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Emily LakdawallaJuly 5, 2005

Rockin' to Bill Haley and his Comets

I've been waiting to write about this because I was hoping to get some pictures but I haven't come up with any.

Anyway, I headed up to JPL today for the promised Bill Haley and his Comets show. There was a stage set up on the steps of the administration building, and the quad in front of it was filled with JPLers of all ages and descriptions. Rick Grammier and Don Yeomans introduced the band -- five guys, all members of the band since 1953 or earlier, still rockin' and rollin'. When they started playing it looked like people were going to be too self-conscious to dance but pretty soon there were one, then two, then four couples swinging on concrete quad in the bright California sunI pulled Pete Schultz out to dance (he didn't know how to swing, only jitterbug, which I don't know, but we finally settled on the Twist). Then I danced a couple with a member of the Deep Impact attitude control team. (I complimented his team on the fabulous work they did getting that spacecraft to aim itself to its target. He was a good lead at swing dancing too.) I lost track of the other guys I danced with -- mostly scientists, I believe. A good time was had by all, and everybody got very sweaty dancing in the 85-degree heat. They played "Rock Around the Clock" to finish the set. It was a fun cap to the weekend's excitement. Then everyone dispersed and went back to work!

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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