Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Final launch makes me realize what we’ve lost

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I've had a chance to fly a lot of different airplanes, but it was nothing like the shuttle ride.
- Chris Hadfield

Video: Kirby's Augusta
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I miss the space shuttle already.

I didn't think I would, but you never know, do you?

Don't get me wrong. I never wanted to attend a shuttle launch. Never wanted to see one up close or in a museum. Cer­tainly never wanted to fly one.

But I always sort of liked the idea that we Americans had a shuttle in case we needed it for something.

Sometimes it seems like we're not the country we used to be.

I miss that, too.

SEE AMERICA: We're still the best country, though, and everyone who travels can tell you that. Here are some of your post card travel reports:

Allen and Glenda Hardin, of Thomson, and Mike, Karen, Michael and Susan Benton, of Wilmington, N.C., "enjoyed a Tampa Bay victory over Boston at the indoor stadium. Definitely different from outdoor stadiums. We're also going to Disney World."

"Joy" and Kayleigh Broxton, of Augusta, are trying to make me hungry by sending a post card from Savannah showing a tasty plate of crab cakes : "Jumped in the van and headed to Savannah for fresh seafood and black waves! Tourist sites took us through the visitors center and the Railroad Museum. Bonaventure Cemetery was an adventure for all!"
Lloyd Creech sends a card from the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Green­ville , S.C .

The Vahrenwalks are having a wonderful time in Montana.
Dan and Mary Martin, of Augusta, continue to enjoy their 11-day family adventure in the Mohawk Valley of New York, Niagara Falls, Vermont, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.

Tiajuana Cochnauer, of Aiken, sends a post card showing the Gardner Mansion and Museum in Broken Bow, Okla. She writes: "The beautiful home was built by my great grandfather, who was a fullblood Choctaw and an ordained Presbyterian preacher."

A bit farther away are Roger and Mary Ann from Aiken , who are in Italy. "We will visit Pisa, Tuscany, Florence, ending up in Venice," they write.

In Bermuda, Doris and daughter Beth Blalock are having a wonderful time. "We were touched by the beautiful St. Peter's Church in St. George, Bermuda," they write. "The oldest Protestant church in continuous use in the New World."

Rose Abee says she "enjoyed a week on the Gulf Coast ... The BEST place for very fresh, local shrimp, fish, etc. cleaned and packed in ice ready to travel was the Shell Shack in Mexico Beach."

TODAY'S JOKE: Bill Wood of Hephzibah offers this one.
A fellow handed the new teller at his bank a withdrawal slip for $400 and said , "May I have large bills, please?"

"I'm sorry, sir," she said reluctantly, "but they're all the same size."

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