Hundreds of people filled a few blocks of Imperial Avenue in El Segundo to watch the Endeavour Space Shuttle land. Some were there as early as midnight with portable chairs, blankets and tents that eventually spilled over from the sidewalk onto the street.
Oscar Cairo from Norwalk showed up at midnight to secure a good spot. He never got to sleep.
"It’s something we can share with our children," he explained. "I was fortunate to see the Endeeavour take off out of Florida one day when I was working for American Airlines back in the day. So it’s nice to see her come back to her home base and be a part of history for LA."
In the hour before the landing, Endeavour treated Cairo and hundreds of others to a couple of fly-bys.
"Watching the Endeavour, burnt underneath on the nose from re-entering the atmosphere from Space and watching it on top of the 747 was incredible," said Henry Wolonek from Long Island City New York after Endeavour made a smooth landing on the southern runway of LA International Airport. He watched with his brother-in-law Jerome Gummeson of Van Nuys.
"You know, I had a lot of fun. It’s like 3 times what I expected for intensity… and for camaraderie," Gummeson said. "It felt like a small town. You know, I’ve been in LA all my life, and it’s just suddenly a small town. We need…I wish they’d do this every so often."
Something to think about. But the Space Shuttle Endeavour is on the ground to stay.