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Newsmakers

Future Astronaut Receives Shirt That Fits Her to a T

September 05, 1985|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Christa McAuliffe, the Concord, N. H., high school teacher who will fly on the space shuttle Challenger, told colleagues she has a T-shirt--a gift from a fellow teacher--bearing the message "I touch the future. I teach." She really appreciates that sentiment. "That T-shirt's going to go with me," she said. In a farewell appearance before 300 Concord School District teachers, McAuliffe said she hopes the mission inspires children to prepare for a future in space. The future astronaut, 37, a mother of two, begins training Monday at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in preparation for her shuttle flight and blastoff aboard the Challenger next Jan. 22. Educators gave McAuliffe a standing ovation and school officials showered her with gifts during the light-hearted program. Supt. Mark Beauvais gave McAuliffe a globe and said it was "something to ensure that Christa finds her way back." She will keep a journal during the six-day mission to help her students and the public understand space travel. She plans also to teach three 15-minute lessons from the shuttle. With regular shuttle flights and plans to establish a permanent space station in the 1990s, McAuliffe said, she hopes her mission will help students prepare for that future. "That's where these kids are going to be going," McAuliffe said. "It's going to be a space age and kids really need to get ready for that."

--"Lovely Rita," the London meter maid, says ticketing Paul McCartney's car 18 years ago was the highlight of her career. Meta Davis was writing out a citation for McCartney's car near the Beatles' Abbey Road studio once when the songwriter walked up. "He saw that my name was Meta and he laughed and said, 'That would make a nice jingle. I could use that,' " Davis said. "We chatted for a few minutes and then he drove off." That was the last Davis thought of the matter until the album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," featuring "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid," came out.

--The Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, on an 18-day tour of Canada, said his ride in a gold limousine bearing the sign "The Cadillac of the Organs" was "a good laugh," although he appeared slightly embarrassed. The bubble-topped car was lent by a local Canadian businessman in Kemptville, Ontario, to promote the musical organs he sells. Runcie said later it was good "to wake up and find myself in small-town Canada."

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