Jon Meek, 2009 Space Camp Hall of Fame inductee Robert Pearlman and I after the banquet.
Astronaut and Homesteading Space co-author Owen Garriott and I at the Space Camp Hall of Fame banquet.
For me, it’s like Halloween.
You put on a costume, you go to a party, and you get to be someone or something else for a few hours. People joke with you as if you really were whatever you’re dressed as, or treat you differently based on your costume. You do that for a while, and then go home and are you again.
Days like this past Saturday are like that for me. The only difference is, the person I’m dressing up as is, sort of, me.
Saturday evening, I went to the Space Camp Hall of Fame 2009 induction, at the invitation of my friend Robert Pearlman, founder of collectSPACE, who was one of three people being inducted this year.
And I was cool, in a very event-specific way. Basically, the person I was dressing up was space author David Hitt, who, I guess, I technically am, but, at the same time, is very much not me. People were wanting me to be in pictures, or to have their pictures made with me. (Of course, the argument that I am kind of cool is supported by the fact that some of the pictures were made in front of a display at the museum that includes a picture I signed.) I was listed as one of the special guests attending the event. Nobody wanted me autograph this time, but that has happened before.
It’s just bizarre, and it was actually kind of reassuring to go home afterwards, change into shorts and a t-shirt and go to a movie with a friend, back to just being me.
But I try to enjoy it. This is a phase of my life, and like any, this too shall pass. In the meantime, however, I am incredibly blessed.
And the greatest blessing is that I know some amazing people. While I feel like I’m playing dress-up at things like that, I was there with people who most definitely weren’t. At the banquet, I sat with Robert and his family and with my co-author astronaut Owen Garriott and his wife. Forget whether I deserved to be at the table, I was, and it was great sharing a meal with people I’m lucky and grateful to count as friends.
Driving the point even further home was the fact that this was the second time in less than a month that I got to sit at the table of a friend of mine while he was being inducted into a Hall of Fame; I blogged a while back about my former editor Jim Abbott being inducted into the Mississippi Press Association Hall of Fame.
If the measure of a man is the company he keeps, then maybe I’m not doing that badly after all.