Rocket Man

Hank’s old pal Rocket is here for a stay. Which is to say: Watch out.

You see, Ol’ Rocket’s something of an unholy combination Rocket Scientist/Lone Wolf/Test Pilot.

Which makes him a very, very interesting individual.

He’s a star athlete and former president of the engineering club. He’s got a great voice in choir and he’s your absolute best asset in a brawl. Got a tricky load calc? Rocket’s your dog. Lost your slide rule? Rocket’s got it. Need a sled pulled across Antarctica? Send the Rocket.

Renaissance dog? Maybe. Mostly he likes speed. Speed helps him think. And he really likes to think. Rocket can’t drive 55.

It’s not hard to imagine that Hank’s been challenged keeping these interests safely and gainfully employed.

It’s also not hard to imagine that Area Cats are not amused.


Today, of course, marks the 50th anniversary of former USMC fighter pilot and Mercury Astronaut John Glenn‘s historic flight aboard Friendship 7, where on February 20, 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth. Three times. Pretty cool.

The Mercury Seven

To watch old footage of the event is as remarkable now as it must have been then.  It was, and is, a stunning achievement by Glenn and everyone involved in those early NASA missions. Talk about the right stuff.

In marked contrast, yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the February 19, 1942 signing of Executive Order 9066, whereby FDR authorized the Secretary of War to declare certain areas of the U.S. as military zones, and which would eventually lead to the forced relocation and internment of some 120,000 Japanese Americans, among others. Not an admirable moment in U.S. history.

Hank notes with sadness the January passing of former UW student Gordon Hirabayashi who in the months following Pearl Harbor refused to board a bus taking citizens to internment camps—and whose wrongful conviction, imprisonment and vindication 40 years later made him an enduring American model for integrity, persistence and justice under the law. 


On the eve of this President’s Day, these two anniversaries stick with Hank as rather telling moments in our nation’s ongoing experiment with liberty and justice for all and our struggles over political expediency and ignorance to form a more perfect union.

Peace out, dogs. Be bold. Be brave. Be a coyote.



About Hank.

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