I came across this diagram recently while flipping through one of my old Junior Mechanics books. Thirty years later, what strikes me, besides the awesome Dr. Who-ness of the design, was the insane level of detail in the plans. As a kid I used to obsess over this illustration, and its specificity embedded in my little noggin not the notion of it’s construction but the inevitability of its use in my imminent exploration of outer space….
Around the same time, when I was little, 5 or six or whatever, I forget… my cousin explained to me in great detail how I could build a personal rocket ship from parts found in used car lots, hardware stores and workshops. The description left an in impression so vivid and specific – fuel mix, cockpit glass, etc – that I can still dredge up whole chunks of its imagined schematic. Still rattling around in my imagination is a faded loop I can replay at will…. zooming around in my rocketship, hugging the giant strips of no-mans land following the power lines behind our house. Dwelling on all this now, I think it might be one of the last signposts of my childhood – when yearning imagination could still be as tangible as reality itself.