October Sky and Me

The movie, October Sky, as a metaphor for our personal journey was interesting because of memories that I have during the 1960’s.  I never had dreams of winning a scholarship based on my interest in rocketry, but I did build many of them and pursued my goal of sending one a mile into the sky.  I think about all of the tubes of paper towels that I appropriated from the kitchen.  With three solid fuel engines squeezed into end and three balsa wood tail fins glued on, they could really shoot up over the lake when we set them off from the end of the pier.  The tricky part was getting the engines to ignite at the same time.  That was fun.

The lesson in the movie was about having a vision, backed by a burning desire, with a plan of action and a positive mental attitude, and a mastermind group.  I never had seen this movie before and it was a nice evening watch for us on the iPad.  We used Netflix and that worked well, thank goodness, since the other movies weren’t available.  I had seen Rudy before and I know the story very well.  Same key points in that movie too.  Rudy was actually attending the junior college, Holy Cross, the last year that I was at Notre Dame.  I’ve seen that movie probably three times, and certainly could identify with the set, the characters, and the challenges.

I think that I’m going to start watching movies with a little more critical view to the plot because of our recent 14 week mind changing experience here in the MKMMA, just about everything seems to have a different twist to them.  Movies, television (or more accurately lack thereof), books, other people I encounter, Florida automobile drivers (mental diet needed every day), and so forth all seem to be different when viewed as part of a bigger picture that we’re all a part of.  My “Movie” is also part of their movies, even though most of them would have no idea that they are in character and playing out their own “roles” in the plot of life.  So we apply the four habits: 1) a definite major purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.                                                     2) a definite plan of action, expressed in continuous action. 3) a positive mental attitude. 4) a dedicated mastermind alliance with one or more persons who will encourage each other in the pursuit of the DMP.

The result depends on the small steps that we take every minute, every hour, of every day.  As Og says in this last read of the month of Scroll 3:  “The prizes of life are at the end of each journey…and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary”  So again, people.  You are in the movie.  This is not a dress rehearsal.  Lights, camera, ACTION!



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I was born in the same hospital I trained in almost 65 years ago. Family came from good old Germanic stock matched with my Irish mother's value added good cooking and discipline. I had four brothers and I was the oldest. Education was with the Notre Dame nuns, the Jesuit priests, and then the Holy Cross fathers at Notre Dame. I completed my medical school back in Milwaukee and actually trained in the same hospital I was born in. My best thing that ever happened to me was meeting and then marrying my Kathy, a patient and loving gal who has given me three great sons and a lot of her patience. The story is longer, but for now check out donketterhagen.com for more specifics. We spend our days building a Lyoness shopping network and living in the mountains of North Carolina in the summer and Estero, Florida over the winter. Life is good.

2 thoughts on “October Sky and Me”

  1. I’m really going to look at the movies in a different light as well! I love how this assignment really brought back memories. Rocket building with October Sky…Notre Dame with Rudy…what great memories and I’m sure that it brought a smile to your face!!

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