Women essential at the dawn of American space exploration

Ref "female rocket propellant designer for Explorer I" reminded me of another female who was essential at the dawn of America's space program, Donna Wilson, who was a person with whom I was acquainted at one time.

Struggling to figure out how to write something comprehensible about what was my related experience, it is just too much for my Asperger's inept social capacity. So I will struggle to write what I write, maybe add a bit to ... history's possible recording, given permission from the Internet Trolls who control my communications availability... or should I say that usually sandbag my efforts to communicate. Anyway, from my Asperger's viewpoint, such as it is now and it was back then:

My first awareness of Donna Wilson's existence was seeing her give a presentation to the small group of Los Angeles chapter of the ISSS, being given at a room loaned by the RAND Corp in Santa Monica, after hours. Being signed in and on the acceptance list, itself was a bit of adventure for me, at each of the meetings there at the somewhat famous place.

Nevermind how out of place I felt there; I have attempted to explain my connection with the L A Chapter of the ISSS elsewhere. (International Society of System Scientists) (For example )

Anyway I had signed in and found the room, deep into the after-hours fairly empty halls of the RAND Corporation. And was seated with the others of the ISSS there, awaiting whatever was to transpire. A tall thin fairly attractive middle aged woman stood up, and began her presentation. Donna Wilson, by name. She spoke of her role at the beginning of America's space activities, she an astronomer, and she taught the essentials of orbital mechanics to the rocket scientists back then, who knew of rockets but not much of how to calculate what they did once in space, in orbit. Donna described briefly how she was key in their learning how to mathematically connect their rocketry to satellites in elliptical orbits, not coming down, at least for awhile. Her mathematical expertise in astronomy that routinely was able to calculate planetary orbits in the past, now worked quite well also in calculating what orbiting satellites would do.

So, like the woman of the referenced article who was essential for rocket propellent craftsmanship at the dawn of America's space age, so also was Donna Wilson key to having the early rocket scientists figure out where their orbiting objects were likely to go.

Being a lonely single man, at that meeting of the ISSS, I noticed the late middle aged tall thin attractive Donna Wilson with more than one viewpoint; I knew she was out of my reach, but still I had longings. Perhaps she somehow was aware of that, because during her talk there at the ISSS meeting, she only gave me a brief look that was sheer hostility, although we had never met. That look clearly erased my interest in her.

The LA Chapter of ISSS knew me as both a space concept dreamer from my Mooncable concept of the early 1970's and of my more recent Centristation and KESTS to GEO conceptual designs. To the ISSS these all were interesting thoughts to briefly contemplate before moving on to other things; yet, I who had few academic credentials, seemed to be tolerated by those intellectuals, and they had some things to talk about that were very stimulating to my imagination too; and Donna's presentation stimulated me in more than one way. Yet clearly she did not like me or my concepts. As I have often written, people-stuff is complicated.

Some years later I learned of a holistic bookstore being opened in an area near where I often traveled, Woodland Hills, CA. It was called the Ginko Leaf Bookstore; and finding it in an out of the way quiet street one day, I explored its nice selection of books which well fit in with my interest in holistic concepts, something that I felt I needed to comprehend yet at that point it was mostly not yet understood, but tantalizing; maybe it all could enable me to resolve the mysterious problems I had long had.

Buying a book I had picked out, the lady behind the counter surprisingly was Donna Wilson. This time she had no evident hostility toward me. She was all bookstore business. Later visits, she ordered some books for me that she did not have on her bookshelves. Could be she never connected me with the ISSS meeting years before.

But I did discover she was still married, to some man who lived in the northern part of California.

I visited the Ginko Leaf bookstore many times, even though it was a bit out of my way of usual travels, mostly to get a lonely glimpse of her, yet on the surface to search her bookshelves for interesting books to buy. There was a back room that always had one of the ISSS members, a muscular man who would only give me a smirk when I encountered him there in an otherwise empty meeting room. I felt the two were involved and he was ready to give me the boot if I got friendly with Donna.

This went on for a couple of years, best I remember. Donna would order me a book and email me when it came in, so I could visit and buy it. One time I noticed on the desk there, one of many holistic exploration items, a rubber ball of a few inches diameter and with projections all over it, said to enhance the effectiveness of laundry detergents, enabling use of less soap in doing laundry. I had heard of the item elsewhere, but had not tried it. Then I learned that the huge soap manufacturers were initiating a huge lawsuit against all the sellers of the rubber ball that claimed to reduce the need for soap to do laundry. Donna's bookstore was being sued for all she was worth. I felt helpless and in dismay; although she did not seem to do anything except her routine at the counter at the Ginko Tree, although the soap rubber ball was now gone from the counter, the one time I visited there afterwards.

Then I learned that the Ginko Tree Bookstore was closed; Donna Wilson was dead.

I never new how she died until this evening, doing an internet search that showed up ",_Donna : "American macrobiotic teacher, bookstore owner, owned the Gingko Leaf bookstore in Woodland Hills, California; previously owned natural foods store, married twice, one child.
Death 28 May 1998, 10:50 p.m. PDT, following car crash of 22 May 1998.""

The whole scenario is like the usual plate of spaghetti insofar as my understanding it all. So I merely write the above in hopes it means something to somebody in the future, if it can get past the Internet Trolls that suppress public awareness of my writings lots of times.

And I remember the image of Donna as an attractive woman, who could have been helpful in my space efforts and holistic interests and my need for a woman to make love to, if it were not for the .... I don't know what they/it is, but it is quite aware of me and is utterly hostile to me and my doings.

And some years later, from a different source, I obtained one of those rubber spiked balls to be used in one's washing machine to reduce the need for laundry soap. It has been used for many years and is still in my washing machine, ready to again do its thing when I wash clothes next time.

Anyway, the world ought to know of the enormous benefit the woman named Donna Wilson provided to America's space race at the beginning, by her teaching of orbital mechanics to the early rocket pioneers in America.

Jim Cline

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