|Ham in an iconic NASA PHOTO|
There were two pictures that cemented Ham in the nation's memory. One was that cover shot for Life, showing Ham with his arms forthrightly crossed and an expression that implied a disregard for danger. (Who had more swagger...Ham or John Glenn?) Then there was a famous shot of Ham sitting in his chimp chair, wearing a NASA hard hat, sneering, sort of, at fear (above). Tom Wolfe included Ham in The Right Stuff as an ironic foil to the gritty courage of America's original astronauts. Here's some dialog from the movie version:
Deke Slayton: What Gus is saying is that we're missing the point. What Gus is saying is that we all heard the rumors that they want to send a monkey up first. Well, none of us wants to think that they're gonna send a monkey up to do a man's work. But what Gus is saying is that what they're trying to do to us is send a man up to do a monkey's work. Us, a bunch of college-trained chimpanzees!By the way, Ham fans can find a very nice collection of images, many made by the great photographer Ralph Morse, at Life.com.
|Ham by Life's great Ralph Morse|