Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 12, 2013

Rocket man

Scott Carpenter had ‘The Right Stuff’

Remember Scott Carpenter? Some of us do. More than 50 years ago, he became the second American to orbit the earth.

Carpenter, who died last Thursday at age 88, was one of our first seven astronauts. John Glenn, who was the first American to orbit the earth, is the sole survivor of the original seven.

Had events transpired differently, one of those two — or another of the first seven — might have come to our area to honor another American hero.

Each year, Keyser High School honors one of its top graduating senior boys with the J. Edward Kelley Award, which is named for a graduate of the school who received the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions as an Army staff sergeant in Europe during World War II.

Someone of note is usually engaged to be the speaker for the Kelley Award ceremony, and the time was that a number of them were lined up by the late Rep. Harley O. Staggers Sr., who was a resident of Keyser.

The late James W. Goldsworthy was Keyser’s principal at the time, and Staggers called him prior to the Kelley Award to ask if he would like to have an astronaut as the speaker. Goldsworthy said that would be most agreeable.

A few days later, Staggers called back to say he had bad news. The seven astronauts were in training and wouldn’t be available.

Would Wernher von Braun be acceptable as an alternative? Von Braun was head of America’s space program.

“Wernher von Braun isn’t going to want to come to Keyser,” Goldsworthy said.

“You’re right,” said Staggers, “he won’t. But he will.” And he did, in 1969.

It was Carpenter who said, “Godspeed, John Glenn,” when the future U.S. Senator from Ohio went into space.

To Carpenter, we would say: “Godspeed, Scott. Thanks for your service to America, and for the inspiration you gave us.”

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo