Pine Nuts: The SpaceX Generation phenoms |

Pine Nuts: The SpaceX Generation phenoms

McAvoy Layne

My father was of the Model T Generation, born the year the Titanic went down, 1912. His was a sober generation, living through the flu pandemic of 1918, Prohibition, the Great Depression and WWII. If that won’t sober up a generation what will?

The next sober generation of Americans to come along was the SpaceX Generation, those born between 1985 and 1995. These sober kids (still kids to me) have lived through 9/11, the financial crisis of 2008, and the 2020 pandemic. So let’s take a look at a member of this SpaceX generation …

Bo Baker had the good fortune to be brought into the world by two loving and accomplished folks at IBM, Pete and Cathy Baker away back in 1992. I first met Bo at a lemonade stand that he and his little sister Tori erected here in the village of Incline to shake down easy marks like me. I don’t even like lemonade, nor could I afford their outrageous prices, but these kids had charm.

On one pleasant visit to the Bakers’ for dinner I was privy to a preview of what Bo would be doing in a few short years. I can still see him jumping out his bedroom window and disappearing into the night on a zip line.

Bo charged ahead to publish a magazine at age 12, graduate with honors from Incline High, graduate Magna Cum Laude from Cal Poly, and earn a Masters of Engineering Degree at Cornell, before signing on as a rocket scientist with Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Then last month Bo helped to blast “Doug & Bob” to the International Space Station. Wow.

But what’s mind-blowing to me about this amazing kid, is that he is a born writer, a thing not common to engineers. Bo will write the story of the SpaceX Generation one of these days, and I for one, am going to try to hang on to read it. We can talk about his little sister Tori when she steps onto the world stage.

Another phenom of the SpaceX generation I can point to with pride is the development director for the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, also a graduate of Incline High. While still in high school he traveled with Rob Hunt’s Young Life gang to build a home for a homeless family in Costa Rica, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cal Santa Cruz before joining that altruistic performance center in Richmond, CA, to help disadvantaged kids get off the street and into making contributions to the community. I couldn’t be prouder of this kid, and that pride has little to do with the fact that he’s my son.

We do solemnly entrust Bo, Tori, Mac and the SpaceX Generation to create a vaccine to kill this fiendish virus, balance inequality, mitigate climate crisis, reduce the threat of warfare, and make America a little more like Huck & Jim’s raft out on the Mississippi, “What you want above all things on a raft is for everybody feel right and kind towards the others.”

Go Generation SpaceX!

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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