My dad was in his prime play years during the dawn of the science fiction age. Sputnik soared in 1958, and the space race that followed certainly influenced how he entertained himself.
In the early 60’s, when he wasn’t playing the unpolitically correct Cowboys and Indians, my dad remembers playing with a reel to reel audio recorder. His dad has set the equipment up on the porch and made it look like all space age-ish. There were dials all over the floor and panals and general good times. My dad would sit down and play with the stereo pickups to make unique noises.
Although he didn’t mention any direct correlation between his play time and the successful trip of Alan Shepard into space in 1961, I have a good feeling that the two events were not simply coincidental.