Riverside East resident, Seattle Retiree Helped Put Man on the Moon

Warrick Borgue assisted the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon.

It’s been nearly 50 years since 97-year-old Warrick Borque helped put a man on the moon.

This week Borgue, a retired Boeing engineer on the Apollo program, got to see a tribute to its history for the first time. The Museum of Flight’s newest exhibit, Apollo, takes a look back at the space race.

“I went through the first launching which was quite an experience because as you know it was the largest rocket that was ever fired by a human being,��� Borque said. “I was at NASA for the first four Apollo launchings. But I was there for the first two manned launchings and then I went back to Seattle.”

Borque spoke of the stress involved with the project, but he also acknowledged how nice it is to have been involved with this significant project in history. At the time he was working for Boeing, who worked for NASA. He remembers when he was first asked to work on the project.

“They asked if I would I consider going to the Apollo program and moving to New Orleans? And I said of course if there’s an appreciable salary raise,” Borque said with a laugh. “The experience was a very enjoyable, but strenuous time, because we were always dealing with stuff that could kill you.”

At one point, the power changed hands. Borque worked for Boeing who worked for Nasa, but after a cockpit fire killed three astronauts, Nasa worked for Boeing for a short time.

“One day I was getting instruction and the plan of the day from NASA and the very next day I was telling NASA what the direction of the day was,” Borque said.

Borque admits that, at 97 years old, it was tough for him to leave his assisted living home to make the trip to see the exhibit at the Museum, but when it was all over he expressed his gratitude that this is on display.

“It was quite exciting and quite adventurous, and I’m glad to see the museum bringing a lot of it to life so people can see what actually went on,” Borque said with a smile.

The Museum of Flight’s Apollo exhibit is now permanent. In two years they will welcome the Smithsonian’s Apollo 11 exhibit as well.

Skagit County residents turn out to view solar eclipse

Ann Berg watches the solar eclipse through eclipse glasses Monday at a viewing party at Country Meadow Village in Sedro-Wolley. In Skagit County, the sun was about 90 percent blocked by the moon during peak coverage.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — In Minnesota in the 1930s, Verna McClure and her siblings used broken pieces of glass clouded with smoke from a candle to protect their eyes while viewing an eclipse.

“It was exciting,” McClure recalled. “It doesn’t happen too often.”

The hardware that McClure and about 50 other residents of Country Meadow Village in Sedro-Woolley used to watch Monday’s solar eclipse was more advanced, but the excitement remained the same.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for anything,” said Lau’Rel Perrigo, 90. “This is the first one I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of things in my lifetime.”

On the complex’s yard — with an unobstructed view of the sky — residents ate Sunchips and homemade moon pies while they waited for the event.

The last time a solar eclipse crossed the U.S. from coast to coast was 99 years ago, according to NASA.

“Now I kind of understand why people are flocking to Oregon,” said Bertha Schiefelbein, 80.

Shiefelbein remembers when the last total solar eclipse passed through the Pacific Northwest in 1979. She was working at United General Hospital in oncology, she said, and used X-ray films to look view the eclipse.

“It was just a fun thing to do,” she said.

Country Meadow Village Program Director David Bricka said he organized the viewing party for the residents so they could have fun, but also as part of the community’s ongoing “Village Concepts University.”

“It’s a way to promote lifelong learning,” Bricka said. “Anytime there is an opportunity to learn, we’re all over it.”

The residents, some sharing the eclipse-viewing glasses, watched as the moon nearly covered the sun completely.

For not being in the “path of totality” — where the moon completely blocks the sun — it was a pretty good view, Bricka said.

Perrigo said she hopes her grandchildren also got to witness the event.

“That made my day,” she said.

Touch of glass: A car wash with purpose

Ladies of the Brannan Park retirement community recently organized a car wash to raise money for the Auburn Food Bank.

Brannan Park residents dressed in T-shirts stylized with bikinis washed cars while collecting nonperishable food for the food bank, which provides relief to families and individuals living within the boundaries of the Auburn School District.

The car wash is one of many programs designed to push a more dynamic approach to elder care at Brannan Park, one of 20 retirement communities that are part of the Village Concepts family.