The best field trips from Clear Lake's past
Today I took my students on a field trip to Space Center Houston. It got me thinking about both about the field trips I took as a child and how the field trip to the space center has evolved.
When I was a child, a field trip to the Space Center meant driving right on to JSC property and exploring pretty much at your will.
I am sure that only certain buildings were open to the public but I know it felt like we were allowed to just wander. There were exhibits of things like spacesuits, and old photogrpahs, but not a lot of plaque copy to read. The mighty Saturn V lay out in the elements along side the Mercury Redstone and Little Joe. Little did I know back then that I would one day marry the son of the man who was responsible for shipping said rocket to Rocket Park. My father-in-law loved to tell stories about how they had to put it on a barge and bring it up to Nasa Road 1 via Clear Lake. My husband can remember vividly drinking a 7-11 Slurpee while watching the huge rocket make its way to its permanent home. But I digress...my point is that JSC trips were a lot different back then, but at least they were free.
1992 - Enter Space Center Houston. On October 19, 1992, Space Center Houston opened to the public. While it was the first time the public had to pay to view the artifacts, there were now live shows, full sized mock-ups and tons of plaque copy that explained things in layman's terms. To visit the buildings we once roamed at our lesiure, one had to take a guided tram tour. At least now if you had a question, you could ask the tour guide instead of flagging down some unsuspecting rocket scientist who just happened to be walking through. OK, since I am adding details from my personal life in this post, can I add that I met my husband on my first day of work at Space Center Houston in December of 1992? I guess like Tookie's, the Space Center has a lot to do with my personal history.
I can remember a few other field trips from my youth as well.
Armand Bayou Nature Center, the boat that left from the dock at Bay Area Park, Ashton Villa, San Jacinto Monument etc are all still around and open to tourists. (As far as I know) There are a couple of places I remember going to that don't seem to be in existence anymore. Can anyone remember a place called Hester's Nursery? How about some sort of candy factory in the La Porte area? Camp Manison with its in-ground trampolines? Comment below if you remember any of these places, or if you just want to share memories of when we once walked freely around JSC.
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