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April 19, 2022 11:00 AM EST - April 19, 2022 11:30 AM EST

Wonders All Around: Making Dreams a Reality

Hear the story about a kid who grew up reading Buck Rogers comic strips and dreaming about walking on the moon. This kid never gave up his dreams. He went to college, studied engineering, learned how to fly, and became an astronaut. He then spent a large part of his adult life designing and testing a real-life jetpack that could fly in outer space! This is the story of Bruce McCandless II and the Manned Maneuvering Unit—proof that there are wonders all around. Some we find, and some we make ourselves.


Bruce McCandless

Bruce McCandless III grew up in the shadow of Houston’s Johnson Space Center during the Apollo and Skylab eras, watching Batman and Buzz Aldrin with equal enthusiasm. He graduated from the Plan II Honors Program of the University of Texas and went on to earn an M.A. from the University of Reading in England and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. After teaching at Saint David’s School in New York City, he returned to Austin to practice law and retired in 2019 as general counsel of Superior HealthPlan. In addition to Wonders All Around: The Incredible True Story of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II and The First Untethered Flight in Space, Bruce is also the author of the science fiction novel Sour Lake (2011), the modern fairy tale Beatrice and the Basilisk (2014), and the Western supernatural thriller In the Land of Dead Horses (2021). He has published poems, stories, and essays in a variety of journals, including the Texas Observer, The Seattle Review, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Pleiades, Cold Mountain Review, and Consequence. His book of poems, All of This is Ours, was published in the summer of 2021 by Kelsay Books. Bruce is an avid runner and mountain biker who spends most of his free time on Central Texas trails. He is also a board member of the Worthy Garden Club—an Oregon-based environmental organization working to plant a million trees in the Pacific Northwest—and the Austin Library Foundation. Bruce and his wife, Pati McCandless, live in Austin.

 

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