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This is a personal memory. I suppose if any of you know the original participants, you could disprove me.

I was a senior in high school in 1962, the year of the Seattle World's Fair. Before the Fair opened, the newly velvet-boxed Opera House hosted a conference on the Peaceful Uses of Space. Its main star was Wernher von Braun, beloved by us fans of Tomorrowland. My honors physics class got "get out of jail free" passes to go.

We sat in the boxes and felt very sophisticated while the proceedings unfolded on the floor below. This conference included the most up-to-date Audio Visual Aids -- the slide show.

The first scientist to use the AV popped his slide in and started talking. Suddenly, in the middle of the image on the screen, a little black dot appeared. Then WHOOF, it spread and the image was a white hole surrounded by tatters of the picture.

Unfazed, the scientist (was it Wernher? I can't recall) popped in another slide. Same deal: black dot, then Whoof. He must have destroyed ten slides before it dawned on him that the slide projector was malfunctioning, the light in it hot to the flash-point.

I sat there, in Opera-housed splendor, thinking, "These are the folks who are going to get us to the moon?"

Seven years later, they did. Luckily, the mission didn't include slide projectors.

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