Sagan's 75th

Had he not died so tragically young, Carl Sagan would have been 75 today.

In recent weeks, I have been working my way slowly through the newly remastered DVD boxed-set of Sagan's landmark television series, Cosmos. It's every bit as inspirational as it was when I first (and last) watched it as a schoolboy back in 1980. My late mother would no doubt agree—although she would not mean it as a compliment.

Every week, as I sat in front of our telly, transfixed by Sagan's ongoing voyage of discovery amongst the billions and billions of stars in his space-ship of the imagination, mum would be fighting to stay awake. She found Carl's low, mellow voice incredibly soporific—although that wasn't the word mum used to describe it; a drone was how mum described it.

Don't get me wrong: mum thought Carl was lovely; he just sent her to sleep, that's all.

One week, mum decided to stop fighting it and took herself to bed. I continued watching telly, pretty much oblivious. Then, 20 minutes or so later, mum came tearing down the stairs in her night-dress, and ran into the kitchen. Then I heard her laughing:

"It's that droney American's voice!" she laughed. "I thought the fridge was about to explode!"

We miss you, Carl. I miss you, mum.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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1 thought on “Sagan's 75th

  1. Hi Richard,

    I loved watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos on television. I can so clearly remember the tone of his voice as he pronounced 'Cooosmooss'. It was indeed an inspirational television show - although I would eventually become a historian...

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