Saturday, July 20, 2019

Apollo 11

And let's not overlook that today is the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  I remember it well, sitting in the living room with the folks, Dad's folks, and my kid sister, staring at our black & white console TV, trying to decipher those fuzzy images (The ghostly images inspired the name of the Apollo 16 command module Casper.).  The exact time was 2156 CDT.  I'd long since given up my early dream of being an astronaut because everyone knew NASA didn't take guys with glasses (and thereby setting off on the course that eventually led to law; maybe I should have stayed with plumbing and electric) but I was still deeply interested.  We were watching Huntley and Brinkley because we always watched NBC News (Imagine short-attention-span theater news programs these days using Beethoven for their theme music.) unless I got it switched over to ABC because a I needed a Jules Bergman fix.

And now Neil Armstrong is seven years dead, Buzz Aldrin is 89, and Michael Collins will turn 89 later this year.  I went back through the astronaut lists, and most are gone.  John Glenn was the last of the Mercury astronauts when he died in 2016.  Gemini has survivors: In addition to Collins and Aldrin there are Jim McDivitt (90), Frank Borman (91), Jim Lovell (91), Tom Stafford (89 in September), and David Scott (87).  For Apollo: In addition to the Gemini survivors, there are Walt Cunningham (87), William Anders (86 later this year), Rusty Schweickart (84 later this year), Fred Haise (86 later this year), Alfred Worden (87), Ken Mattingly (83), Charles Duke (84 later this year), and Harrison Schmitt (84).  Keep on keeping on, guys.


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