Derry to NASA: 'We've got a marketing problem'
To draw more visitors to downtown, the council is considering promoting the theme and image of famous astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. around town.
They are so intent on attracting visitors to downtown, that they might even consider asking NASA to donate some used space equipment.
“Maybe a statue of the astronaut, or a rocket or whatever — maybe it’s time to start talking about that again,” Osborne said.
At the close of the workshop, Councilor Al Dimmock, who regularly wears suspenders to council meetings, said someone had recently suggested that all of the men on the council wear suspenders in honor of him. But instead of copying his usual attire, Dimmock suggested that each councilor wear a T-shirt displaying the Space Town USA theme.
Dimmock responded, “I am too.”A native of East Derry, Shepard became the first American in space during a flight on May 5, 1961. Following the flight, Derry held a parade that wound through the town in honor of Shepard, said town historian Richard Holmes. Another parade was held after Shepard’s second space flight, which went to the moon on Apollo 14, Holmes said. About 10 years ago, a group in town hired a sculptor to create a statue of Shepard, but the work never came to fruition, Holmes said.
He pointed to a six-foot mural of Shepard that hangs in the Municipal Center. It bears the inscription: “In Derry, our children’s dreams can become their reality.”
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