have been wonderful to share the excitement of a science based imagination.