I WAS THERE - Part 1 ATLAS ICBM AND ATLAS-MERCURY CHEYENNE, WYOMING ALTUS, OKLAHOMA CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA 1958-1963 MY ADVENTURE IN SPACE FLIGHT BY TERRY NAUGHTON 1993 I'VE SEEN THINGS YOU PEOPLE WOULDN'T BELIEVE ATTACK SHIPS ON FIRE OFF THE SHOULDER OF ORION I WATCHED SEA BEAMS GLITTER IN THE DARK NEAR THE TANHOUSER GATE ALL THOSE MOMENTS.........WILL BE LOST... IN TIME LIKE TEARS................IN.. RAIN Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner In the summer of 1958 my Dad,an attorney, was very ill with a heart condition. He was so hypertensive that any discussion led to an argument, and any argument endangered his life. Most of the arguments revolved around my life style. I was an angry lad 22 years old. I was back home, in St.Louis Missouri, after six months of Marine Corps reserve training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego and Camp Pendleton, California. I tended to stay out late most nights and do plenty of drinking, carousing, and fighting. My life was filled with Wine, Women, and Song. The fact was, I did very little singing. The origin of my anger and those arguments began in 1943, when I was six. That was the year my brother, William (Bill) Sarsfield Naughton, joined the United States Army Air Corps. Bill graduated from the Air Cadet program and flew bombers during WWII. Dad was an attorney and could afford to leave his work when he so desired. We visited Bill at all of his base assignments. I spent much of 1943-1945 traveling to Army Air Corps bases, watching bombers fly. When the Korean conflict came he was called back to active duty. I still have the photographs he sent me of P-51 and F-86 fighters parked on the runways of Korea. While other children played cowboys and Indians I played aviator. My Dad thought my adoration of Bill was very cute. He obtained a small officers uniform and a pair of my brothers wings. Where-ever we went I received a lot of attention, including salutes from "other men" in uniform. I never had any doubt that I would, some day, wear my brother's wings on a real Air Force uniform. In 1955 I was ready to follow my bother's footsteps. I would enlist in the Air Force Pilot Training Program right after high school graduation. Dad wouldn't hear of it, and he had to sign the papers if I were to enter before the age of twenty-one. Mom and Dad felt they had spent enough time worrying over a son flying for the Air Force. They would not go along with their youngest son following the same path. They insisted that I attend college, preferably in the field of law. Dad offered a compromise. If I would attend college for two years, he would then sign my enlistment papers, if that was what I still wanted. Dad's "compromise seemed a betrayal. I had been talking about this choice for twelve years, with no opposition from my family. Now that it was time to go, they had pulled the rug from under me. I devised an angry compromise of my own. I knew Mom and Dad would be very upset if I were thrown out or flunked out of college. They might sign anything just to get me out of their sight for a while. It was immature and disrespectful but it was effective. When Washington University of St. Louis, sent my family a notice stating I was no longer welcome, Dad signed my cadet papers the same week. I took my tests at Scott AFB, Ill. My scores for pilot training were excellent. The Air Force ordered me to Waco, Texas in sixty days. I spent those two months on an extended "goodby party" with all of my friends. It was a very exciting time. Even the model airplanes, that filled my room, took on a new significance. The Air Force was now flying some very fast equipment and soon I would be too. The frustration and anger I felt, during the three semesters it had taken to get out of college, were forgotten. Three days before I was to leave for cadet school my Air Force recruiting officer called. The Air Force had just canceled the cadet program. They replaced it with a flight officers program that only accepted college graduates. With great disappointment, I joined the Marine Reserve. If I wasn't to be a fighter pilot I would, at least, be one of the proud and the few. I was trained as an infantryman. My girlfriend, a law student, was being restrained from my company by her father. For some reason he thought that I wasn't going to amount to anything. He was a very wealthy Kansas pharmacist, who came pretty close to possessing his very own small town. He was an extremely self-righteous fellow. Yet, he thought nothing of sending his darling daughter bottles of 100 Dexedrine capsules at a time to "help her study." The word speed wasn't in vogue yet. If we both took a couple of those 10 mg. capsules, we could sit at the bar matching everyone drink for drink and then watch them getting drunk, while we seemed to stay sober and alert. We both thought that was great fun. Later experience taught me that she was not a sexually oriented person at that time of her life. She did, however, firmly believe, that I should never go home from our dates with, THAT LITTLE PROBLEM, as she liked to call it. So, in the summer of 1958 I was very good looking, upper middle class, dilettante. I was playing out my Rebel Without a Cause imitation of life in St. Louis, Missouri. I had more women than I knew what to do with, not yet realizing that even one woman was really, more than I knew what to do with. My favorite activity was to dress up in my best ivy league threads. They were a white button down shirt and a crew neck sweater, with sharply pressed khakis, and penny loafers. I would then pick up my date and hit a circuit of our favorite clubs, drinking the night away. Inevitably I would find an opponent. Someone who would make the wrong remark or could be provoked to suit my mood. Then I could release my anger and put my Marine Corps conditioning to use. I would come smashing down taking him out with a few punches and retire with my girl. Life was unchallenging, the events of the world were of no matter, the center of the universe was me. Things finally came to a head toward the end of that summer. My Mother became quite frightened that the arguments with my Dad would cause him to have another heart attack. My girl's father was using every means to recover his daughter from my clutches, even cutting off her supply of Dexedrine. I also had a court appearance coming up. The manager of our "American Graffiti" style, drive in hamburger joint had unwisely stuck his head into my car. He began to lecture me on proper "hanging out at the drive in" behavior. His face was but a few inches from mine. My right hand, resting on the seat had traveled in an arc upwards to the side of his jaw, driving his head up into the roof of my car. Friends outside, watching the episode, said that he suddenly stiffened, his hands and legs splayed out in a Charley Chaplin imitation. Then his head slid out of my car and followed his body down to the ground. I drove away leaving him peacefully sleeping on the parking lot of his domain. The problem was that Officer Hagar of the Brentwood Police Dept. was making his rounds just then. Flashing red lights followed me to the next stop sign and I was busted!