October Sky, Strengths and Real Teachers

October Sky 2023

By Mike Bossy

I watched “October Sky” today. The movie is based on the true story of Homer Hickman, a West Virginia coal miner’s son. He was mesmerized by the U.S.S.R.’s successful launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957. He and friends Roy Lee Cooke, Sherman Siers, Jimmy O’Dell Carroll, Willie “Billy” Rose, and Quentin Wilson became amateur rocket builders and called themselves The Big Creek Missile Agency (BCMA). After many generations of designs, they qualified for the 1960 National Science Fair and won a gold and silver medal in the area of propulsion. Homer saw himself getting to space.

The friends were looking for a way out of the coal mining town of Coalwood. All were raised to be coal miners; their futures chosen for them; their fates set. They knew there was something out there waiting for them. For their purpose to come to fruition, “The Rocket Boys had to rely on each other as a team, and they had to back stop their strengths with those of others in the town who bought into their dreams.

Wickman’s main inspiration was provided by a teacher who saw the potential of the Rocket Boys and encouraged them to pursue their dreams and emphasize the stick-to it attitudes needed to succeed.

We can all think back and think of an educator who inspired us to do better things. Perhaps we should pick up the phone or better yet, write a note of thanks to those who helped you along the way.

P.S. This is awesome. "October Sky" is an anagram of "Rocket Boys".

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