Sharing a “Story”… Story Musgrave

Sharing a “Story”… Story Musgrave

When I read his bio on D40 Toastmaster’s website, I knew I had to be there to see Story Musgrave speak.

“Story Musgrave was born in 1935 on a dairy farm in Stockbridge, MA. He was in the forests alone at 3 and by 5 floated his homebuilt rafts on the rivers. He rode combines at 5, drove trucks and tractors at 10 and when alone in remote fields, repaired them by 13.

Story never finished school, ran off to Korea with the U.S. Marines where he was an aircraft electrician and an engine mechanic. He started flying with the Marines and over the next 55 years accumulated 18,000 hours in over 160 aircraft. He is a parachutist with over 800 freefalls. He has 7 graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology. He has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates. He was a part-time trauma surgeon during his 30 year astronaut career.

Story was an NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Today he operates a palm farm in Orlando, FL, a production company in Sydney and a sculpture company in Burbank, CA. He is also a landscape architect, a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc. and a professor of design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Story also performs multimedia presentations on topics such as vision, leadership, motivation, safety, quality, innovation, creativity, design, simplicity, beauty and ecology. He has 7 beautiful children: Lorelei, Scott, Holly, Todd, Jeff, Lane and Story, ranging from age 50 to 4 years; 3 beautiful grandchildren, and a beautiful wife Amanda.”

The night was perfect.  Complemented by pictures of his career and pictures taken in space.

His message was simple… “Get in the playing field and be the best you can!”


I won’t go into all the details of his speech, but I will share a few quotes that I hope will inspire you to “get in the playing field and be the best you can!”

“I am Mother Earth.  Mother Earth is me.”

“I am nature and technology.”

“From the time I was 5 I’ve been on someone else’s playing field and being the best I can.”

“Get in the playing field and get ready!”

“It is the right machine at the right time.”  (T-38)

“It is just details.”

“Empower the people around you.   That is the solution!”

“Beauty is so important, it’s outrageous!”

And finally…

“Be better every time you do it.”

It was an honor to meet Story.

I stayed after his speech and talked to him a bit.  I asked him if I should call him Dr. Musgrave, he said, “Just Story.”

After hearing that my son’s name is Gianni, he told me about his love of the Italian way of life and their appreciation of beauty.   He was truly in awe of life.

I was inspired to ask him two questions…

1) When did you know your life was different?

2) Were you always grateful or was it something that you learned after going into space?

His answers…

1)  “I never did.  I just lived each day the best I could”

2)  “I was born grateful… of everything around me… especially nature.  It was my refuge.”

If you want to learn more about Story Musgrave, you can visit his website at or visit

If you want to learn more about Toastmasters, you can visit their website and find a club near you.
Toastmasters is a club designed to enhance public speaking and communication skills.

To learn more about me, visit my website at
or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter at DawnNocera

Much Love and Success!

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