Gonzo, it was explicable. The maiden voyage of that one, the parachute didn't deploy properly and it went plummeting. It wasn't a real suicide attempt, just a cry for help.
Second launch, that one caught a good stream and wasn't even losing altitude when it cleared the tree line.
We started writing my phone number on the rockets after that.
That original rocket, the one with an altimeter, the Elephant Lobster, it's still with us. It wasn't windy today, but breezy for rockets. So we launched that one first. It's the older one, plus it's heavy. 2.6 ounces, least likely to go to Oz.
Sure enough, it did it's usual spiral descent, never really under canopy, just rotating around the parachute as it falls, maybe 200 feet from the launch pad.
Okay, Scribble was a much higher flying rocket. Unlike Gonzo, who was more or less Elephant Lobster's peer (like these nicknames? We got a whole bunch), Scribble goes so high you can't see him. 1100 feet max compared to 600 according to Estes' materials, on the same engine. What a difference 1.6 ounces makes.
Scribbles maiden voyage the shock chord didn't hold. The tail/tube fell unrestrained to earth, the nose cone and parachute eventually got tired of being way up there.
L-R: Grandma Mary, Mo, My Bro, Aunt Arlene, Aunt Joy, Em & her Hippie Dad
I re-glued the shock chord and hoped. I wonder if the glue I use is the problem. Super Glue should do anything, but maybe the gooey wad of rubber cement is what's called for. I'll never know.
Well, unless I get that phone call that says, 'I found this rocket on my porch' from someone two miles away from the launch, and see the thing with the chord still attached. Or when the yet-to-be-purchased Scribble II does fine with Super Glue.
We did the countdown, we watched, the ascent was spectacular. Can't wait to see what Cousin It, Scribble's yet-to-be-assembled younger sibling (.42 ounces, but still a C engine, should go a good 1800 feet) will do. If I ever see it again.
Because it went out of sight, and there was the puff of smoke and nothing.
I thought I spotted maybe the nose cone, maybe the shaft, but it was a bird on second look. Nothing. No falling tail section, no loitering nose cone, nothing. Gone.
Bermuda Triangulated, to take one of Chuck Palahniuk's more apt coinages. Gone like a train in Bill Frisell's lexicon.
Sucked into a wormhole? Secret experiment by an Estes engineer to prove a C engine can put shit into low earth orbit?
So then we went to the pool. When it's 100º out with a heat factor of 106º, what's the alternative? The pool wasn't quite bathwater warm, but it's not as shockingly cold as I'd like on a day like this. When we left, I was miserable with heat before we got to the car.
But we had to leave, my Mom was expecting us for pizza. My Aunt Arlene is in town. She was here last weekend for Mom's birthday, but I forgot my camera. And that was burgers on the grill. This was Pizza Slut. I thought we'd settled on Godfather's (my preference), but when it came I was like, 'Godfather's has made their boxes look just like Pizza Slut boxes. Then I saw the Pizza Slut logo.
But there's no such thing as bad pizza.
Pizza is a rare treat these days of Single Dad Economics. Like trickle-down economics from the other side of the trickle. Still, when you have pizza less than once a month, any pizza is great pizza. You know, like sex when you're married.
Note: this is not a slam against my ex, one of the few people who ever bothers with this blog. It's universal that sex decreases exponentially after the exchange of rings if not the exchange of phone numbers. They could easily allow the Pope to get married without compromising his celibacy if they could find a chick to give him a ten year head start.
When we lost Gonzo, Em said she would never launch a rocket again. Actually, I think, she said she'd never take a chance again. Really? Live like the boy in the bubble?
But today, when Scribble disappeared, she was, if anything, more excited by the fact that none of us could even figure out where he went. We thought we saw his nose cone on a softball diamond in the distance but it was a Twix wrapper.
Bermuda Triangulated, she said. And I was like, Where'd you hear that?
Just another day in Small Town America...