Monday, July 20, 2009

When I Went to the Moon

Grainy images
Enthralled the Earth when Neil made

Footprints on the Moon

NASA photo, Apollo 11.I'm backed up on blog entry ideas again. Let's start with the most timely one.

I mentioned in my Walter Cronkite entry that we watched mostly CBS during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs of the 1960s and early 1970s. I specifically remember watching a Gemini shot on tv at school in second grade, and watching Apollo 11 on tv at the summer house we used to rent on Lake Ontario, forty years ago today. Only two of the Syracuse tv stations were watchable on that tv, plus the only Watertown station. And of course I was glued to the tv as the crew of Apollo 13 struggled to get safely back to Earth.

But my relationship with outer space hasn't been confined to television, fictional as well as the real thing. There was a book I read in first grade, possibly even kindergarten. It was called You Will Go to the Moon, and I've written about it before. I think one of the reasons I always found this second person, future tense story so objectionable is that I always knew it was a false promise. The story showed children, stand-ins for young readers, going to the moon with their parents, in a rocket that was already kind of outdated by 1963. I knew even then, at the age of six, that I wouldn't go to the moon.

I did get to the Kennedy Space Center a number of times in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Heck, I even lived in Cape Canaveral in the summer of 1976. But I never got to the moon.

Or did I?


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