I have been a Space Patrol fan since I was 6-1/2 in mid-1952 and consider myself to be the biggest of these. The passing of Ed Kemmer, who starred in, and, esthetically defined the show, left a bit of a void in me though I only knew him for 5 years and that not well. When my beloved uncle died in '63 I was 17 and did not have the capacity to really appreciate this kind of thing. In my adult life, the only thing that affected me in this manner is the passing of Ayn Rand in 1982. Both Miss Rand and Ed Kemmer were "heavy artillery". In the case of Miss Rand, it was more apparent. In Mr. Kemmer's case it was a quiet, understated kind of self-presentation to the world when you know that there is depth. This understanding on my part is the explanation of the fact that I was in the habit of calling him "Mr. Kemmer" rather than "the Commander" (which I would have if I had been told that it was all right to do so) and was appalled at the other "cadets" calling him "Ed". The temptation here is to try and use eloquence of speech to demonstrate the depth of effect. I am good with words and language so I know the words it seems I ought to say, but they sound totally insufficient and therefore pretentios and false, so I will avoid the poetics. Instead, I will simply narrate and dwcribe.

The most eloquent testimony to a person's work is its effect and influence upon reality and how it affects the way real things happend. such as the fact that the co-inventor of the CAT scan system was a fan of Space Patrol. In the matter of a personal remembrance, the value of a thing or person's actions is the real effect that the actions or person has on the speaker, in this case, me. For one thing, each of us is like a miniature universe; complete and self-contained, having all that is needed to make one a whole person with an infinite set of characteristics. By this I mean that each of us has the kind of self-sufficiency of substance to be a whole person, not being dependent on others for the existence of one's persona (we would consider a person without this characteristic to be a non-entity) and those who know me know that I take a back seat to nobody in that regard. So when one person has an effect on another, particularly a beneficial one, it is like two universes reaching across to each other and making a connection.

Of all the things I have written to express the way Space Patrol affected me. this one is the most complete and best. It is worth noting that Space Patrol did not start my interest in space, that was done a bit earlier by seeing the now-famous film clip of a recket launch with the camera pointing backward at the earth. This was sometime in the spring of 1952 although I do remember seeing some kind of space thing on television sometime early in 1950 but I really had no interest.

Those of you who know me know what I am like. A scinetifically-minded Ayn Randian. the first part came when I was 7 and the second, when I was 22. When I was 8 or 9, Albert Eisntein was the embodiment of Science and I said often how I would like to meet him. Through the late '60's and into the early '80's I often remarked how I would like to meet Miss Rand. Neither of these happened and I felt somewhat cheated.

The attraction of science was that it was the key to the world of Space Patrol. Miss Rand's philosophy, being Aristotelian in the twentieth century (the age of the motorcar, flight, advanced medicine and technology taken as a good thing), is pro-reason and therefore pro-mind and therefore pro-science; and pontedly so, with the addition of a moral/ethical component all wrapped up in a heroic view of Man. So that all fits me to the nineteenth decimal place. In fact, I accept nothing as true unless it passes the test of scinece and reason. When I learned enough about Miss Rand's philosophy to pass judgement, I said "Wow; Space Patrol come to life!". By that, I did not mean literally Buzz Corr, Cadet Happy, et al. What I meant was that this philosophy, being a mixture of the highest levels of rationality and an absolute and passionately heroic view of Mankind could only result in the world that Space Patrol was the fictional embodiment of. Beyond that, she "did" philosophy in the terms that I dig big time. casting her ideas in "light years" referring to interplanetary travel and astronauts in such a way that they naturally fit into the world of her ideas. An example of this is her essay, Apollo 11, to which launch she was invited. For me, this philosophy and Space Patrol are unbreakably linked. Had it not been for Space Patrol I would not have developed the appreciation of science, therefor of reason and the philosophy would mean nothing to me instead of being part of the central core of my being. As I wrote elsewhere; " I have two great passions in my life. Space Patrol... and Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. One was a beacon from a bright and interesting future, the other, the means to get there".What made Ayn Rand important was the significant contributions she made to my explicit, conscious philosophy, how I express myself and absolute conviction of what I hold to be true, right, just and good. Of the Objectivist philosophy said, in 1968, "This will power Man to the Stars"-and I still stand by it today after almost 40 years. Now it's simple. No Ed Kemmer, no Space Patrol. No Space Patrol for me to latch onto, No value to me of Randian Pholosophy. The result is: No "Laser" to be writing this as clearly and concisely as it is. So both physically (chronologically) and spiritually (psychologically), The root of this is Ed Kemmer, not just that he portrayed Buzz Corry, But how he portrayed and therefore gave life to, Buzz Corry

Miss Rand also did some other work that relates to this. She loved the quote from Aristotole "Fiction is more important than history: History tell us how things were. Fiction tells us how things might and ought to be." When I read that, what came to mind was Space Patrol and the world that it embodied. In my estimation, having advanced trainin in Psychology, Miss Rand's greatest work was in her ideas on sense of life and are found in The Romantic Manifest and how it connects with philosophy. She observed "A sense of life is pre-conceptual, emotionally integrated equivalent of philosophy; particularlly Metaphysics [the way the world works]" and "A child is guided primarily by his sense of life"; To which I said "Ah-ha; That explains it". The image that it brought to mind was my first encounter with Space Patrol and the way I felt; i.e. blown away! That too, goes back to Ed Kemmer. To an 8 year old there is a certain je ne sais quoi about Buzz Corry that inclueded the Romanticism of the later-to-be Han Solo with the "social legitimacy" of being a high government official and a very intelligent guy. I 1953, who wouldn't like to grow up to be like Buzz and any intelligent parents would have known that they had a powerful ally. You didn't have to be a bad guy to live in the fast (space)lane.

Reading the obituary of Mr. Kemmer, I was struck by this item:

As for his starring role, Kemmer told the Columbus Dispatch in 1994: "I played it as straight as I could. You don't play down to children. A lot of shows make that mistake. Kids see through that right away." [emphasis added].
Now, compare this with a quote from Miss Rand that I am going to paraphrase because I forgot where I read it and do not know it exactly:
...To wrtie down, to talk down, to think down? Nothing can be left of a person thereafter and nothing evetr is.

I do not think that Miss Rand and Ed Kemmer knew, or knew of, each other, but they were both money players. It also explains why I am incapable of false modesty.

Here is some more of the story. Those of you who know me know that my eyes are pretty badly damaged by a birth defect, one being totally non-functional and the other, minimally functional; about 7% so. Sooner or later in the life of a child, there comes the issue of reading. You know that reading is very visual so to get someone whos vision is in the 7% range to put in the effort to learn to read ordinary print is to ask an enormous task. To have the motivation 'fall out of the sky" is a stroke of fortune exceeding that of the Red Sox winning the world Series in four straight. You have to engage the kid's interest and lock it tight and keep it there to keep him focused in an environment where he is at a 96% deficit going in. In November of '52 Collier's Magazine came out with an issue touting "World's First Space Suit" and had a pic of a guy in a navy blue high-altitude suit. Well I had one of the cheap plastic magniging glasses, so I took that and read what was under the pictures. Over the course of the next year and three quarters I learned to read pages with only text and then dispensed with the glass. This is not to brag; I do that in person and when I know at the outset the size of what I am doing, but to show how much I wanted to know the material.

By my Freshman year in high school, as measured by the SRA (Scinece Research Associates) reading test, I was in the mid-level of a class in a second-tier Rhode Ilsand Catholic academy, which was still well above the educational average (poor Brother Dominic used to have to go troughy hoops disabusing the class of what the nuns had told them in the lower grades). This was the result of the space articles appearing in Life and Collier's magazines. and a clever second/third-grade teacher who, seeing the opportunities for advancing the values of a good education inherent therein, used the "space shows" and my interest therein to organize the class. Do you know what fed that interest over the years? I did know what she was up to from the get-go, but what sensible pilot bucks a tailwind? Hint: Does the name Ed Kemmer come up on the screen?

This all owes its very being to Space Patrol and particularly Ed Kemmer for the way he played Commander Buzz Corry as a rational hero. By "rational" I do not mean in the explicit sense of logic and syllogism, but in the implicit image of a moral person who fits in the world of an advanced civilization as a matter of course. This was the foundation for an understanding of the universe that runs from the depths of a human psyche seamlessly to the farthest stars and galaxies and from the most basic of physical phenomena to the highest principles and aspireations of Mankind.

Well, I never did get to meet Rand or Einstein and felt a bit cheated. However, I did get to meet Ed Kemmer. I no longer feel cheated save for the fact that I did not know him as long and as well as I would like, and others did. Were it not for the work Mr. Kemmer did and therefore for him. The rest would not have followed and therefore not have happened.

So you see, Mr. Kemmer had an effect on me at the most profound and important level of my being. I know no fancy poetry nor words to express this effect. All I coulf do wass tell you a small amount of what happened, and let that speak for itself.

So, in the end. I got the best deal.