I’ve joined the Astronaut Wives Club

July 26, 2015

the-astronaut-wives-club-abcI was 10 years old when we went into space for the first time and I remember it like it was yesterday.

The excitement.  The anxiety at Alan Shephard’s welfare. The knowledge that history was being made. Those feelings are rekindled in me for an hour each week as I go back in time with new ABC show, The Astronaut Wives Club.  I enjoy it so much they should make me an honorary member of the club.

I love the hyper-real candy colors, the fun retro fashions.  While the hair styles have a modern flair, they’re largely true to the era. The little touches, like women wearing curlers, are right. The women are depicted as quite superficial at times but also had steel backbones. It’s true that the show is a bit on the frothy side, heavy on romance, scandal and anxiety. But it makes me nostalgic and helps me remember that we were once a more innocent nation.

Before you say it, I’ll say it: Yes, those were innocent times only for white Americans, usually male,  in the middle class or above. It’s true and for some reason it’s always necessary to say that, because we are supposed to feel a little guilty, I guess, when we look back. But my experience can only be my experience and for me, it was an innocent time. I knew nothing of the horrors of war, of terrorists or beheading, of the killing of civil rights workers. I only knew that we were going to the moon, the MOON! And these brave astronauts were part of history.

Jaded, that’s how we seem today. Jaded and fearful. So it’s no wonder that I love programs that take me back to those carefree times of my youth. A few have hit it just right, too, so right that they feel like a time machine. Do you remember a show set in Philadelphia called American Dreams? It lasted a few seasons –2002-2005– before it disappeared, but it depicted the 60s so perfectly that I felt like I had gone back in time. China Beach was a similarly well-done show set in that era.

Disappearing for an hour into the fantasy of the past is how I take refuge from the terrible things going on today, things that I can not escape as an adult who must live in these times.

Of course, these actresses are all stunning. But below are the actual astronaut wives back in the day.

Tell me: what’s your safe haven from the horrors all around us?

11 comments on “I’ve joined the Astronaut Wives Club
  1. Keriann McKenna says:

    Carol, I do the same thing, usually by finding an old movie on Turner Classic Movies. Best of all, I try to watch them with my 12 year old granddaughter so she can have a glimpse of how things were. Thanks for the heartfelt post.

  2. Sandy Nelson says:

    I’m another fan of retro TV.

    Mad Men took me back to the culture of my childhood. Sally Draper was me. And like me, she was kept under the strict hand of her mother and “guided” to the proper actions that would reflect her parent’s.

    My parent’s drank every night like Don and Betty, it wasn’t uncommon. Almost every evening something would be grilled outside over drinks while I rode my skateboard up and down the driveway listening to The Monkees. Those are fond memories for me.

  3. Estelle says:

    I don’t remember too much about the moon landing. This looks like a program I would enjoy–I loved Mad Men.

  4. Nina Gaby says:

    LOVE them crowded around the orange missile AKA phallic symbol. And Carol you know I’m right there with you- we grew up in the same school and likely sat in the same room watching it all unfold. Ah, the details in this new TV show. I’m sorry I disregarded it and only watched it once. I’m hoping I can find it on Netflix so I can watch it from the beginning. The series that landed a punch in my nostalgic gut more than anything has been Mad Men. Sally Draper would be about 2 years younger than us, and watching her and her loss of innocence has been particularly unnerving.

  5. Jennifer says:

    The old film noir on TMC as well as severely limiting the news I will watch. The media loves to rehash these atrocities long past when they are news.

  6. I don’t watch a lot of tv, but you have convinced me that I should read Lily Koppel’s book! Love the 2 photos of the wives from the movie and real life!

  7. My safe haven is the ocean, always the ocean. I can lose myself in wonder underneath the waves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.