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Maureen

The day of the Shuttle explosion was a Tuesday, bitter cold and sunny. I was at the newspaper office in Bernardsville, finishing up the movie listings for the entertainment section which I edited for Recorder Community Newspapers. One of our reporters was on the phone with the police and he turned and said, "the cops just said the shuttle blew up." At first, we thought it was a bad joke. The cops were known for pulling a reporter's leg at any opportunity so I grabbed another phone and called my mom. I knew she would be home watching TV. When she answered and I said, Mom..." before I could ask, she said, "It's true, it exploded." I left the office and went to my parents home nearby to see it for myself. At our newspaper we were shaken because the backup for Christa McCauliffe was a local teacher from Mendham. We had to track her down and interview her; the front pages of all our papers not printed yet had to be redone, and editorials had to be written quickly. It was very somber back at my home bureau in Stirling. On the way home that night, I stopped at the local catholic church. The doors were open and there were a lot of people there lighting candles. I lit seven for the astronauts. Didn't know what else to do.

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