Saturday, November 30, 2013
Col. Chris Hadfield - Astronaut, Hero and Really Nice Guy
Last night, Husband and I had the pleasure of meeting a real Canadian Hero. Col Chris Hadfield, former Commander of the International Space Station and inspiration to millions, came to a Halifax Chapters to do a signing for his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.
Husband snapped this just as Col Hadfield reached over to shake my hand! In fact, even though there were probably thousands of people there, he managed to make eye contact with, shake hands with and have a little chat with every single person. He told me he liked my t-shirt:
It was a surprise that Husband ordered for me online weeks ago and serendipituously (Col Hadfield's own word when we told him about it) arrived yesterday afternoon. He admired the likeness and told us about how it was his son who wrote the new lyrics. My face still hurts from grinning so hard.
We waited to get our books signed for close to four hours, but it was a surprisingly quick four hours. Everyone was cheerful and so excited, and besides, we all had a wealth of millions of books to look through as the signing line went on. I spotted at least four tiny astronauts in homemade space suits waiting to meet the hero with their parents. Young and old, girls and boys, people of every background gathered at the bookstore to meet and express their appreciation for a man who has inspired them.
When Hadfield was still on the space station, he constantly kept in touch with us mere earthlings via social media. He published photos of his views from up there, snippets of interesting information, and just general observations about his life and work while he was in space. He made being there, in a way, accessible to everyone, and fueled the imaginations of people in a way that no one ever has before. In a world where people often have to look hard for a champion, here came this charming, generous, brilliant mind who wanted to share his fascinating life with us all. And we are better for it.
I am fully aware that I am gushing, don't worry, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a cynical soul on the premises yesterday, when so many other people were fighting for their place in line for half price Korean tvs, we were all basking in the presence of greatness.
Till next time!