Lake Life

& Such

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and Saturday afternoons at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 498-4351.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. A donation $5 per person is asked.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at Lakeridge RV Park in Gun Barrel City (across from D.Q.), except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943 or Malisa Bilberry at (903) 340-7451, or email
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Friendship Club meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Resource Center. For more information, call Janie Ivey at (903) 887-4666.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Tuesday at the Nutrition Center in Kemp. For more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Everyone is welcome. Email for more information.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For more info, call (903) 498-2140.
SUICIDE SURVIVORS GROUP for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank. Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at 7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding at (903) 489-2259.




Eustace grad talks about working for NASA
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Those who pay attention to news about NASA may remember a short time ago a report of a female astronaut who, while getting ready to put some lubricant on the solar panel assembly on the International Space Station, lost her tool bag in space.
Apparently there was a leak in the grease gun and some of the “gunk” got onto her tools. When she tried to clean the gunk off in zero gravity she lost the whole bag of tools.
A 2008 Eustace graduate helped conduct a study on how best to apply the lubricant to the assembly for this mission.
Yep, it’s a small world and getting smaller all the time.
That study occurred July 9, 2008, which is memorable because it was also the graduate’s birthday.
Alex Schlebach was participating in an inaugural paid internship program with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and this was part of his job that day.
“I thought it was so neat to see something I had helped study being used in space,” Schlebach said.
He added that the grease gun worked fine when he used it. Of course, it could have been a different grease gun, he added.
His job had been to test different patterns of application to find the best one to insure the smooth movement of the solar panels along a metal bar.
As fascinating as this is, it wasn’t the high point of his eight weeks with the NASA Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research and Education Project, or INSPIRE.
No. The highlight was when he got 30 minutes in the shuttle mission flight simulator to conduct a launch, short glide path and landing.
Of the three fellow interns in the program, Schlebach said his performance was the best.
“It’s the simulator that the astronauts train on all the time,” he said. “It was very realistic, not at all like a video game.”
He experienced all the noise, vibrations, movement and vistas of a real launch and landing.
The cockpit was wall to ceiling buttons and various controls, but the actual maneuvering of the space craft was done via a very sensitive joystick, he described.
Mission Control talked him through every step, and a navigator showed him which controls were he needed to operate.
When coming in for a landing, a circling flight path was executed to slow the craft down and a parachute deployed at just the right time to help bring the shuttle to a stop on the ground.
“I had to focus all my concentration on it and landed and stopped within 60 feet of the end of the runway,” he said.
“Afterwards, I called home and said, ‘guess what I just did,’” he said.
Another highlight included a job shadowing five hours in the mission control room while a team of astronauts were training in the flight simulator.
He was allowed to wear a headset and hear everything that was going on.
He was also allowed to ready several of the computer programs and turn on the three large displays, showing mathematical operations, flight path map and camera views of inside the simulator and outside view of the craft during landing.
Immediately afterwards, he was invited to party with mission control operators to celebrate one of their birthdays.
A third highlight was when he nearly got to fly in the zero-gravity plane, affectionately known as the “Vomit Comet.”
The plane is used to experience the weightlessness of space, which does high climbs and sudden dives, much as a rollercoaster does.
They were just about to get going, when Marine One, the president’s helicopter, landed on the tarmac at Ellington Field.
Everyone had to clear out as the president’s plane, Air Force One, was expected to land.
“Of course, I wanted to stay and meet the president. But that didn’t happen,” he said.
Actually, Schlebach learned later that the president’s flight plan was changed and he never landed at Ellington Field. “It seemed a close miss, though,” he said.
Schlebach was an employee of NASA, with all that entails, especially quite a few rules about security, procedures and protocol.
“Orientation lasted three hours,” he said, including how to talk to the media.
“We were required to wear our identity badge at all times,” which also gave them some authority, he said, when it came to seeing visitors or maintenance workers infringing on some of the rules.
Most of the work he got to do entailed setting up camera equipment to monitor experiments and tests.
The most exciting monitoring job was at the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility, where a complete model shuttle and its payload is housed along with several NASA land rovers and an entire span of the International Space Station.
The hanger is a full football field long and 60 feet high, he described.
“I set up four cameras and ran the cables to monitors on the floor,” to videotape a test of the shuttle’s life support system to seven astronauts over four hours in a simulated rescue scenario, he said.
The test is in preparation of sending a team to make repairs on the Hubble Telescope, in orbit 372 miles above the earth, he said.
“The neat thing was, the NASA high school interns came through while I was in there and they saw me eating a donut,” he said.
Two Eustace High School students – Chelsea Truitt and Kelsey Robertson – made the cut for one of the week-long NASA Aerospace Scholars Programs this past summer. (Look for their stories in a future issue of The Monitor.)
Schlebach, a freshman at Texas A&M University at College Station, credits the wearing of an Aggie lanyard holding his badge with the reason he was given so many hands-on work experiences.
“A lot of the guys that work there are Aggies,” he said.
And what are his plans for this summer?
Those may be complicated by many factors, he said.
His options include participating in one of three internships, one of those with NASA, or doing some training with the Air Force.
“They definitely told me the door was open for me to return again next summer,” he said. “I just have to see how things work out.”
One other experience of the summer, not related to NASA, includes a skydiving adventure.
They dropped Schlebach with a tandem jumper at 14,000 feet to fall freely for 8,000 feet before deploying the parachute, while traveling at a speed of 120 mph.
“I loved it. It was so cool. It was cold and windy and exciting,” he said.
Schlebach was told to keep his eyes on the horizon when pulling the ripcord, but he couldn’t keep his eyes off the ground and nearly lost his lunch as a result when the strong jerk of the wind catching his parachute shot him upwards.
Recovering, he steered the parachute to the landing zone.
“That was an amazing experience I will never forget,” he chuckled.
(Editor’s note: Students interested in the NASA INSPIRE Program may learn more about it at education/programs/descriptions/INSPIRE_Project.html)

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