Magnificent Desolation

There is a full moon today. Eerie, as this is the fiftieth anniversary of the launching of Apollo 11.

These days many people take technology for granted. So much so that having a Yosemite Sam temper tantrum is common when something fails to “just work.” Fifty years ago this attitude was uncommon. Compared to today, computer technology fifty years ago was crude.

On July 16, 1969 I was glued to the TV. To watch a Saturn V rocket lift three men on a journey to the moon. Other than sleeping and the daily newspaper route, I was near the TV for the next 8 days.

I watched on July 20 as the Lunar Module landed.

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

I remember Walter Cronkite removing his eyeglasses to choke emotion as he announced the event with those infamous words, “Oh, boy! Whew! Boy!”

I remember a day later staying up late to watch the first steps on the moon.

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Upon publication mom bought me a copy of the Life magazine special edition, “TO THE MOON AND BACK.” For $1.50. One of my life treasures.

The event is remarkable considering the technology of the day. The journey was an amazing bold adventure. I still get emotional when I watch videos of the event. I will forever remain in awe.

You just had to be there.

Posted: Category: Commentary Tagged: General

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