Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Monday, April 16, 2007

My dad

It's always tough to sum up a person's life in a few words, or even a few pages. People try at funerals, glossing over the rough spots, hitting the high points. Full-scale biographies seem to come a little closer, but I'm not even sure most of them are adequate.

How would I describe my father, David B. Robelen? I wish I had the time and space at the moment. My wife suggests, after hearing some of what she heard as his friends and acquaintances quietly spoke, that I try to write a biography. Maybe someday; he was a remarkable, brilliant, innovative man, who never put himself forward, and so often never really received his due. Even for me, who knew him for 28 years, about 24 of which I can remember, there are big shadowy places in his 67 years, entire decades of which I know little but a few cute stories and a snapshot or two.

At the moment, though, here is an autobiography he wrote about four years ago. It includes some of his accomplishments in the model aircraft world and several pages of pictures at the end.

The thing with that is that first, it just focuses on his model aircraft accomplishments -- it barely mentions his 37 years at NASA (he was there from the start, hired the day it became NASA instead of the NACA). Much of what he did there was classified, but there is a lot to tell, even from what isn't. Then, remember that he never puts himself forward. He would rather focus on the airplane, the equipment, than on the innovativeness that produced it, or the world record it set and holds. And finally, with the pictures, there just wasn't anyone taking photos at all the best times.

Maybe when I get a little more time, I'll post some of the pictures I've got, or some more links. My wife wrote a blog entry about him, which includes more links, too.

For now, I've got to head off to start my grueling Monday.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker