First thing to note on this post. No tech content in this one. Just some nostalgia.
Couple of days ago, I was flying from Perth to Dubai on my way to APEX Connect in Bonn. Because this is an 11hour hell in a death tube flight I settled in to my standard sleepless task of watching movies to pass the time. I try to steer clear of going exclusively with new releases because I know I’ll always be travelling again soon, so I try not to exhaust all my options too soon
I was browsing through the “Movie Classics” section and found a movie from my childhood: The Right Stuff.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s a somewhat romanticized and slightly cheesy recount of the space race from Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, through to the first American in space and subsequent launches, but stopping short of the moon program. In terms of run time, this is not a movie for faint-hearted. If you think Avengers Endgame is ridiculous at 3hrs, then The Right Stuff trumps it with an additional 15 minutes on top of that.
My father loved this movie, and the first time I watched it was with him on a Sony Betamax video recorder in my early teens. We sat and watched it together, and he constantly hit pause to explain to me how significant certain milestones were. Clichéd as it might sound, it was one of those great father-son bonding moments.
To bring at least a little bit of technology into this post, it blows me away that the central character of the film, Chuck Yeager is now on Twitter and has even been gracious enough to answer a couple of my questions over the years. It amazes me – the transition from the portrayal of a figure on screen to someone I’ve managed to communicate with directly on social media.
This year marks the 20th year since my father passed away from early onset Alzheimer’s, and I’ve realised that a re-watching of The Right Stuff on the plane was perhaps a mistake. Because I’ve discovered that it tends to freak out the passenger next to you, when a grown man sits there blubbering away at a movie that doesn’t really have any sad content. So nostalgia is a good thing, but perhaps best saved for somewhere less public
Love you Dad.