BANGOR, Maine — Right before Thanksgiving, Jeremiah Gorman and his wife Jamie took their 4-year-old son Finn to the children’s museum in Portland. Jeremiah Gorman said his son’s favorite exhibit at the museum was the replica cockpit of a space shuttle.
“He could have played there all day, probably would have played there all day,” said Gorman.
After returning home to Bangor, Gorman said his wife approached him with an idea: build Finn his own space shuttle cockpit in his room for his birthday.
Gorman spent the next few weeks collecting old electronics, including a switchboard from a local television station, and putting together the cockpit.
“Just the expression on his face [when he saw the the cockpit] absolutely lit up,” said Gorman.
On a whim, Gorman posted pictures of the cockpit’s construction on his Facebook page and reddit.com, an online community for user-submitted news and content. Gorman said he was surprised when he awoke the next morning to a barrage of comments and emails from friends and strangers.
“One guy commented the switchboard I had used was the same they used to fire the Death Star. I looked it up and he was right,” said Gorman.
The pictures quickly went viral and ended up on websites including buzzfeed.com and the British publication the Daily Mail, which dubbed Gorman “best dad ever” in its headline.
Gorman said he appreciates the positive feedback and comments but said making a special memory for his son was what matters most.
“It’s nice to be able to sit here with my son. For me, that is really the most important thing,” said Gorman.