C.J. Gronner

Endeavour Doing Doughnuts Over Venice

By CJ Gronner

The Space Shuttle Endeavour made its final voyage September 21st, and it was pretty great to see. My brother Rich back in Minnesota reminded me to go out and look for it, and as I made my way to the beach, I saw that it was the talk of the town.

The Venice pier and the beach were packed with sky gazers of all ages, and it made it extra exciting that a bunch of kids were out on field trips to see the fly-over, and their hyped up yells made the whole experience that much more awesome, in the true sense of the word.

The kids played ball, the old folks set up camp chairs … I set up my towel and sunscreened it up to await the arrival of Endeavour.

Everyone stared skyward and it felt like maybe nothing would happen, when all of a sudden, one of the teachers yelled “KIDS! Here it comes!” They all ran screaming towards the shore, everyone else stood up and shielded their eyes from the bright sunny perfectly blue sky … looking … and then there it was, accompanied by two little (looking) jets.

A cheer went up from the pier, and we all stood and watched the massive spaceship fly over Venice.

It was unexpectedly moving, I guess because it made you think about space exploration and adventure and the possibility of dreams, and of times when the sky really was the limit.

Also moving because it was again something like the eclipse a few months ago, where people from all walks of life came together to observe something bigger than ourselves for a moment.

We watched it go overhead, and as soon as the chills subsided, the kids packed up to go back to school, folks streamed back off the pier to get back to work, people got on their phones to tell their friends about it, and I closed my eyes to think about this massive Universe.

Before I got too deep into my head, I heard a guy yell, “Here she comes again!” and sure enough, here came Endeavour for another buzz over. My friend Brandon wrote that Endeavour was “doing doughnuts over Venice” – Ha!

Thanks for the thrill, Endeavour … and here’s to the dreamer in all of us.

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