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F. P. Dorchak

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The Last Man On The Moon - A Review
3/27/2009 9:04:10 PM
After having read Eugene Cernan’s (written with Don Davis) THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON (see link, below), I feel as if I’ve actually been there with him and “Dr. Rock,” Jack Schmitt, on the moon.

I’ve been doing some heavy research reading for my next manuscript, and recently came upon Mr. Cernan’s book through a friend of my wife’s (it was highly recommended). Since I needed some “on the moon” info, this sounded like a great read, and I was not at all disappointed. I’ve read a handful of other astronaut books, but with none of them have I connected like with Mr. Cernan’s first-person account. What really struck me was the wiser Cernan, a man who’s chased and lived his dream and can now look back on it with an objective, more “rounded” eye. He’s not living in the past by any means, but he understands what he’s been through, even makes a few apologies, and has grown from his experience. Yes, of course he was a cocky fighter pilot, but so what? That was what was needed back then and he fit the bill. He’s matured since then, not that “cocky” is necessarily a bad thing, and understands his youth and actions with a seasoned eye. Perhaps, in being a human being, that is how extreme confidence and ability typically manifests itself in flesh. But, he also seems to genuinely feel for his first wife, Barbara, and how he lost her because of his obsessive need in getting to the moon (I hope Barbara doesn’t hold his actions against him; Mr. Cernan had a dream and it just so happened that the very nature of that dream asked for a helluva lot more than most dreams). People are who they are, and sometimes others can live with them and sometimes they can’t. Not to trivialize any of this or Barbara, or Mr. Cernan’s relationship with his first wife, but Mr. Cernan gave it his best shot. People change, situations change, and sometimes people can no longer deal with what they’ve dealt with for years on end. It’s just is what it is. Mr. Cernan (and Barbara--I don’t know what her possibly new last name might now be) seems to understand this.

I also took from the book that Mr. Cernan is one cool guy. He’s fricking funny; down to earth (pardon the pun!). He brought out the Human Element to his journey. Made it personal. It was great to see that humans are human no matter what they’re doing or what they’re wearing. Sure, there was an “image” the astronauts wore, sometimes for good and sometimes not, but it was really cool to see the HUMAN going through the trials and tribs he did to get where he wanted to go. To hear what he was thinking, to see the guts, the determination, the humor these guys had in doing what they did.

Two lines from his book stuck with me. The first was on page 339. To paraphrase, he said that having been “enriched by a singular event” that was larger than life, he no longer had the “luxury of being ordinary.” How true, whether that be a philosophical-physical journey like his, or some metaphysical epiphany (and who’s to say the two are not one in the same in this instance?). I’ve read that about other astronauts. Mr. Cernan also mentioned at one point how it was so difficult to get caught up in earthly issues having seen--experienced--the “fragility of Earth” (my quotes, I think...). I wish more of us were in that boat, so to speak. Many of us cannot see the planet for the trees.

The other line (on page 344) was how Apollo seemed to have come before its time. I love paradoxical statements like this! And further how he describes JFK in the next sentence as having grabbed so far in to the 21st Century and brought back an era into the 1960s and 70s that was simply way ahead of its time. How prophetic, given our last president’s attempt at reviving the space program by (in my humble opinion) taking a giant step BACKWARD by going with the Constellation plan (but given what I just stated, which came first...Apollo or Constellation?), which (at least in FORM) is exactly like Apollo. But, hey, I’m an armchair quarterback in this arena and don’t get paid to make those decisions. But it does seem exactly like that, doesn’t it--“Apollo on steroids”?

The only disappointment was no discussion of UFOs. But then again, I don’t freely expect that out of astronauts. I wish astronauts would talk more about them, but I’m sure they are under strict oaths not to (I’m not even gonna play that game of “if they exist”...). I can understand that--though I still might ask if ever presented the opportunity.

While in the military, I made a couple unsuccessful attempts at entering astronaut training. I’ve obviously never made it to the moon, but Mr. Cernan’s words took me there. Again, to in no way trivialize Mr. Cernan, his life and efforts, and those of all the other highly skilled and gifted individuals in the astronaut corps, but perhaps in some other life we’ve swapped positions and Mr. Cernan is a guy just like F. P. Dorchak, and I’m a guy just like Eugene A. Cernan, and I finally made it to the moon. Or Mars. But for this me, here, for one reason or another, it just wasn’t my time...but I dearly thank Mr. Cernan for taking me there anyway.

Thank you, sir.

F. P. Dorchak

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Man-Moon-Astronaut-Americas/dp/0312199066



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More Blogs by F. P. Dorchak
• My Blog Has Moved.... - Sunday, August 23, 2009
• Skeptic, Debunker, or Open-minded? - Saturday, August 15, 2009
• Julie & Julia - A Reduction - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
• So, Just What Is It About... - Monday, August 10, 2009
• Past Life - Sunday, August 02, 2009
• Interview With a Non-Vampire, by Wendy Burt-Thomas - Thursday, July 30, 2009
• Twisting In The Wind - Writing Outside The Box - Wednesday, July 29, 2009
• Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock - Part II - Sunday, July 26, 2009
• Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock.... - Friday, July 24, 2009
• The Need For Sleep--Overrated? - Monday, July 13, 2009
• 2009 Roswell UFO Festival - Sunday, June 28, 2009
• Guerilla Drive-Ins! - Monday, June 15, 2009
• Soul Survivor - Wednesday, June 10, 2009
• Inside The Writer’s Mind - Tuesday, June 09, 2009
• The Wrestler - Saturday, May 30, 2009
• Rob Butts: A Retrospect - Friday, May 29, 2009
• Think Good Thoughts? - Friday, May 22, 2009
• The Case For Reincarnation - Friday, May 08, 2009
• Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2009 - Outstanding! - Tuesday, April 28, 2009
• Exopolitics--We Are Not Alone? - Tuesday, April 21, 2009
• Upcoming Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) 2009! - Friday, April 17, 2009
•  The Last Man On The Moon - A Review - Friday, March 27, 2009  
• Jeff Peckman and the Metaphysical Aspects of UFOs - Saturday, March 14, 2009
• Antigravity, Subquantum Kinetics, UFOs, and the New World Order - Thursday, February 26, 2009
• Says it all.... - Tuesday, January 13, 2009
• Marley & Me - Saturday, January 10, 2009
• The Day The Earth Stood Still - Tuesday, December 23, 2008
• If We Live Again.... - Saturday, December 20, 2008
• I Found an Agent! - Saturday, December 06, 2008
• Happy Hallowe’en! - Friday, October 31, 2008
• The Roswell Legacy - Jesse Marcel, Jr., MD - Monday, October 20, 2008
• Code Enforcer—The Movie - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
• Nervous Energy and Superpowers! - Friday, October 10, 2008
• Rustling Leaves, Whispering Souls, and Gardens of Stone - Friday, October 03, 2008
• Revisiting Old Ghosts - Wednesday, October 01, 2008
• Commercial V. Literary -- Taking The Zen Approach - Saturday, August 09, 2008
• More Talk Of Extraterrestrial Cover-ups - Friday, July 25, 2008
• Larry King - Are Aliens Watching Us...? - Saturday, July 19, 2008
• William Shatner - Up Till Now Autobiography - Sunday, July 13, 2008
• Penmen! Laugh at their Surreal Ingenuity! - Friday, July 04, 2008
• Roswell - 61 Years Ago and Counting.... - Wednesday, July 02, 2008
• 61st Anniversary of the Kenneth Arnold 1947 “Saucer” Sightings - Tuesday, June 24, 2008
• Cells Phones Tracked in the Name Of Science - Wednesday, June 04, 2008
• In Memoriam: Robert F. Butts, Passed Away at 88 - Sunday, June 01, 2008
• Some People’s Kids - Alien or Otherwise - Fake Romanek YouTube Alien Video - Saturday, May 31, 2008
• Excuse Me, There’s and Alien At My Window - The Romanek/Peckman Alien Video - Friday, May 30, 2008
• Jeff Peckman and Extraterrestrial Proof Tomorrow - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• New Twilight Zone Graphic Novels! - Saturday, May 24, 2008
• The Black Hole Blues*! - Thursday, May 22, 2008
• United Kingdom Releasing UFO Files To Public - Saturday, May 17, 2008
• Vatican Validating Extraterrestrials?! - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Denver Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, Part Deux - Friday, May 09, 2008
• The Supernatural and All Things Weird - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
• A Denver Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission - Saturday, May 03, 2008
• Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) 2008 - Monday, April 28, 2008
• The World's Greatest Writer! - Saturday, March 08, 2008
• The Brief History of the Dead - Sunday, February 17, 2008
• In Memoriam - Rod Serling - Sunday, December 30, 2007
• The Meaning of Christmas? - Friday, December 21, 2007
• Tell It Like It Is - Harlan Ellison - Saturday, December 08, 2007
• Ice and Death - R.M.S. Titanic - Sunday, November 25, 2007
• The Amazing and Mysterious Blue Cloud - Saturday, November 17, 2007
• Amazon Novel Contest and UFOs - Tuesday, November 13, 2007
• The Disclosure Project: UFO Press Release Monday - Saturday, November 10, 2007
• Think Differently - Friday, November 09, 2007
• Dreams and...Reality? - Saturday, November 03, 2007
• Sleepwalkers MotionTomes(TM) Podcast! - Tuesday, October 30, 2007
• Do You Believe? - Sunday, October 28, 2007
• Cool Hallowe’en Links! - Saturday, October 27, 2007
• Face Your Fears! - Friday, October 26, 2007
• Who's Afraid of a Couple Ghosties.... - Thursday, October 25, 2007
• Age Old Issues - Saturday, October 20, 2007
• Reverse Engineering Aliens - Sunday, October 14, 2007
• Seeing The Light! - Saturday, October 06, 2007
• Amazon.com Contest! - Wednesday, October 03, 2007
• The Art of Killing - Sunday, September 30, 2007
• Crime And Punishment - Alcatraz - Saturday, September 29, 2007
• Pay Per View - Sunday, September 02, 2007
• Church and Steak - Saturday, September 01, 2007
• China Bans Reincarnation! - Friday, August 31, 2007
• Culture of Fear?! - Friday, August 24, 2007
• Here’s A Thought - Wednesday, August 22, 2007
• Walk Like An Egyptian.... - Thursday, August 16, 2007
• Same Old Story - Sunday, August 05, 2007
• Decrypting The Paranormal - Friday, August 03, 2007
• Let’s Get Paranormal! - Saturday, July 28, 2007
• Movie Night! - Friday, July 20, 2007
• Night of the Living Dead [Genre] - Saturday, July 14, 2007
• UFOs and Larry King Live! - Friday, July 13, 2007
• Roswell - Sunday, July 08, 2007
• Picking at Scabs - Saturday, June 30, 2007
• Hamstrung - Friday, June 29, 2007
• Circular File - Monday, June 25, 2007
• Can I Take Your Pulse? - Friday, June 15, 2007
• Write and Wrong - Part II - Tuesday, June 12, 2007
• Write And Wrong - Part I - Sunday, June 10, 2007
• For Whom The Bell Tolls - Friday, June 01, 2007
• It’s All In My Head - Friday, May 25, 2007
• The Sky Is Falling! - Saturday, May 19, 2007
• Responsibility - Tuesday, May 15, 2007
• Sloggin On! - Friday, May 11, 2007
• You Want It You Got It - Tuesday, May 08, 2007
• THERE’S No Need To Fear.... - Friday, May 04, 2007
• Wind Instruments at PPWC 2007. - Saturday, April 28, 2007
• Writers, and Agents, and Editors, Oh My! - Saturday, April 14, 2007
• Let’s Get Real! - Saturday, April 07, 2007
• Medium - Saturday, March 31, 2007
• Computer Issues! - Saturday, March 24, 2007
• Been Remiss--Apologies - Sunday, March 18, 2007


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