How Titusville Celebrates 3-2-1 Day: A Tribute to the Man Behind the Area Code

Every year, the Space Coast of Florida throws a unique party called 3-2-1 Day on March 21st, right at 3:21 p.m. They hold this event at Space View Park in Titusville to honor Robert “Ozzie” Osband, a loved community member who got the 321-area code for Brevard County.

Osband, a lifelong space enthusiast and a familiar face at Space View Park, passed away on August 6, 2023. Everyone knew him for his green polo shirt and his launch countdown narrations, which earned him the nickname “Rocket Hobo.”

A Tribute to the Man Behind the Area Code (Image credit: American Space Museum)

The 321 Day celebration starts with a casual meet-up at the park to remember Osband. His iconic green polo and lawn chair are displayed as symbols of his enduring presence. The event continues with a special presentation of the “Stay Curious” podcast by the American Space Museum, a show on which Osband often appeared.

As the day goes on, Titusville Mayor Dan Diesel greets visitors at the Titusville Welcome Center and pays tribute to Osband. The party also has food trucks, drinks for adults, and booths for causes that Osband cared about. Interstellar Groove Machine, a local band of aerospace professionals, provides the day’s music.

3-2-1 Day: How a Space Enthusiast Secured the Perfect Area Code for the Space Coast and Inspired a Community
Image credit: Mark Marquette

One of Osband’s biggest achievements for the Space Coast was getting the 321 area code for Brevard County. In the late 1990s, when the 407 area code was overpopulated, Osband saw an opportunity. He found out that 321 was free and thought it was perfect for the “countdown capital.”

After a year-long campaign, Osband’s efforts paid off, and in 1999, the first official phone call to a 321 area code number was made. For his significant contribution, Osband is fondly remembered as the “Father of Brevard’s 321 Area Code”.

3-2-1 Day: A Tribute to the Rocket Hobo
Image Credit: Mark Marquette

Right now, the National Space Society is trying to use AI technology to make Osband’s voice announce the latest launch information when someone dials his number, (321) Lift-Off.

But 3-2-1 Day isn’t just about celebrating Osband’s life. It’s also about his lasting effect on the Space Coast community. His love for space exploration and his commitment to sharing that love have left a legacy that keeps inspiring people. As the Space Coast looks ahead, it does so with the spirit of the “Rocket Hobo” leading the way.

Source: via | 321 Day celebration


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