posted 07-10-2012 05:05 PM
I missed out on this thread in May, but I still wanted to say some things about John Llewellyn. He was a voice on a series of CD interviews conducted by Glynn Lunney that I had the pleasure of transcribing for the Trench. I never got to meet John but from listening to his stories in such vivid detail, I felt like I got a good sense of the man.
I totally agree with the depiction of John as the Most Interesting Man in the World in a previous comment. He was outrageous, fearless, funny, super smart and a true original. One minute he was talking about making homemade rockets out of DDT cans, and the next he was talking about hand to hand combat in Korea like I never heard described before. It was horrifying in a way our school system doesn't teach us.
He first met Christopher Kraft playing baseball. He was in on the very beginning of manned spaceflight, and was the first to worry that John Glenn's heat shield might not survive reentry. He stayed in the Trench well into Skylab and was one of the key figures in Apollo 13.
I wish he talked as much about NASA as he did Korea, but clearly they both figured prominently in his life. The tall tales are endless, probably mostly true, and even his friends referred to him as a "legend". What an amazing career and an unforgettable man.
I was happy to help get his story told. It was an honor.