Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Rant #302: Moon Landing
I still want to go on vacation, but I guess I can pause for a moment and look at two guys who took the ultimate vacation--to the moon!
Today is the 41st anniversary of the first moon landing with man walking on the moon.
First, Neil Armstrong made his historic walk, and later, Edwin Aldrin did. Several astronauts followed in the next few years, and then our space program was pretty much dead in the water, and still is.
I am not going to repeat things I said in the past about the space program. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I think the manned space program--and primarily with the goal of missions to the moon and Mars--should be revived.
What I am going to tell you about is the majesty of that hot, July day back when I was 12 years old.
My family didn't take too many family vacations, because my sister and I were in camp and, well, it was pretty pricey to go away back then, and still is. If my father didn't work, no money would have come into the house, so most times, vacations were basically staying home and going to day camp.
Anyway, we went away in 1969 to a hotel in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. I think it was called Green Acres. I hated these trips, and was bored to tears the whole time. I simply could not wait until we got back, because the moon landing and moon walk were planned events that I looked forward to.
Finally, we arrived home, and watched everything on our black and white Dumont television that was in our living room in our apartment in Queens.
Sure, the images were fuzzy, and not much was happening from our end, but I was transfixed by what I saw.
I remember that there was a real buzz around for what was going to happen. The media covered this as one of the great events of the 20th century--which it was--and as a kid, I remember that one of my favorite cereals--I forget which one--actually had a lunar module that you could cut out of the box and put together, which I did.
And remember that the breakfast drink Tang emerged on every table in America as we planned for this day. Although it was not created specifically for the space program, it was promoted as the drink the astronauts brought with them when they went to the moon--and thus, you had to have it, even if it was putrid.
Those things aside, when it finally happened before my eyes ... well, I could not stop watching.
And I think the whole world watched with me.
It was a glorious moment, and I hope my kids have such a magic--but very real--moment sometime in their lifetimes.
Posted by Larry at 3:54 AM