What I Did on My Summer Vacation Picture me in Ardmore, Alabama, during the long dry summer of 1987.1 I HTH[[OH[[PTL[OPY[`Ä]L`LHYZVSK^P[OOVWLM\SL`LZHUKQ\Z[[OPZZPKL of handsome, living largely on my dreams of an epic writing life while doing my lesser daytime job teaching at a local university. The local university was UAH, say U-AHHH, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the university of “the empty head,”2 which itself was living largely on its own dream of achieving seriously higher status as a recognized center of space science, engineering, and materials technology.3