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  • I remember my dad woke me up in the dead of night.

    He nudged me as I was warm in my bed, trying to stave off the house's cold, surrounding air, and told me to put some warm clothes on. He turned on a lamp, creating the sort of eerie feeling a dark house gets when there's movement past midnight. I was young and it felt like we were on some mysterious adventure.

    "Where are we going? What's happening?"

    In a hushed voice he said he wanted me to see something.

    Making sure I was in warm pants and a sweatshirt or two, he unlatched the front door and we walked through the front yard. Our normally busy road was now empty, filled only by the yellow glow of streetlights. He walked into the street and told me to follow, which, when you're a little kid, feels like you're being asked to break every rule you've ever been taught. You want me to do what?

    "What about the cars?"

    "It's okay – come here. It'll be here any minute."

    I stood next to my dad and followed his gaze into the sky. It was clear, which was perfect for whatever it was he wanted to see. I still had no idea. I looked around and realized I'd never seen my street like this before, at this hour. There wasn't a car or other person in sight. It was like we were the only two people on earth; just us in the cold, still, yellowed air. It was surreal like a dream. Maybe I was actually still in bed...


    A hot-pink dot appeared in the western sky. Moving swiftly and silently to the east, it went right over our heads, staying parallel with the road. It looked like a shooting star with no trail. I was in complete awe as I stood there, fixated on a little pink dot calmly rushing past the stars. I'll never forget that sight.

    "It's the space shuttle. It's going to land on the East Coast in a few minutes."

    We went inside and its sonic boom erupted over the house.
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