A solitary aviator checks his instruments before taking off on a flight that will mean glory or, more likely, death.
A fearless war correspondent relies upon the kindness of strangers to pursue her next big story.
The best baseball player in the world enjoys a night out on the town in the company of a few close friends.
A brilliant theoretical physicist mixes martinis under the stars in the New Mexican wilderness.
These and other sharply etched vignettes offer intimate glimpses into the lives of extraordinary people who, living by their own codes, were shaped by America and who shaped America in return.
“Photographs of that era display the stress factor quite clearly in Gus Grissom’s pinched features, the lunar craters under his eyes, the thousand-yard stare in his gaze as he does his level best to deliver the undeliverable. In his brief stops in Houston, Betty notices that her husband, who has always made a point of not bringing his work or his worries home with him, can no longer afford himself that respite, and she and the boys get a measure of the strain. In a moment of darkness, he says to her, ‘If there’s ever a serious accident in the program, it’s probably going to be me.’ Not exactly dinner-table conversation.
From “The Wingman”"
About Peter Devine
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Published December 7, 2012
War, Literature & Fiction.