Tom Leahy 1922-2010
From Wichita to Great Bend, Garden City to Oberlin, almost any Baby Boomer who grew up in Kansas worshipped the airwaves that beamed Major Astro.
Each afternoon, thousands of children rushed home from school and turned on black-and-white television sets to watch as Major Astro, an astronaut in a shimmery silver jumpsuit with a deep baritone voice who wished them: "Happy Orbits, boys and girls ... Everything will be A-Okay and all systems will be go." (from Wichita Eagle)
I hadn't thought about Major Astro (on KARD now KSN from 1962-1973) in years. But we did watch him growing up. He would be sitting in some kind of small area that looked to us like the space capsules the astronauts came back to earth in, and he would introduce the cartoons that were going to play. I don't even remember what cartoons were on during his show. In this day and age, I am sure our kids would laugh at how rinky-dink the whole thing was, but I guess we were naive enough and didn't live in a world of special effects. I know we didn't think he was really in outer space. He always parted with the last line - Everything will be A-Okay and all systems will be go." When they had something on TV about his death, they ended with that, and I said it right along with him, which made my living room companions laugh. Kyle didn't have Major Astro, because they got two stations, one from Topeka and one from Nebraska. Guess we had it good down in Pratt County!