The San Fernando Valley has been a major player in the Southern California aerospace legacy, dating from Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes up through America's first moon rocket tests and the invention of the stealth warplane. The engines that helped blast the space shuttle into the sky came, I think, from the Rocketdyne plant in Canoga Park. [update: Partly true: Rocketdyne did the main engines, not the launch boosters, I'm told.] So some fans waited on Friday for the Endeavour to fly over the Valley side of the hill, but except for sightings near Universal City they were disappointed.
At the Top of Topanga lookout, which oversees the Warner Center and much of the West Valley, a group of about 40 people gathered, hoping to catch a glimpse of the shuttle as it made it's way from the Malibu/Santa Monica area to the Getty Center. Because only certain landmarks and not the actual flight plan were made widely available, viewing hopefuls hedged their bets and headed away from crowds at the beaches and to the high spot atop the Santa Monica mountains. Unfortunately, the shuttle followed the coast down and turned inward further south than the lookout and the crowd missed seeing the shuttle's last flight.
"It's disappointing, but there are worse ways to spend your day than being outside on a gorgeous day, getting a gorgeous view of the Valley and sharing it with a lot of nice people," said Raitha Halmud of Topanga. "When I tweet about it, though, it will be #ShuttleFail."
Daily News columnist Doug McIntrye cranked up his umbrage for the occasion.
Et Tu, NASA?
Every Valley native understands from birth our portion of the City of Angels is something of an embarrassment to the uber-hipsters of Hollywood and the chicer parts of the 310.
The San Fernando Valley is the Prince Harry of Los Angeles.
We're used to A-listers and City Hall ignoring us, but who saw this one coming? NASA dissed the Valley with the ultimate snub.
Welcome to Chopped Liver, California, population 1.76 million.
While the rest of L.A., Long Beach and parts of Orange County thrilled to the spectacle of the space shuttle Endeavour soaring, banking and racing across the sun-soaked Southern California sky, the Valley wasn't invited to the party.
Possible best line: "No shoes. No shirt. No 818."
Photo: Andy Holzman/Daily News