We decided to take a trip to attempt to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its final pass through the historic areas that played a major role in the creation of the project. We started by making our way towards Griffith Observatory, even though the news was saying it was packed while having to take shuttles to the top. After sitting in traffic just trying to get off of the freeway, I had the idea of trying the top of Beachwood Drive which is one of the closest spots to see the Hollywood Sign. Talk about a good choice to view the Space Shuttle from.
After looking for parking and finally getting it near the top of the street, we made the small hike up the trails. I have to say that I was shocked that there were not that many people waiting in this location. Across the way, the entire ridge was filled, but not in this location. Even better for us. The anticipation was growing as others were calling out the location of the Shuttle Endeavour from the twitter feeds and news. Those with binoculars caught the first glimpse and every started to get really excited.
Now what could possibly happen as we are on the top of this with the Shuttle almost in plain site? I get a phone call from a client. To make things worse, i have little to no reception at this spot. I could only make out a word or two and hopefully the client knew that it was too choppy to hold a conversation. Not to mention this had to be the worst timing ever to get a phone call. I hope our clients understand I do really try to take all of my calls if I can even during this historic moment that I wanted to film.
So after getting off of the phone I scrambled to get a good view and it turned out this wasn’t the pass. The Shuttle with F-16 entourage was making a loop to go somewhere else. Everyone was now pumped up. It was evident from the crowd that there was a lot of excitement waiting to be freed. Soon we are about to get what we were waiting for. As everyone was now talking and the mood was quickly feeling like a rollercoaster the Shuttle peaked out of the clouds and smog and it was on. This was the pass everyone came to see. And Endeavour did not disappoint. There was such a great feeling from the crowd as different things were being said. I heard chants of USA, USA, in the background. Others were clapping, others were yelling, parents were now talking louder to their kids, and just a general great feeling that has been lost recently with the age of digital crowds. I don’t remember the last time I saw so many people interacting together in this way. Maybe not since cell phones became normal.
As the shuttle passed us, I was wondering was that it? How come people were staying. It turns out the entourage was circling Universal Studios and making its way back for one more fly by. I feel everyone who went to the Observatory location got a special treat by seeing the Shuttle do this twice. And while the shuttle passed again, the exact same feeling was in the crowd. What an amazing few minutes to see this historic last flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.