October Sky: A Family Reconciled

This post is for Strange Culture’s Dads in Media Blog-A-Thon. Be sure to check out the other entries in the series as well as RC’s blog.

When I first heard about the blog-a-thon, I was instantly reminded of a film I love called October Sky. It’s based on the memoirs of Homer Hickham, which chronicles, at a young age, his forays into rocketry. I remember watching this when it was first released on VHS. Not only is it a story about following your dreams, but it’s also about the relationship between father and son.

Chris Cooper plays Homer’s father, John Hickham, brilliantly. John has a restrained quality about him, but  he can also explode emotionally when pressed, and not always in a bad way. In one scene John protects Homer’s friend from his drunk stepfather, for example.

When I first watched October Sky I remember hating Homer’s father, even after the end. I thought he was a total jerk. But after seeing the film several times after, I began to empathize with his character more, and saw some of where he was coming from as a father.

John appears to be a workaholic, and loves working in the coal mines. He’s also under a lot of stress  with accidents at the mine, the union, etc. Work means a lot to him. So understandably, when he sees his son Homer playing with rockets, it just seems like a waste of time to him. He wants Homer to grow up and be a man.

When he finally sees how important rocketry is to Homer, and that isn’t not just a hobby, John comes around and helps his son.

The ending of October Sky is a beautiful image of a family reconciled, and will always stay with me.

One Response

  1. Solid post Joseph. I’m a huge fan of the film. The father-son relationship is a poignant picture of reality. My father and I both clashed early on but came to understand each other and our dreams. It has been wonderful since.

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