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The Step: One Woman’s Journey to Finding her Own Happiness and Success During the Apollo Space Program Paperback – April 5, 2016

3.8 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

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About the Author

Martha Lemasters spent almost ten years working as a PR writer at Cape Kennedy as a member of IBM’s team on NASA’s Apollo Program in the sixties and seventies. As a member of the launch support team, these years saw success in seven moon landings, Skylab and Apollo/Soyuz. She worked her way up the ladder from secretary to a respected writer as a single mother of three daughters, trying to find her own happiness along the way.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I often wonder about old southern tales, sayings and predictions. My mother and grandmother have plenty of them, doling them out to me as sacred gospel. Mrs. Spalding, my fifth grade teacher, recites them to our class occasionally. Are they true and should I believe in their predictions and efficacy?

It is a memory that I recall many times, for inspiration, for confidence, or to simply smile, sit back and remember…

The year is 1948 and I am eleven years old in the sixth grade at South Side Elementary School in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s a warm sunny May day with the anticipation of the end of school in everyone’s thoughts. At recess, I’m playing softball with the sixth grade girls against the fifth grade girls. I hit a long ball, a sure home run. I round the bases and jump on the home plate, positive of my home run and jubilant with my efforts; my friends cheer me on as if I’m some famous softball player, only to be told the exact opposite.

“You’re out!” yells my teacher, strict Mrs. Spaulding, who is refereeing the annual game, in her three-quarter-length dress and chunky black shoes, behind the plate.

“You failed to tag second base,” came her decree.

“But, I must have touched second base.”

“No, you went right by it. You have to touch every base.”

I feel my chin rise, my teeth clinch, but I don’t cry. I know I’ll be up to bat again and know what I have to do and will do. The very next time at bat, I whack it even further than my first supposed home run. I traverse the bases, pouncing on every base with both feet, and once again I jump on home plate, looking up at Mrs. Spaulding with both arms raised.

“Well done,” she says.

Later, back in our classroom, after the school bell rings, signifying the end of the day and the end of the school year, I rise to leave with the rest of the class. Mrs. Spaulding says, “Martha, please stay after, I’d like to talk to you.” I return to my desk and anxiously wait. Am I in trouble for my grandstanding? After the last students leave the room, she motions me to come to her desk.

“Since this is the last day you’ll be in my class I want to tell you something,” she begins in her slow southern accent. “I want you to tell your parents what I am going to say to you. Will you do that”?

“Yes Ma’am, Ms. Spalding.”

“You’ve not been the smartest child in my class. You’re good at what you like to do but there is another ingredient that you do have that will take you far in this world. You’ve got ‘The Step.’ Your dogged determination is something that will stay with you and enable you to achieve.

She notices the confused look on my face, “Honey, ‘The Step’ is an old Southern term. When you have a goal, your ‘step’ is concentrated and it hurries you along, guides you to win, or to accomplish. Your pace becomes a little faster; your stride is determined and strong, you become more focused.”

She pauses, looks right in my eyes to see if I fully understand her message.

“You’ll understand what ‘The Step’ means some day,” she says, “ I mean its full meaning, the way it can transform and perform miracles. ”


Product details

  • Publisher : Morgan James Publishing (April 5, 2016)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 282 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1630477141
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1630477141
  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.64 x 9.02 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
34 global ratings
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Uta Kühnast
5.0 out of 5 stars The Step - es geht um eine Doku bei der Amerikanischen Raumfahrt
Reviewed in Germany on February 10, 2019
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