Friday, July 24, 2009

Film on Apollo Project brings former President Bush to Thornton Academy

Former President George H. W. Bush, astronaut John Young and filmmaker Jeffrey Roth visited Thornton Academy on July 15 to show the movie The Wonder of It All in Garland Auditorium.
The documentary film uses personal narrative accounts by seven men who walked on the moon to capture their feelings about being modern-day explorers. Roth interviews Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Eugene Cernan, Charles Duke, Edgar Mitchell, Harrison Schmitt and Young. They reflect on how they entered NASA, what it meant to be in the space program, and how their professional and personal lives changed after they became moonwalkers.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush and daughter Dorothy Bush Koch were also present to watch the movie. The select group invited to attend also included friends of the Bush family and members of Thornton Academy’s Board of Trustees.
Young, who is friends with President Bush, walked on the moon in April 1971 during the Apollo 16 mission. He flew into space six times from Earth, including the first flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981.
Young and his wife, Susy Roth, and President Bush answered questions from the audience after the film concluded. They discussed NASA’s efforts to return to the moon, life on Mars and environmentalism.
“It was a wonderful evening. We were honored to host the president, the Bush family, the Youngs and the Roths,” Headmaster Carl J. Stasio, Jr. said.
President Bush said he was “pleased and honored” to watch the film at Thornton Academy. He and Mrs. Bush spend each summer at their summer home on Walker’s Point, which is in Kennebunkport.
The Wonder of It All is in limited theatrical release, just in time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight. To learn more about the film go to It will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in September.
TA has an interesting connection to the Apollo program. Stephen B. Garland, a member of the Board of Trustees, is Vice President of Garland Manufacturing Company, which provided Gar-dur plastic parts to NASA for the flight of Apollo 8 and subsequent Apollo flights.
Thornton Academy thanks Arts Department Co-Chair David Hanright and Steve Burnette with the Legacy Theater Company for helping to arrange the event.
Photo caption: From left to right are Thornton Academy Trustee James E. Nelson ‘67, NASA astronaut John Young, Headmaster Carl J. Stasio, Jr., former President George H. W. Bush and filmmaker Jeffrey Roth. (Courtesy photo)