Another day at the office. My father, Michael Naumcheff, on left, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL Circa 1960s
The first in a series of writings about my dad, my finest advocate, and biggest critic, Michael Naumcheff. 🥰
My father was one in a sea of genius minds, recruited by NASA with the inception of the space program in Huntsville, Alabama.
It was the late 1950s, a magical time, where extraordinary people, from all over the world, came together to claim a city for the exploration of space.
Being a child of this era, in this city, everyone's dad (mostly) was a rocket scientist. You were never really sure what your dad did, but you knew he worked "on the arsenal".
As a young girl, my father would take me to work with him. Picture a sea of men, in their regulation short sleeved white button down shirts, pocket protectors, and plenty of felt tip pens. All short haircuts, badge on left breast pocket, looking like slightly hip lab scientists. These engineers were serious people, doing intense, life or death work. They knew they were to be a part of history, and it privately weighed on them. Regimented work required sober discipline.
But here was something I didn't expect...they were also having the time of their lives! To see my usually humorless father in his intellectual element, relaxed, respected, having fun even, was bewildering, confusing, and wonderful. This was nothing like the father we knew, always seeming slightly irritated for no particular reason. 😂 I had discovered his secret, he loved his work. It brought him joy. I don't know much else a daughter would want for her father.
Complex people, with brilliant, flexible minds, up to the challenges in front of them. They loved the game. Huntsville, and the world, was never the same.