That time John Glenn wrote me a letter in 1961


Ruth Ellen Gruber shares her personal story about how the famed astronaut inspired her as a little girl.


John Glenn responded to Ruth Ellen Gruber’s letter to him, which she wrote as a young girl. He included a pamphlet on NASA’s Project Mercury. (Courtesy of Ruth Ellen Gruber)

The early astronauts were real heroes to us earthbound, space-struck kids, and to this particular stargazing dreamer, John Glenn was the most heroic of them all.

He may not have been Jewish, but he was definitely a mensch.
When I was in elementary school in suburban Philadelphia, I had a vivid, almost cinematic dream about him nearly a year before Glenn made his historic orbital mission.
The only point I can really recall today from the dream is that Glenn wore a pressure suit — a space suit — that was perforated by tiny holes. Encouraged by my parents, I wrote him a letter telling him all about it.
He wrote me back. [Read more…]