My interest in outer space started when I was around ten years old. My parents took me to Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was there that I witnessed my first space shuttle launch. It made quite an impression on me and I spent many hours fantasizing about space after that experience. I toyed with the idea of becoming an astronaut when I grew up but I didn't dwell on it.
In 1985 I graduated from Cosmetology school and entered the work force. I was only 18 years old at the time. It was during that first year of working in my chosen career that I heard about a school teacher being chosen to go up into space. I remember thinking Wow, that must be the coolest thing that ever happened to her.
I remembered my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut and laughed at myself as I compared that with becoming a hairstylist. My desire to be an astronaut might have been forgotten but my love of space had remained.
I was extremely interested in the widely publicized news story of the school teacher that was getting to go on a mission to space. I watched the school teacher being interviewed, and trained for the mission. I read and watched every bit of information available in the news and on television, about the upcoming historical event.
I was watching on television the day the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle took her life and the lives of everyone on board. It was such a shock. I mourned the deaths of all the passengers on that shuttle but I felt closest to Christa McAuliffe.
It is out of a deep admiration for her bravery and pioneering spirit that I dedicate this collection to honor the memory of Christa McAuliffe who to this day is one of the most inspiring, historic, female role models, that I have witnessed in my lifetime.
Though my imaginary exploration of space does not compare in any way to Christa McAuliffe and her very real possibility of exploring outer space. She inspired me to believe that my potential is unlimited and I am so grateful to have known of her.