This won’t mean much to anyone except my family. My apologies.

Today I read that the Kennedy Space Center is going to start displaying the Apollo 1 capsule as a tribute to the three astronauts – Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee –  who lost their lives in the launchpad fire fifty years ago. Around that time my family was living in Houston and my dad took me to the Johnson Space Center there to look at the rockets.

Today I went to Mapquest to see how long it would take to drive to the Kennedy Space Center.  13 hours, more or less. Then I checked Houston. 18 hours. While I was on Mapquest, I zeroed in on the old neighborhood. The apartments we lived in are long gone, but I recognized the streets. Japonica. Ilex. Redwood. Rustic Lane.

I thought about my Houston friends, and like I have done in the past, I searched the internet for clues of their whereabouts. Mostly I struck out. Then I found one. In an obituary in Louisiana.



He’s the one with the maracas.

I wasn’t sure it was him until I watched a memorial video on the funeral home website. The pictures of him as a kid were unmistakable.  The obituary said he lived in Louisiana for almost fifty years. That left little time for living in Houston, probably the few years that my West Virginia family lived there. We were all transients, apparently.

So many of our friends disappear and we never hear from them again. We wonder whatever happened to them.

Looks like Ricky lived a good life and had a loving family. Which is exactly what I hoped I would find.