Just a Handshake…
Have you ever looked back on your life and said “Oh, that changed everything”? One of those moments happened to me. It was when our new Astronaut class first got together in 1978. There were thirty-five of us and most of us didn’t know each other yet. A reception was planned and we all arrived at the venue. As I walked in, I noticed two very good-looking fellows down the hallway. One was blonde and the other dark-haired. As I got closer, I saw each had vivid blue eyes. Wow!
I was a little uncertain as to what to do. Fortunately, while I was in my medical residency, I’d had the privilege to attend some medical conventions. I learned that when entering a room full of name-tagged people, it was appropriate to go around shaking everyone’s hand and introduce oneself. I asked a knowledgeable friend what the etiquette was in those moments. She told me the lady should always extend her hand first.
So, when I approached those two new male friends, I extended my hand and said “Hi, I’m Rhea”. Since they were both military men and had some training in how to be polite, they knew what they should do. The dark-haired man said, “Oh, hi, I’m Mike”. The other handsome, blue-eyed fellow said, “hi, I’m Hoot”. His hand gently grasped my hand…And I was smitten. So, I married him.
I wonder what would have happened if that point in time hadn’t happened. Now many years later we smile about our first hand-holding moment – just a handshake.— Rhea
Congratulations Dr. Seddon and Capt. Gibson —Happy Anniversary! 40 years and counting!