James A. Petrait

During the early weeks of 1976 there was a science teachers' meeting in Salt Lake City. Being a science teacher, I made it a point to attend this meeting. Little did I know that it would turn out to be an unusual experience

Upon arriving at the meeting with another science teacher, I observed several science teaching displays before the start of the main sessions. The person in charge of one of the displays asked several of us from where we came. Without identifying himself, a young gentleman in the group said that he was from Washington, D.C. I thought perhaps he was just another science teacher who traveled an extra long distance to attend.

This thought was soon dispelled when I attended the general session of the meeting. and discovered that the person from Washington was the main speaker of the meeting. He was none other than Russell ("Rusty") Schweickart from NASA astronaut who tested the Apollo moon vehicle in orbit around the earth.

At the conclusion of this meeting, I was soon in for another surprise when I found out that the teacher with whom I came was in charge of directing the astronaut to a nearby restaurant for lunch with the directors of the science teachers' association.

"Rusty" followed our car to the restaurant and we were the last ones to arrive. There was no special seating arrangement and I wound up sitting directly across from the astronaut. Horrors! How would I be able to survive my lunch with a real live astronaut looking down my throat?

What does an astonaut eat for lunch while on earth? Taking a cue from me, a mere earthling, he ordered a Reuben sandwich and a Coke.

While eating our lunch together an interesting conversation developed on the idea of making permanent colonies in outer space between the earth and the moon. "Rusty" seemed to think that it would be a feasible idea which would open up positive new frontiers to human beings who are immersed in the negative events of an energy and pollution crisis.

Lunch was over and we soon parted ways. I will never forget my meeting with the astronaut. This "guy from outer space" was down to earth just like me.

You may never have the opportunity to have lunch with an astronaut. But there is a person around you right now who you may not even recognize. He not only came from outer space, He made it. If you get over the problem of meeting Him, you would soon find out that He is just ordinary person like yourself. And, unlike the short meeting with the astronaut, You could be with this Companion at all times.

I challenge you to look for Him and make friends with Him. If you do, you will find true happiness from the Source of all happiness.

"He Came From Outer Space" was originally published in the October, 1977 issue of the "Savio Notes" newsletter .


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© 1977-2005, James A. Petrait

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