Friday, February 08, 2008

Little Sir Echo Satellite

In 1960, NASA launched their first communications satellites. Echo 1 launched in August of that year, and my father and a couple of his brothers loaded a bunch (at least 6) of the Brown cousins into the back of my father's old Chevy pick-up and drove us outside of town so that we could see the satellite passing by. I was 7 or 8 at the time and in awe of the dark, dark rural Colorado sky and the wonderful stars.

When we finally saw Echo, looking just like a star, but moving swiftly across the sky, one of my cousins started singing, "Little Sir Echo how do you do? Hello, (hello) hello, (hello!)" The rest of us joined in and we sang it at the top of our lungs until dad got us all home (I'm SURE that drove him and my uncles nuts.)

Well, for almost 50 years I thought that my cousin Kenny had just composed that song out of the same awe I had at seeing something move across the sky so quickly, but thanks to the powers of the internets, I have found that my cousin did not spontaneously compose an astronomical paean -- this song dates back to at least 1939 (you can hear it on YouTube if you click the title.)

Such disillusionment, haha!

1 comment:

gl. said...

that's such a sweet story!