Runrig's 'Stamping Ground'

Runrig's 'Stamping Ground'

Beitragvon Uschi » Fr Jun 27, 2003 6:05 pm

This was to be read in the Sunday Mail:

MY MISSION FOR MUMMY Astronaut's son presents Runrig with the CD that survived shuttle disaster

Billy Sloan Exclusive

A LITTLE boy whose mother died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster travelled to Scotland on a mission to honour her memory.

Clutched in kilted Iain Clark's hand was a scorched Runrig CD which survived the explosion 207,000ft over Florida on February 1.

His astronaut mum Laurel - who became a fan of the band while serving on the Holy Loch - took the Stamping Ground album on the doomed mission to use as a wake- up call.

Last week Iain, eight, and dad Jon presented the CD to members of Runrig at an emotional private ceremony in Glasgow City Chambers.

The CD was found by a NASA salvage team in a Texas field after the shuttle blew up just 16 minutes from landing at Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members. It was one of 83,000 pieces of debris recovered.

Iain and Jon, who were in Glasgow as guests of the Scottish Space Foundation, presented the band with the CD and a plaque which pinpointed the exact spot - longitude 31.378 north, latitude 94,040 west - where it was found.

Jon, 50, a NASA flight surgeon, told me how the CD was recovered.

He said: "The material strewn across the fields looked like twisted metal or trash. But they found the Runrig CD because it was part of my wife's personal crew effects and they were able to identify it from the label. Surprisingly, the disc wasn't badly damaged."

Laurel had chosen the track Running To The Light as the crew's wake-up call on Day 13 of the mission.

Jon, who was also here for the Festival of Science and Enterprise, said: "We had a family video conference later that day.

"Laurel talked about how much she loved the band, and how great it felt to be woken by their rousing music."

She became a fan of Runrig's Gaelic rock in 1991 while stationed with the US Navy Submarine Squadron at Holy Loch on the Clyde.

When she joined the Columbia crew, she was sent a batch of CDs by the Runrig fan club.

Laurel told its members: "I've never had the chance to see Runrig in concert. I have some of their albums - but I wanted a new one to listen to in orbit." Each member of the crew was allowed to take their favourite CDs with them to help keep their spirits up.

Laurel chose two Runrig CDs - Stamping Ground and The Cutter And The Clan.

Jon said: "While working she could play the discs out there in space.

"She also used them to help her do exercises to keep fit aboard the shuttle.

"I'm sure she pedalled that little bit harder on her exercise bike when Runrig were on the CD player.

He revealed that Laurel's copy of The Cutter And The Clan was recovered from another wreckage site.

Jon said: "NASA found a CD player which was still intact.

"Inside was the other Runrig CD. The last music the Columbia crew ever listened to was by Runrig."

Jon couldn't thank the band enough for the part they played in his wife's life.

He added: "I felt it was important to thank the group for what they did for Laurel.

"Her time on earth - and in space - was enhanced by their music."

Laurel - 41 when she died - was a frequent visitor to Scotland. She became involved in Space Scotland, which was set up to promote science and technology to schoolchildren.

Jon said: "Laurel's family emigrated from Scotland in the 1880s. She loved and cherished her heritage.

"It's great to bring my son over. It was a very spiritual passage for both of us to come here. Laurel always wanted to bring him but sadly never got the chance."

Jon recalled how he was in Cape Canaveral at the agonising moment it became clear the Columbia mission was doomed.

He said: "I listened to the radio call that a tyre pressure alarm had gone off. It was abruptly interrupted. As a NASA employee, I knew something was amiss. It was a very difficult day."

The band broke off from preparations for their gig at Stirling Castle on August 23 to meet Jon and Iain.

Percussionist Calum Macdonald, 49, said: "Laurel was a very special Runrig fan. She'd been featured in one of our newsletters just before the Columbia mission.

"She'd planned to photograph herself in space for the next issue. When we got news of the accident we couldn't believe it.

"We are all immensely sad for the Clark family."
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Beitragvon Leo Cameo » Fr Jun 27, 2003 8:08 pm

Thank you for posting this amazing story, Uschi :-8 :-8
Leo Cameo
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Beitragvon Kenny Gus » Fr Jun 27, 2003 9:12 pm

Kenny Gus
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Beitragvon FlyerPR » Fr Jun 27, 2003 11:12 pm

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Beitragvon Leo Cameo » Sa Jun 28, 2003 10:41 pm

It would have been even more amazing if it had been the album "AMAZING THINGS"
:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o
Leo Cameo
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