Where were you when the Challenger exploded?
I was visiting my grandparent who, in the 80s, wintered in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. My parents had taken us out of school for the trip down for, I think 2 weeks.
At the time I was very much into all things space, I had star wars toys, books about astronauts, and I wanted to be one.
We went down to the beach to watch the launch, and when it blew up, I didn't really know that something was wrong. I don't think anybody really did. I remeber my grandmother saying that the other launches hadn't looked like that.
Then we went into the condo and watched the news reports. I remember being very upset and remeber that I tore up a bunch of drawings I had done of various space craft.
later when we returned home to West Virginia my family was front page news, as the local paper came to our house and interviewed us about seeing Challenger. I think they got my brother and I confused in the piece.
I remember my grandfather used to tell people that if I wasn't one of them up there, I'd end up putting people in space. He somehow got me a copy of the full press kit on the shuttle, it was a 3-ring binder at least 4 inches thick, it was a space geek kids dream. I wonder where that went...