Fried Clams with an Astronaut.

Updated: Jun 18, 2021


How you ask?

Well, this is another story about my extraordinary Uncle Ed. He worked for Bendix Corp. in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the Gemini Space Program. He was invited to Cape Canaveral in November 1961 for a job interview.

We started early and drove straight through from Akron. AM radio was cycling The Lion Sleeps Tonight constantly and I had my ear plastered to the rear seat speaker in Ed’s 1960 T-Bird. Pretty classy for an 11 year-old geek. Evidently, I was geek before it became a thing.

Arriving late, we checked in to the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge and I went to bed thinking of the swimming pool and the Fried Clams for lunch the next day.

Being eleven I was up early at the pool, splashing and learning to dive for most of the morning. All of a sudden I hear,

John Glen November 1961 at Cocoa Beach Howard Johnson
John standing just out of my splash down area.

“Excuse me but do you know where Ed Rodeman is” I look up and there is this military looking man, and he says "Hi, I'm John Glen". That's who they sent to interview Ed for the job. Wow! Ed got a tour of the facility, with John, just without us. But, I still had the pool and my new favorite song.

Long story short we had lunch at the Holiday Inn Restaurant, John and I both enjoyed the clams, and 3 months later he became the 1st American Space Hero to orbit the earth.

All these years later he remains a Great American Hero, I still like fried clams, and remember that trip every time I hear The Lion Sleeps Tonight.


What song triggers your hero memories?


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