Posted Saturday night, January 28, 2017.
Saw Hidden Figures tonight. (Thanks to the generous readers who bought our tickets and popcorn.) I think it was a very good movie. I think it was. I’m not sure it was because I feel like it was a great one. It really hit me where I live. But it wasn’t just the subject. There was the nostalgia factor, of course. But the nostalgia was personal as well as generational. These photos might explain.
Here’s Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician and physicist who’s the main character of the film, with other members of the Space Task Group whose job was doing the math and science that put the first Mercury astronauts, including John Glenn, into space.
This is one of my favorite images from the movie, because of it’s symbolic import, and because it reminds me of this…
It really was a uniform.
I’ve posted this picture before, but in case you don’t remember or didn’t see it, this is General Electric’s Knolls Atomic Power Lab champion softball team circa 1960. The 14-0 on the blackboard is their record for the season. The short guy with pompadour in the center is the team’s captain and manager, Pop Mannion.
You can tell by their ties that some of these guys were rebels and mavericks compared to the guys in the photo from the movie. Pop Mannion’s brightly striped rep tie, for instance, is a pretty bold fashion statement for the time and place, but get a load of the tie on the cat to Pop’s right! I’ll bet he had a jazz collection. Beatnik.
Pop and his colleagues didn’t do any work for the space proram that I know of. They helped build the power plants for nuclear subs.