Rocket Boys

The father of Homer Hickam Jr., Homer Hickam Sr. is a strong, stoic employee of the mining company, the institution that dominates life in Coalwood. Homer Sr. is devoted to Coalwood’s mine: he works long hours there, going far above and beyond the requirements of his job, and even continues working there when the doctors diagnose a deadly “black spot” in his lungs. Like his son, Homer Sr. is an ambitious man, and has managed to attain a position as the mine superintendent, despite having no college degree. One consequence of Homer Sr.’s success is that many of the townspeople dislike him—in part because he’s considered “too big for his britches,” and in part because he’s usually forced to side with the mining company against the miners, even when doing so means firing employees. During the course of Rocket Boys, Homer Sr. shows occasional signs of supporting his son’s interests in rocketry and engineering, but these signs are nearly always tempered by his sense of disappointment: he’s upset that Homer Jr. doesn’t want to be a mining engineer.

Homer Hickam Sr. Quotes in Rocket Boys

The Rocket Boys quotes below are all either spoken by Homer Hickam Sr. or refer to Homer Hickam Sr.. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dell edition of Rocket Boys published in 2000.
Chapter 3 Quotes

I knew Dad thought about Jim all the time, was always telling people what a great football player my brother was, and how he was going to tear up the world in football when he went to college.

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr., Jim Hickam
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

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I didn’t know what to say. I just stared at her. She sighed. “To get out of here, you’ve got to show your dad you’re smarter than he thinks. I believe you can build a rocket. He doesn’t. I want you to show him I’m right and he’s wrong. Is that too much to ask?”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Elsie Lavender Hickam (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

“You want to thank me.” He nodded toward the box. “Make these fly. Show your dad what you and I did together.”
My father had clearly, in no uncertain terms, told me to stop building rockets. The BCMA was now an outlaw organization. I don’t know why, but that felt good. I had the urge to hug Mr. Bykovski, but resisted it. Instead, I stood straight and tall, and said firmly, and what I hoped was manfully, “Yes, sir. You can count on me.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Mr. Isaac Bykovski (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

Machining and materials for gravel. Gravel, like all things in Coalwood, could be supplied by my father. After I completed my engineering drawing of the nozzle, there was nothing to do but to go up to the mine. Dad looked up from his desk when I entered his office. “I heard you’ve been talking to Ike Bykovski,” he said. “And now you’re visiting Leon Ferro. You get around, don’t you?”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr. (speaker), Mr. Isaac Bykovski, Mr. Leon Ferro
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Mining’s in your blood, little man,” he shrugged. “I guess you’ll figure that out, sooner or later.”
“I still want to work for Dr. von Braun.”
He nodded. “We’ll see.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr. (speaker), Wernher von Braun
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 13 Quotes

I suddenly felt proud of [my father], more than for just his long-ago act of heroism, but because of what he had once been back in Gary and all that he had become because of his hard work.

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

“When you grow up, you’re going to find out there’s a lot of things you’re going to have to do whether you like it or not.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Sr. (speaker)
Page Number: 228
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 26 Quotes

“You did really good, Dad,” I told him as a spasm of deep, oily coughs racked his body. “Nobody ever launched a better rocket than you.”

Related Characters: Homer Hickam Jr. (speaker), Homer Hickam Sr.
Related Symbols: Rockets
Page Number: 362
Explanation and Analysis:

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Homer Hickam Sr. Character Timeline in Rocket Boys

The timeline below shows where the character Homer Hickam Sr. appears in Rocket Boys. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Coalwood
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...year Homer began building rockets, there were only 2,000 people living there. Homer’s father is Homer Hickam Sr. , who works as the superintendent of a coal mine. Homer lives in a company-owned... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...has been working for the mine since he was 22 years old. Laird recognized that Homer Hickam Sr. was an intelligent man, and quickly promoted him to foreman. Hickam wrote to his high... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
In 1950, Homer Sr . discovered that he had colon cancer. Instead of seeking medical attention, he devoted himself... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Elsie resents Homer Sr . for spending so much time in the mines. Her four brothers, Robert, Ken, Charlie,... (full context)
Chapter 2: Sputnik
Parents and Children Theme Icon
When Homer is 11 years old, The Captain retires, and Homer Sr . takes his job. Homer Sr. moves his family into The Captain’s house, which is... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
...the planet and measures the weather. Elsie nods and says that this news will infuriate Homer Sr., a loyal Communist-hater. Homer Sr. often argues with Elsie’s brother, “Uncle Ken.” Ken is a... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...by the same mining company that owns Coalwood. Many of the miners in Caretta hate Homer Sr . for taking The Captain’s job. There’s also Premier, a “red light” area where prostitutes... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...huge part of Coalwood town life. Homer’s brother, Jim, is a talented football player, and Homer Sr . serves as the president of the Big Creek Football Father’s Association. Homer Sr. is... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...be passing over West Virginia, Homer goes outside, accompanied by his mother and his friends. Homer Sr . arrives, incredulous that a Soviet satellite is flying over American territory. Suddenly, O’Dell sees... (full context)
Chapter 3: Mom
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...the fence itself. Elsie runs outside and yells at Homer. Before she can get far, Homer Sr . rushes outside, and Elsie begins yelling at him. They begin arguing about Homer Sr.’s... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...right research. Elsie tells Homer that she doesn’t know what he’ll do with his life— Homer Sr . thinks that he’s going to end up working as a clerk or a typist.... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Football Fathers
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
The next day, Homer encounters Pooky Suggs, a rude young man who blames Homer Sr . for his own father’s death in the mines. Tom Tickle, a friendly miner, tries... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...compete in the state championship game—Big Creek has played too many games with Virginia schools. Homer Sr . is so outraged by this news that he resolves to see a lawyer in... (full context)
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
One week later, Homer Sr . has visited a lawyer and put together a case for Big Creek’s competing in... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...to Coalwood, and union tension arises. The leader of the miners’ union, John Dubonnet, knows Homer Sr . from high school. In the last ten years, Coalwood has experienced disruptions in its... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
One night, John Dubonnet visits Homer Sr .’s house. Homer Sr. angrily tells John that he can come to his office, but... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Shortly before Thanksgiving, Homer Sr . gets orders from Mr. Van Dyke, the general mining superintendent, to visit the doctor... (full context)
Chapter 5: Quentin
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...Coalwood. John explains to Homer that in a few years, Coalwood will be no more— Homer Sr . seems to be the only one in Coalwood who doesn’t know this. With this,... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...fizzles up and melts when Homer ignites it. The second blows up, throwing shrapnel everywhere. Homer Sr . notices this, and yells at Homer for pursuing his rockets. Elsie jumps in and,... (full context)
Chapter 6: Mr. Bykovski
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...the Explorer-1 satellite. The launch is a great success—a fact that invigorates Homer, but leaves Homer Sr . unimpressed. Homer’s friends come by, and Homer takes the opportunity to talk to Roy... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...fuse on Auk IV, and watches as the rocket flies toward the mine, eventually hitting Homer Sr .’s office. Homer Sr. rushes out of his office toward Homer. He yells at Homer... (full context)
Chapter 7: Cape Coalwood
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
After Homer’s rocket fails, Homer Sr . and Homer walk home. Homer Sr. orders Homer to stop “fooling around” with rockets.... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Elsie speaks with Homer privately. She explains that Homer Sr . is under pressure from his bosses because of Homer’s rocket. She subtly encourages Homer... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The next day, Homer goes to visit Mr. Bykovski. Bykovski explains that Homer Sr . fired him from the machine shop and sent him to work in the mines... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Shortly after detonating soda cans for the first time, Elsie brings Homer to talk with Homer Sr . Elsie explains that Homer needs a place where he can experiment with rockets without... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Outside the church, Homer Sr . tells Homer that it’s time for him to learn to drive a car. Homer... (full context)
Chapter 8: Construction of the Cape
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...Mr. Turner announces that the school’s football team has been placed on suspension—as punishment for Homer Sr .’s attempts at legal maneuvering, there will be no games played next year. Turner adds... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
...come home from school, Homer can tell that Jim is very angry. Jim complains that Homer Sr . has ruined his chances at a football scholarship. Homer Sr. insists that he’ll pay... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...mine. At the mine, he finds Mr. McDuff, a lumber worker. Homer tells McDuff that Homer Sr . has promised Homer building materials: scrap lumber and tin. Another worker, Mr. Leon Ferro,... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...inspect his launchpad, he declines. Homer thinks that if Jim had been on the BCMA, Homer Sr . would be supporting him whole-heartedly. Homer Sr. mentions that Mr. Bykovski wants to teach... (full context)
Chapter 9: Jake Mosby (Auks V-VIII)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
As the mine superintendent, Homer Sr . brings new mining engineers in from Ohio and shows them how to work in... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...launches at the Big Store. Afterwards, Homer meets with his father and asks about concrete. Homer Sr . replies that the mining company has no extra cement, but mentions that he knows... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...of the mine and find mint-condition cement. Homer wonders what this could mean—it’s as if Homer Sr . is giving him excellent supplies while saying that he’s giving him poor supplies. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...the miners go on vacation. Homer remembers past vacations he’s taken with his family—on one, Homer Sr . and Elsie were affectionate, and even slept in the same bed. When the time... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...a visit from Mr. Bykovski, who offers to teach Homer more welding. Homer senses that Homer Sr . sent Bykovski, perhaps because he felt guilty about sending Bykovski to the mines. After... (full context)
Chapter 10: Miss Riley (Auks IX-XI)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...and finds that it yields flame, gas, and heat—the three vital ingredients for rocket propulsion. Homer Sr . notices Homer’s experiments, and, much to Homer’s surprise, compliments him for his studiousness. (full context)
Chapter 11: Rocket Candy: Auks XII-XIII
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...in the day, Homer comes home to find his father sitting in his easy chair. Homer Sr . asks Homer if he’s thinking of becoming an engineer, and Homer isn’t sure how... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
It is Sunday, and Homer Sr . is about to execute his “plan.” Homer stays home from Sunday school, and walks... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer Sr . shows Homer around the coalmine. He explains that engineers are a vital part of... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer Sr . tells Homer to stay for the mine’s latest “operation.” He leads him deep into... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer Sr . asks Homer, point blank, if he’s interested in being a mining engineer, hinting that... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...her church clothes. When Elsie sees Homer covered in coal dust, she bursts into tears. Homer Sr . tries to comfort Elsie, telling her that Homer is thinking of becoming a mining... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Machinists: Auks XIV-XV
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...in his house. Jim is still depressed about not being able to play football, and Homer Sr . and Elsie are constantly fighting. Homer decides to devote himself to rocket science again.... (full context)
The Cold War and the Space Race Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer goes to his father and asks for help obtaining gravel. Homer Sr . says that this is impossible. He also inspects Homer’s rocket drawings, and helps him... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Rocket Book
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...the woman introduces herself as Geneva Eggers, and Homer replies that he’s the son of Homer Hickam, Sr. Geneva, surprised, explains that she’s known Homer Sr. for many years. She offers Homer a... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...all the way back to the mines. When Homer arrives home, he finds Jim and Homer Sr . waiting for him. When he’s alone with Homer Sr., he shows him Miss Riley’s... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The next evening, Homer Sr . sits down with Homer and tells him a story. When Homer Sr. was in... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Pillar Explosion: Auks XVI-XIX
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
The night after Homer’s insight, there is an earthquake in Coalwood. Homer is frightened that Homer Sr., who’s working in the mine, will be crushed to death, though he remembers his father... (full context)
Chapter 15: The State Troopers
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
Homer Sr . walks into his house, grinning—he’s just gotten news that Jim will be visited by... (full context)
Chapter 16: A Natural Arrogance: Auk XX
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
In March 1959, Homer Sr . leaves Coalwood to attend a mining-engineering conference in Ohio. The entire week that he’s... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
A few days after Homer Sr . returns, he finds Homer studying calculus in his old math book. Homer Sr. accuses... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Bump
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...source of oxygen, and could die soon. As Elsie explains all of this to Homer, Homer Sr . rushes through the kitchen, about to head to the mine. Elsie sends Homer to... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...is dead. Then, Homer sees his father—he’s wearing a bloody bandage over his eye. As Homer Sr . walks away, “Doc” Lassiter whispers to Homer that a dozen men would have died... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Dreams, Ambition, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
The next day, Homer Sr . goes to the hospital. Homer visits him many times. At the same time, he... (full context)
Chapter 20: O’Dell’s Treasure
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Homer Sr .’s eye hasn’t healed properly since the mining accident—he can’t see clearly, and probably never... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...Level, where Doc lives. There, Doc sutures Homer’s wrist. He offers Homer anesthetic, mentioning that Homer Sr . never needed it. Homer refuses anesthetic, but when Doc begins sewing the stitches, he... (full context)
Chapter 21: Zincoshine: Auks XXII, A, B, C, and D
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
After a particularly difficult meeting with the union, Homer Sr . returns to his home, reporting that the union wants to know how to pay... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Group Theme Icon
Hard Work, Scarcity, Science, and Innovation Theme Icon
...big container of alcohol, Elsie scolds him for drinking. Nevertheless, he hears her laughing with Homer Sr . as he goes to bed, and the sound of their laughter cheers him up. (full context)
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...and their power, but not their rockets. Nevertheless, Mr. Fuller promises to report Homer to Homer Sr . (full context)
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Shortly after the launching of Auk XXII-D, Homer Sr . calls Homer to his office. He tells Homer they’re going for a ride. Homer... (full context)
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Suddenly, Mr. Dubonnet drives up to Cape Coalwood. He tells Homer Sr . that it’s not right that Fuller is taking apart Homer’s launchpad. Dubonnet even threatens... (full context)
Chapter 22: We Do the Math: Auks XXII-XXIV
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A few days after Homer Sr .’s argument with Mr. Fuller, Mr. Fuller leaves town. This could be because of Homer... (full context)
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...rocket. They load their rocket with zinc fuel, drying it for hours and hours. Meanwhile, Homer Sr . is forced to fire miners from Coalwood due to industry cutbacks. This is an... (full context)
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...finds him a little odd, particularly because of his strange, nasal voice and Boston accent. Homer Sr . mutters that the Kennedys are the “worst kind of people,” explaining that Joe Kennedy,... (full context)
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One day, Homer is talking with Homer Sr . in their house. Homer Sr. is discussing the dangers of unchecked greed, and argues... (full context)
Chapter 23: Science Fairs
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Someone has just tried to shoot Homer Sr . in his own home. There is a sound of screeching tires—whoever fired the shot... (full context)
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As Homer Sr . calmly discusses his would-be killer, Elsie interjects: she’s going to buy a house in... (full context)
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...fair. Homer goes to talk to Mr. Caton at his store, where he also finds Homer Sr . Homer Sr. and Mr. Caton argue over how long the strike will last—it could... (full context)
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...presidency. Kennedy has proposed sending federal assistance to the miners: free food and other resources. Homer Sr . finds this infuriating, since it means that the miners in Coalwood will try to... (full context)
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...science fair finals. Homer is overjoyed, and he can’t wait to tell Miss Riley and Homer Sr . (full context)
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Shortly after Homer’s victory at the science fair, Elsie and Homer Sr . leave for Myrtle Beach, since it’s the usual time of year for miners’ vacations.... (full context)
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...days later, his mother and father return from Myrtle Beach. Elsie, delighted, tells Homer that Homer Sr . has agreed to retire from mining and go into real estate near Myrtle Beach... (full context)
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...One day, while he’s in his room, he hears a screech of tires. Elsie and Homer Sr . yell downstairs, and Homer comes running down to them. He is shocked to see... (full context)
Chapter 24: A Suit for Indianapolis
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...Homer reluctantly replaces his orange suit with a more modest blue one. Back in Coalwood, Homer Sr . and Elsie compliment Homer on his appearance in the new suit. Homer mentions that... (full context)
Chapter 25: The National Science Fair
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...with a set of shiny new nozzles, precisely designed for maximum efficiency. Homer notices that Homer Sr . seems relatively uninterested in Homer’s science fair pursuits. He rarely brings up the subject. (full context)
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Shortly before the science fair begins, Homer overhears Elsie ask Homer Sr . if he’s told the company he’s quitting yet. Homer Sr. replies that he’ll need... (full context)
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...Many Coalwoodians show up to see Homer off: Basil, Mr. Turner, Melba June, Mr. Dubonnet, Homer Sr., Elsie, Mr. Caton, Mr. Ferro, and the entire BCMA. Just before Homer gets on the... (full context)
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...he needs extra rocket parts, immediately. Elsie explains to Homer that this will be impossible— Homer Sr . is busy with the strike. Homer goes to bed, thinking that, much like his... (full context)
Chapter 26: All Systems Go: Auks XXVI-XXXI (June 4, 1960)
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...mother, the entire town of Coalwood had been alerted to Homer’s problem. Accompanied by Elsie, Homer Sr . argued “nose-to-nose” with Mr. Dubonnet. In the midst of the argument, Mr. Caton intervened,... (full context)
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Homer realizes what Homer Sr .’s decision to sign the union’s agreements mean. Because his relationship with the union is... (full context)
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...Saturday in June of 1960—the day of the final rocket launch—Homer is sad to see Homer Sr . walk to the mine for his usual schedule instead of attending. At the launch,... (full context)
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...science fair. Just as Homer is about to launch the rocket, he hears a noise—it’s Homer Sr., taking time off from his schedule to witness his son’s achievements. (full context)
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Homer calls Homer Sr . to his side and asks him if he would like to launch Auk XXXI... (full context)
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Homer turns to his father. Homer Sr . is beaming—he praises the rocket for being “beautiful.” Suddenly, he begins to cough, and... (full context)
Epilogue
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Homer Sr . continued to work at the mine for years, despite his damaged lungs. He was... (full context)
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...at Coalwood were finally shutting down. When Homer talked with his father on the phone, Homer Sr . sounded healthy and confident—nevertheless, Elsie told Homer that Homer Sr.’s lungs were rapidly deteriorating.... (full context)
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After Homer Sr .’s death, Homer looked through the old boxes left at his parents’ house in Coalwood.... (full context)