To be in the orbit of Frank Locatell and John Casini, pioneers who championed the project at Jet Propulsion Lab, and to see them in the film "The Farthest" was one of the highlights of the Inspire Film Festival. Voyager carries the notorious "Golden Record" of the sounds and pictures of our planet—it's still traveling at 38,000 miles an hour. Houston, can you hear me? JPL is still in contact with Voyager at this writing. Here is Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covering David Bowie's Space Oddity. Too bad we can't send Voyager this song but remarkably Dr. Casini said the computer on board has only the power of the computer we carry around in our pockets—not your smart phone, but your key fob.
There is much to be said about the size of Texas and Southern hospitality. All weekend we were in the warm embrace of the festival team with old friend David and his able assistant Hayley Nenadal. Our "minder" Betty gave us a big howdy welcome with drawl so thick some of our cohort were asking for simultaneous translation. And everywhere we went there were people and paparazzi wanting to snap a pic. We could get used to this.
Wally and Kevin became our true inspirational heros. Wally as he said of growing up in Harlem "I should be either dead or in jail" but Ping Pong saved his life. Tables were set up at The Woodland's Market Street Central Park and he took on all comers spotting 15 points and using his cell phone as a paddle. The most fun was to hear his trash talking hip hop banter—infectious and joyous. Kevin's story goes from the highest peaks to death's doorstep. He was regularly beating current snowboard gold medalist Shawn White when a near fatal head injury brought him into a new life of generosity and wide arms of truly loving life. Do we want to be more open hearted? more embracing? Greater appreciators of every second? Yes, Please. Gimme some'o that.
We rolled into the The Woodlands Arts Council with a suitcase full of Kehoe Beach plastic for our hands-on workshop. Patricia Dillon from the Houston Chron filed this report.