Twenty-five years ago, I was early in my fourth semester at The University of New Mexico. My first class of the day was, if I recall correctly, Macro Economics – which was held in The Kiva – a round lecture hall near the College of Education. Since The Kiva was quite a ways from the College of Engineering, and my second class was also closer to that end of the campus, I traditionally went over to the terminal “pod” in the Computer Center, rather than to the one in the Engineering Annex where most of my friends hung out.
I was working on something, or possibly reading net news (for those too young to remember net news, think of it as a 1980′s version of a social network, but in text only), when one of my friends started a chat session from The Engineering Annex, mentioning early on hearing that the shuttle blew up. At first I thought he was joking, but quickly confirmed that he was serious, and I was in shock.
Nineteen-years and two days earlier, I was less than one-year old. So, I have no memory of the Apollo One fire (except for retrospectively as documented here), other than as history. But I’d been following, at least in the background, most of the shuttle activity. So hearing about the shuttle blowing up was quite a shock.
A few days later, I remember listening to the memorial service being broadcast on the local radio station as I drove to school (and for some reason I remember that that was one of the days I parked where I shouldn’t because I was late to a class – but I did move my car as soon as I could).