Friday, October 2, 2009

The Magick Of Marvel Is...

Today October 2, is another Marvel milestone day, as it was on October 2, 1914 that the true Marvel Age was actually born, more specifically, Marvel Whiteside Parsons, later known as John, and finally 'Jack'.

What- you don't know 'Jack'? heard of Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen and- oops -Robert Hutchings GODdard (October 5, 1882 - August 10, 1945), U.S. professor of physics and scientist, was a pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry. He launched the world's first liquid-fueled 10-ft. rocket on March 16, 1926, and launching the 'Space Age' in a New England cabbage-patch field.

In 1929, an 11-ft. missile caused such a stir the cops were summoned- the next day the local rag ran the hee-haw headline: MOON ROCKET MISSES TARGET BY 238,799 1/2 MILES.
In 1930, with the promise of a $100,000 grant from financier Harry Guggenheim, Goddard and his wife Esther headed west to Roswell, New Mexico, where the land was vast and the launch weather good, and where the locals, they were told, minded their business.
Roswell, New Mexico, hmmm....

Hey wait, isn't this about 'Jack' Parsons?

Yeah, yeah, we're getting there.

Most people who are interested in the subject of Rocketry & Aerospace probably heard about or read about Robert Goddard in the primary grades- I first read about him when I was 9 in 1966 -or at least in High School.

But most never heard of 'Jack' Parsons, and with no surprise: he was an acolyte since 1938- the year of the comics debut of 'Superman' and 'The War of the Worlds' radio panic -of Aleister Crowley, the self-styled "Great Beast 666" , an employee of Howard Hughes- lecherous but brilliant aviator and industrialist who degenerated into eventual insanity -a victim of L. Ron Hubbard- Golden Age pulp science-fiction writer and crator of lucrative PoP Culture religion, who ripped-off Parson's woman & money. Whatta pal! -and an enthusiastic phone buddy to Wernher Von Braun- who was also incidentally a 33° Freemason.

Parsons had NO successful formal education beyond high school.

Can you imagine the uncomfortable teachers or principal or PTA that would have to explain >EGAD!< all this to young questing minds, mentioning that the illustrious Mr. Parsons besides all of the above info, also regularly used- some would say abused -alcohol, marijuana, peyote, and heroin, opiates, had sex orgies, etc., etc., This definitely would have guaranteed an A on a surprise quiz for most of the kids.

But instead...

In 1972 American scientists named a crater of the moon after Jack Parsons. The crater at 37 degrees north and 171 degrees west can't be seen from Earth- it's on the dark side of the Moon.

And get this, his birth and death dates- October 2 & June 17 -almost bookend the birthdays of Lennon & McCartney- October 9 and June 18, respectively -of the Beatles.

I'm waiting for the Disney bio-pic.

June 17 on the Julian Calendar is also the day when the Tunguska Whatchamacallit fell from the skies over Siberia in 1908 - June 30, 1908 to you.

BTW on Oct. 2, 1959, CBS broadcast the first “Twilight Zone” episode, written by the series creator Rod Serling, called “Where Is Everybody?”, about a man wandering through a town in which he appears to be its only living inhabitant.

Cue spooky music.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's Gandhi's B-day too.

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