Serendipity in Astrodome Scoreboard Film Link

Chester Charge ~
Led the Momentum Storm of Support for the Houston Astros at their brand new 1965 Astrodome home.

None of who grew up with it will ever forget the gigantic animated scoreboard at the Astrodome that wrote the soundtrack to our game experience inside the great sports hall. As naive as we all were back in the 1960s to the changes that were coming our way via the computer, the Internet and social media over the course of the later 20th and early 21st centuries, it was impressive enough to us earlier ones that we had this little electronic cast of supportive animated characters that had come to life to boom and spread adrenalin-loaded smiles ~ and a winning attitude ~ to the faces and spirits of all Astro fans in the place ~ on any given game day.

No wonder the Astrodome so quickly came to be advertised and known as “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” It did ~ because it was ~ in 1965 ~ the most out-of-mind-and-body human way to experience a baseball game that the world had ever seen.

It also is a little serendipitous that I write these particular thoughts this morning. It was only yesterday that our good friend and wonderful Pecan Park Eagle article contributor, Maxwell Kates, sent me this link to a YouTube film that held so many of those wonderful animated moments. I knew immediately that I had to share it with al of you. It’s only 10-15 minutes in length, but that’s enough time to get a really good “inside the dome” look at that era, even as to how formally so many of the fans dressed back in the day.

My biggest surprise was a little more personal.

Laura Foster, UH Cheerleader, 1965
Married former UH football player Richard Kirtley in 1967
(I was in the wedding party ~ The Pecan Park Eagle.)

Suddenly I found myself looking at Laura Foster, a good friend, and the widow of another good friend and fraternity brother from an earlier period at UH, the late Dick Kirtley. In the clip, Laura was leading a rally for Cougar support on the sidelines as a UH Cheerleader. I was a member of the Richard and Laura Foster Kirtley wedding party in Friendswood during the summer of 1967.

A double-thanks, Max, for sending us this link. It’s especially important to me and some special people in my life, and we all thank you very much.

Plus, it’s simply a great ride through the precious-to-Houston early period of the Astrodome. And for that treasure, we wish to extend our thanks to people like Wayne Chandler, Tal Smith, Jimmy Wynn, and Larry Dierker. You are all special members of our baseball legacy gift from Judge Roy Hofheinz and the rest of the baseball gods.

Here’s the YouTube Link. And make sure you turn on the sound and expand the picture to “full screen” for the best way to experience this particular little travel back into another era of Houston baseball time.

***********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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5 Responses to “Serendipity in Astrodome Scoreboard Film Link”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    Bill: I also had a personal serendipitous surprise watching the film clip. At 6:19 – 6:22 is a brief view of the fans celebrating a UH touchdown. The man in the lower right-hand corner of the shot wearing a coat and tie and with what appear to be tinted glasses is my old UH roommate, Johnny Rossetti from Raton, New Mexico. I studied the area and thought I might see myself and my girlfriend, but alas that was too much serendipity to ask for.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      And, who knows, Tom? I lived in Austin in the fall of 1995, but came over to see every game UH played in the Astrodome during their first year under “glass”. ~ Maybe we sat near each other ~ or even rubbed elbows at the concession stand. ~ This clip could have been a serendipity time bomb of epic-to-us proportions.

  2. maxwell1901 Says:

    Thanks, Bill, and you are most welcome. We all had serendipity with this video. Someone posted a photo of Tony Siegle from a 1976 Milwaukee Brewers program on a baseball page on Facebook just as I found this video. Tony was the Astros’ scoreboard operator in the early years of the Dome. I had no idea that either of you were going to find people you knew in the footage reel.

    We’re just learning that former Astros’ catcher and Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus has recently accepted an offer as the new manager of the Anaheim Angels.

  3. roysmemory Says:

    The man responsible for Chester Charge and all the other animation on the Astrodome Scoreboard is Ed Henderson who is 94 years old and lives in Houston. His email address is AstrodomeEd@aol.com Send him an email and thank him for his work,

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      E-mail Title: Thanks from a Million Hearts, Ed!

      E-Mail Body:

      Dear Mr. Henderson,

      Those of us who spent all our early lives growing up with Chester Charge ~ and all your other big scoreboard characters at the Astrodome ~ simply want to thank you now for making us smile, laugh and hope all that much deeper for the good luck of our beloved Houston Astros. You should have gotten a 2017 World Series ring for all that you did to coach and prepare the fans on how to support our guys in a big league way.

      Most of us today now have Roy Bonario, another great Astros fan, for letting us know today who you are. To Roy we shall also be eternally grateful.

      Here’s a link to an article I wrote today at my Internet blog site, The Pecan Park Eagle, which I hope you will enjoy:

      Chester Charge and Serendipity (encrypted for transmission)

      I am adding your address to my regular mailing list on articles that are mainly about Houston baseball and its history. If you do not wish to receive it, just let me know and I will set you free.

      Thanks again,
      Bill McCurdy
      Editor and Principal Writer
      The Pecan Park Eagle

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