If there is one word that stands out in the long list of accolades with respect to NASA, the one that leaps immediately to my mind is “fun.” For so many years now, each time I am asked what I do for fun, I start talking about my involvement with NASA. If I were to write a book about how much fun NASA members have, there would be more material available than necessary to write the entire set of Britannica encyclopedias.
Racing can be a serious adrenaline high, but it’s the coming back down and relaxing among friends and competitors that can be so pleasant. Trust me when I say there is never a shortage of adrenaline or friends at NASA events. Take the recent NASA event at Thunderhill Raceway, for example.
After an exciting day of racing, the track was shut down, and with the blessing of Thunderhill’s CEO, Dave Vodden, NASA members were allowed to shoot trap on the infield off the front straight. A large group of us joined in and took turns shooting clay targets. Targets were launched using various target throwing devices, including hand throwing devices while others got to enjoy shooting over modern day professional trap machines as well. I must admit the next time I hear someone mention “shooting down the front straightaway,” I will wonder if their talking about doing it with a V8-powered racecar or a 12-gauge shotgun.
Many first-time shooters were allowed to shoot targets under the guidance of others with more experience and I was amazed how well everyone performed, and what a successful event it was, especially considering it was the first. The weather couldn’t have been better and, all in all, it seemed like everyone had fun.
Coincidentally, that same weekend NASCAR held the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, which was sponsored by the National Rifle Association. While we’re on the subject of fun, I had to laugh when a friend asked me, “If someone misspells a word should we take away all the pencils?”
That weekend at Thunderhill was just one example of how right and privilege to own and possess firearms can be a pleasant experience for all concerned. Furthermore it was a another example of just how much fun being a NASA member can be.
Not everyone who possesses a firearm is a criminal, nor is everyone who drives fast is abusing the law. After an afternoon of racing and shooting trap, everyone enjoyed another fine NASA barbecue. It’s during these functions that I enjoy visiting with everyone and unwinding. As I listen to so many tales being told, it becomes all too apparent just how festive and appreciated all NASA social events are. Like so many others, I just can’t wait for the next NASA event —because I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.