With the news full of moon landings, former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez recalls a far-less-triumphant moment in the American space program. In this month's Florida Trend, Martinez describes how he was on the campaign trail, hustling for votes in South Florida on the day in 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger was to launch.
I happened to be coming out of Broward County, having been endorsed by a number of local office holders, and I was heading to Brevard County for a fundraiser. I was on Interstate 95 and my driver and I were listening to the radio when all of sudden the music is interrupted with this bulletin. We looked up and saw the plume. We saw that plume the entire drive to Brevard County.
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Martinez, who was governor from 1987-91 and had a two-year stint as the U.S. drug czar, gave the interview in connection with his having earned Florida Trend "Icon" status. Not to be confused with the Las Olas Lifestyle magazine's "Icon" status, which is among the allegedly corrupt acts for which North Broward Hospital District Commissioner Joseph Cobo is currently under criminal investigation.