The Day I Became A Teenager

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“Happy Birthday!” It was October 2, 1957 and the day I became a teenager. I didn’t have much of a worry in the world and really only cared if the surf was up and whether my favorite song, “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley would become a gold record. Little did I know, but it would be a day that would change my life and world. It would be infamously known as the day the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik. Looking back, I realize it not only scripted my mentality but America’s mentality for the 1960’s. My family gathered on the deck to see Sputnik. We didn’t see Sputnik in the night sky but it was more what we felt in the air; hurt pride. But I also felt like it was the beginning of a great competition, one that I would have the privilege of competing in. I grew up in an environment of competition with three older brothers in Cocoa Beach Florida. I would often walk to the beach or sit on our deck with my brothers to watch the rocket launches from the launch pad in Cape Canaveral. Then we would go and launch our model rockets on our street. We would look forward to the weekend cookouts in which our neighborhood gathered to launch model rockets. The majority of our neighbors worked at the Cape Canaveral Air Force station and would relate to us kids how the V-2 rocket projects were going, then they would tell us when the next launch would happen so we could watch it. A few months after the launch of Sputnik my family was anxiously awaiting the launch of the Vanguard
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