I WAS THERE - Part 1

                      ATLAS ICBM AND ATLAS-MERCURY


                           CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA


                      MY ADVENTURE IN SPACE FLIGHT

                            BY TERRY NAUGHTON





LIKE TEARS................IN.. RAIN

Rutger Hauer
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!