A-I8-INOEPENDENT (AM) PRKS-TELE6RAM (PM) LÂ«K (wft. ffÂ»- flwn. 9 Astronauts Came From Varied Backgrounds By PAUL RECER SPACE CENTER. Houston (AP) -- If James A. McDivitt had liked the work, he might still be a water heater repairman in Kalamazoo, Mich., instead of an Air Force colonel flying the most complex spacecraft ever attempted. But McDivilt, who commands I he 10-day Apollo 9 Mission, decided after a year as a repairman there wnre other things he had rather do. "1 want to be the man on the other side of the desk," he told his father then. McDivitt quit his job and moved with his family to Jackson, Mich., where he graduated from Jackson Junior College. But he was still undecided about a career and wasn't even interested in aviation of space. * t * * "I NEVER lived near an airport or anything like that," he recalls, "so I never really thought much about airplanes." When the Korean War started, McDivitt jokes, he DOOLEY'S Warehouse Clearance SALE! 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Scott is the son of a pilot, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Tom W. Scott, and flew for the first time with his father. That first flight was 6 major event in his boyhood, the lean 36-year-old astronaut recalls. "I'D WATCHED HIP airplanes go by for 12 years and I'd always wanted to CRASHT WHO'S AT FAULT? A HAPPY 'FAMILY' they pet along remarkably well as a crew. ' "We have lots of differences of opinion " explained the command module pilot, Air force Col. . Divrf MÂ£ Scott. "But we have discussions not Â«S^^X that's what really makes the crew, o ha ve a number m different ideas about how to conduct the mission. In the end, we all think the same. "Even if 1 agree with Jim McDivitt. Ml take the other side, to probe more answers," Scott said. W e a U do that, just to take a different stand. Be the de .1 s advocate. Then you get into the heart of the matter and explore all the different avenues of how to solve the problem." ASTRONAUTS SCHWEICKART, McDIVITT, SCOT!' RELAX BEFORE DRILL --AP Wirephoto You're hit from the rear. Is it the other car's fault? Not always! Why do experts say you're on the brink of a lawsuit every time you drive? Learn what to do in 7 typical accident situations. One of 41 articles and-features in March Reader's Digest. Pick up your copy today. READER'S DIGEST fly and I finally got my chance," he said. "It was on my 12th birthday and I remember that was the big thing that day -- to fly in an airplane." As a member of an Air Force family, Scott grew up nt several military bases. He graduated from high s c h o o l in Washington, D.C., and was appointed lo the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. where he graduated fifth of 633 in the Class of 1954. Scott chose to receive his commission in his father's branch of the service, the Air Force. He went through flight school and then spent four years at an air base in the Netherlands. Scott returned to the United States in I960 to enroll in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. .Another student there was a red-haired ex-Air Force pilot from New .ler- sey named Schweickart. "Rusty" Schweickart is following an ambition he first had as a boy watching airplanes fly over his family's small New Jersey farm where he grew up. The 33-year-old astronaut, who is a space rookie, grew up on a 50-acre spread near a place called Bailey's Corner, N.J. THE TOWN, says thin s i x - f o o t e r , "was composed of 10 people, 50 cows and a couple hundred chickens." Schweickart attended high school in Manasquan, N.J., which he calls his home lown, but left Ihe area for good when he wenl to school. He enrolled in MIT, graduated with an aeronautical engi- nenrin;; degree and went right into Ihe Air Force. Schweickart spent four years flying jets at a half- dozen Air Force bases and A funeral isn't a social event We've come a long way from that era. GREEN HILLS MORTUARY Maybe too far. 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