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.

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteNewsletterMastodonetc…

One comment

  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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