Editor’s note: You could be forgiven for not immediately recognizing the name Clinton Manges when news broke of his death in a San Antonio nursing home on September 23, 2010. Some readers may have remembered that he was the owner of the short-lived San Antonio Gunslingers, which were part of the now-defunct USFL and featured a young Rick Neuheisel at quarterback.
In May of this year Woody Dinstel sat down at his desk in Houston to write a letter. First he looked at the watch. It was a gold Hamilton Masterpiece, slim and heavy. On the back was engraved WOODY DINSTEL UPON RETIREMENT FEBRUARY 1, 1978, EXXON.
Russell Thayer held the world between his outstretched hands. “This, over here, is Hawaii,” he said, jiggling his right hand, “and this,” jiggling his left, “is Dallas. We fly a 747 between them, the only 747 we’ve got. To make a 747 pay off, you have to have a long haul with a lot of people on board. Now, it turns out that the distance between Dallas and Honolulu is exactly right. If it were any shorter, you couldn’t fly it as efficiently. And if it were any longer, you couldn’t turn it around for the daily round trip.”
THE ENGINES OF THE DC-9, taxiing out to the takeoff stand, send a soft vibration, a pleasing electric jiggle, coursing through the plane; Dr. John Hill, tired after the long Las Vegas weekend, is lulled to sleep. It had been an enjoyable little vacation, a respite from the seemingly unhazardous task of being one of the world's great plastic surgeons. He has seen many of his former patients in Vegas, all of them wealthy, some of them famous.
Them Texas fellers, hmmh? Hell. Ah guess they prob'ly made this town, y' know.
THERE'S MAYBE A DOZEN OF them left now, men like Ned, wandering through Vegas like Banquo's ghost in dusty gear, living artifacts of the Pre-Neon Epoch. They were prospectors back then, solitary seekers after Fast Money, picking their way across the Nevada hills in much the same manner as their spiritual descendants plumb the crystal canyons of the Strip in search of the same end.
Now is the time to take longer strides, time for a great new American enterprise, time for this Nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth...space is the new Ocean, and we must choose to sail upon it.
John F. Kennedy, May 1961
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:
For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;
And there was no more sea.
The Book of Revelations