Sputnikfest 2014


Rahr-West Art Museum - click HERE for more info!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Last week marked Superman’s 75th birthday. 
(we should all look that good at 75 years old)  April 18, 1938 was the date Action Comics No. 1, the first appearance of Superman, was published.  Superman’s origin story has been told and retold – we probably all know at least the basics.  Sent off in a spaceship by his father, Jor-El, from his dying home planet of Krypton – he landed in Smallville, Kansas, where he was raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent. 
In 2003 DC comics published an alternate universe Superman story with a Sputnik/Cold War tie-in.  In the three-issue “Elseworlds” storyline titled “Red Son” Superman’s ship lands – not in Kansas – but in the Ukraine.  He is raised on a collective farm and instead of fighting for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” – he champions the common worker and fights for “Stalin, Socialism and the Warsaw Pact.”
In this timeline, Lex Luthor is working for the United States government and in a plot to obtain Superman’s DNA he engineers the premature re-entry from orbit of Sputnik 2. 
The Russian satellite plummets toward Metropolis and, as Lex Luthor has planned, Superman arrives to save the day – and in the process leaves a bit of his DNA on a fragment of the satellite which Lex is able to recover.  Using this DNA Lex creates an “anti-Superman” named “Bizarro” to do battle with Superman.  What happens next …  well, I’ll let you seek out the comics and read the story if you are interested. 
At any rate, never fear – Superman didn’t grow up in the Soviet Union; his ship did land near Ma and Pa Kent’s farm in Kansas right here in the good old U. S. of A. 

And a Russian satellite did crash into a street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1962.  (We don’t think Lex Luthor had anything to do with it.)  Celebrate the anniversary of that event with us in Manitowoc this September 7.  Planet Terry

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In Space, No One Can Hear You Fund Raise
Sputnikfest is a truly unique event - I daresay there is no other festival in the world dedicated to celebrating the memory of a Russian satellite that fell to earth at the height of the Cold War.  Voted one of the Top Five Funky Festivals in the Country by Readers Digest, the event has been covered by various media outlets from Calfornia to Scotland and noted in the legendary Farmer's Almanac.  Now into it's sixth year and going strong, this family-friendly event is funded by donations and staffed by volunteers.  The proceeds from the event are used to fund children's art programs at the Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc. This past week a fundraising solicitation letter went out to potential sponsors.  Do you know of a business - anywhere - that would like to link their name to this internationally noted event?  Please either contact me, through the sputnikfest@gmail.com email address or contact Greg or Elaine at the Rahr-West Art Museum at 920 686-3090.  Sponsorship levels are as follows:
  • SPACE AGE SPONSOR $250 - Your logo on all marketing literature and website.

  • SATELLITE SPONSOR $500 - Your logo on all marketing literature and website PLUS your logo on the official 2013 Sputnikfest T-Shirt.
  • SHOOTING STAR SPONSOR $1000 - Your logo on all marketing literature, the website, the official 2013 Sputnikfest T-Shirt, Sponsor Recognition in all Public Service Announcements and Complimentary 2013 Sputnikfest T-Shirts for your organization.
  • INTERGALACTIC SPONSOR $1500 - Your logo on all marketing literature, the website, the official 2013 Sputnikfest T-Shirt, Sponsor Recognition in all Public Service Announcements, Complimentary 2013 Sputnikfest T-Shirts for your organization. VIP Parking Passes and your logo on the Stage Banners at the events Main Tent.
It would really be great to get a major corporate sponsor for this event.  If you know of anyone who would be interested, please pass this message along.  Keep the date - September 7, 2013 - see you there! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sputnik Moment:  The point at which circumstance reveals unambiguously the need to change.
(from the Urban Dictionary)
 “Then up went Sputnik and gave the world a butt-kick.”
Leslie Fish (see video below)
“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.”
President Barack Obama, from the January 2011 State of the Union Address

The day after making his “Sputnik moment” comment during the 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama was in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Mr. Obama said he did not know about the Manitowoc/Sputnik connection when the trip was planned. 

While touring Orion Energies, the President said “I couldn’t have made this up.  It wasn’t until I was on my way here that I found out that a chunk of metal came crashing down to the Earth right here.  I promise you, we did not plan this originally.  Press won’t believe me.  It turns out that it was part of a satellite called Sputnik that landed right here, and that set the Space Race into motion.” 

Visit Manitowoc on September 7 and have your own “Sputnik Moment.”  Planet Terry

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Every puppy has its day.
Everybody has to pay.
Everybody has to meet his Waterloo. 
Stonewall Jackson, 1959

Meeting one’s “Waterloo” has come to mean meeting with one’s final decisive defeat.  It comes from the final defeat of military leader Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo in 1815.  The song was first recorded in 1959 by country great Stonewall Jackson.  Honky Tonk country star Webb Pierce also released the song in 1962 – the same year the Sputnik IV "met its Waterloo" in the skies over Manitowoc, Wisconsin. 
At right is an interesting promotional photo of Webb Pierce from that time period in his “Sputnik III.”  The car appears to be a three-wheeled “bubble car,” so named because of the unique body shape.  “Bubble cars” were manufactured in the 1950’s in various European countries under license from BMW. 
We hope Webb had a license for his Sputnik III and drove it carefully.   We know that whoever was driving Sputnik IV was not driving carefully. 
Note this novelty “Sputnik Driver’s License” from 1960, which prophetically cautions “Drive carefully, or you won’t know your Sputnik from a hole in the ground.” (!)  Planet Terry