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(David Clark)

Fred vs. Skylab

A welcome-home party for what was left of a space station.

When the Georgia trooper arrived, he too got the full story, although my ability to explain the finer details was degrading in a direct ratio to the amount of rocket fuel I had consumed. Since this involved an object in orbit, and since we were, for the most part, Air Force people, the trooper chose to ask the base to send someone to figure out what rules, if any, we were breaking.

The last appearance was from two Moody base security police and a lieutenant from the base command post, apparently the low man on the totem pole that night. After an explanation, assisted by many friends who took great pleasure in displaying their knowledge of things orbital, the lieutenant told Fred, who had been doing a slow burn throughout, that while it was possible Skylab could indeed come down on our target, it was highly unlikely. The lieutenant told him that he would return, in civilian clothes to better blend in, to ensure we didn’t do anything to draw Skylab to the trailer park.

 I remember the trooper, the lieutenant, and the two security cops returning, and also a bunch of other people showing up. The party went on almost until dawn.

Skylab was a no-show. It had come down in western Australia, missing my target by about 11,000 miles. But it was a great party.

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