GUEST: Michael Sitver, of LetterJoy

Link to LetterJoy website

“And we could even build a test stand!” says Homer, running out to the middle of the shale field. Quentin smiles.

As the sun sets, the boys raise a flag over the shale. The flag says “Coalwood Missile Agency.”

In a voice-over, Homer writes another letter to Wernher von Braun.

“Dear Dr. von Braun. Our launch site, which we’ve named Cape Coalwood, is nearing completion.”

The boys try to raise a wooden frame on a snowy afternoon. The frame falls over.

“Thanks to the generosity of local businesses – “

O’Dell and Roy Lee hurriedly lift boards out of a lumber yard at night.

A montage of the boys assembling the blockhouse.

“Inspired by our efforts, everyone is anxious to help by donating materials.”

Roy Lee is shown installing a window in the blockhouse.

At a switch tower, a signalman notices the tower’s window is missing.

“We’ve been fortunate to have the support of our classmates.”

The boys enter their classroom. The rest of the class laughs at a drawing on the blackboard.

“And the whole community here in Coalwood is behind us.”

The blackboard shows a crude drawing of the Rocket Boys riding a spacecraft on the outside. They wear space helmets, and the words ‘MOON OR BUST’ are written on the side of the rocket.

Homer walks into the company store. Another boy calls out on the street, “Hey, rocket boy! Mars is that way.” The boy thumbs over his shoulder.

“But no one has been more encouraging to our efforts than my father.”

“No, the company doesn’t have any cement left over,” says John Hickam to Homer.

In This Episode

  • Jake Gyllenhall as Homer Hickam
  • William Lee Scott as Roy Lee
  • Chris Owen as Quentin
  • Chad Lindberg as O'Dell
  • Chris Cooper as John Hickam
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