….Forty years ago, tomorrow??? Do you remember? It’s one of the seminal ones, folks. Forty years ago– July 20, 1969–mankind stood shoulder to shoulder, that summer of love, in front of grainy black and white televisions, witnessing the impossible, the improbable, the unbelievable.
Three American men traveled to the moon. A human stood on the moon’s surface, planted a flag and left footprints.
Pretty heady stuff. Do you remember where you were?
My memory of the lunar landing is 100% wrapped up inside an incredibly real dream that I had as a child of 4 1/2 years of age.
The only television set that we owned was kept in the playroom. The playroom was next to the kitchen; it had it’s own formal front door entrance from our front porch. Like all the other rooms in that house on Ellicott Place, the playroom had many incarnations during my life. At one time it was my grandfathers home office, and my father crashed there for a few years, on and off. Joe lived there for a time, too, before he moved to the basement (or the garage??) Ultimately, it was Daddy Gus’s last bedroom.
But in 1969, it was still, or currently, the playroom (with a leather chair in the corner behind the door, with a telephone on the table. Can still see Grandma Elaine sitting there, chatting with Aunt Ursula. “Yah, yah. Yah.”
The dream and the landing go together. The house was at the top of a cul-de-sac (of the old-fashioned, legitimate variety) referred to then as a dead end or a private street.
The television was on; I can see the grainy images, but the door onto the porch is open, as well. And outside—well, here is where things get a trifle odd. There were these loins, running round the grassy islands, manes flying in the wind, and this city bus had somehow wended it’s way up the block and was now desperately trying to make the curve around the island. And all of it was in black and white.
Yeah, I experienced the summer of 69! (What year did Born Free come out? Had I ever even BEEN on a city bus at that age??)
(JANUARY 2009, From my back porch)
My other moon story comes many moons later (sorry for the bad pun, it was inevitable)…. I was a salesperson at a store that sold science-type gifts.
A older gentleman had come up to the counter and was looking at our Space Pens, nifty little bullet-like devices that could write at any angle. He questioned me about the pen, and I gave him my little spiel.
He then reaches into his pocket, and shows me his own pen. Tells me that HIS pen had actually BEEN to the moon, didn’t I know? And of course, I didn’t.
Bet you don’t know who Michael Collins is,” he then replies.
And I told him yes, actually, he is a cousin to one of my best friends. Don’t think he was expecting THAT as a reply, and I probably ruined his little pleasure of the day, but…it’s a great story for ME to tell!
To infinity, and beyond!
OH, and by the way?? The question at the top begs a response, please!!! What do you remember?