Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Shuttle recovery helpers

(Left) A marker remains on Beckcom Road in Hemphill. It is near the location where the remains of Kalpana Chawla were found after the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas.

The original marker was placed there by Roger Coday. He and his brother Frank Coday were the first to identify the remains as human according to some reports.

Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise

(Right) Belinda (top) and Roger Gay (bottom) take a break from work at Fat Fred's Restaurant and gas station in Hemphill on Thursday, July 7, 2005. They helped organize the community to assist the Columbia space shuttle recovery workers. They will attend the next shuttle launch in Florida on Wednesday.

(Above) Belinda Gay wears her space shuttle pins each day at Fat Fred's Restaurant and gas station. She helped organize the community to provide food and lodging for recovery workers.

(Below) Clark Barnett talks with Belinda Gay at Fat Fred's Restaurant. Barnett was one of the first people to find the remains of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-born woman in space, while he drove to the hardware store.

Robert and Belinda Gay; Marsha Cooper of the US Forest Service; Billy Ted Smith, emergency management coordinator for Sabine, Newton and Jasper counties; and Fred Raney, pastor of the First Baptist Church, were invited to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to watch the launch on July 13, 2005.

(Above) Sections of the planned memorial are on display at the Hemphill Chamber of Commerce in Hemphill. The space shuttle mission was canceled on Wednesday, July 13 while many Hemphill residents were in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

(Right) Hemphill Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Faye Broadway (left) listens to board member Rhoda W. Berry (right) talk about the time following the disaster at the chamber office in Hemphill.

(Above) Belinda Gay (right) wipes away a tear as she and Marsha Cooper of the US Forest Service (left) watch televised coverage of the space shuttle Discovery launch at the VFW Post in Hemphill on Tuesday, July 26, 2005. The VFW Post had been the recovery command center when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over East Texas.

Both Gay and Cooper were invited and attended the scheduled launch earlier this month at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. When the first launch attempt was canceled, they decided to watch the launch and gain some closure together in Hemphill.

(Above) Ray Broadway (from left to right) shakes hands with Tony Alexander as Faye Broadway, police chief Roger McBride and Belinda Gay relax after watching the safe launch of space shuttle Discovery at the VFW Post in Hemphill.

The VFW Post served as the recovery command center when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over East Texas. Alexander was the commander of VFW district 19 during the tragedy and was on the first recovery search team.

For more information, please see NASA's Web site.
Enough for now,

1 comment:

Caleb said...

Hard to believe the shuttle disaster was 2 1/2 years ago. The crazy part of that day Is I did not know about it until late that evening and I had even been around people. They just never told me. I had not turned on the TV that day.