SATURDAY, jULY 20, 2019
Do you remember where you were? ...if you actually were, yet. As for me, I was. I was here. Truth be told, I was about 50 miles south of here.
It was the summer of my eleventh year (i.e., I was 10 years old). So yeah...do the math, and your perceptions of how youthfully vigorous I am might possibly be tainted. Who cares. I feel like I'm only 10 years older than I was back then (maths: 20).
So yeah, I was some 50 miles south of my present location (btw, did you know I've never lived outside of the county of my birth? Tis true.). And you wanna know more? The reason I was away from home this week in 1969 was because I was... (wait for it...) at CHURCH CAMP. Yep. Like I said, I was 10, and it was church camp week. Didn't really like church camp; throwing faggots into the campfire was particularly disconcerting. (Years later, members of the same church denomination that put on this camp would undoubtedly try to "pray the gay away" for me. I'm happy to say that their prayers were decidedly not answered.)
Ima be kind of honest here...I actually remember the lifeguard at camp more than I remember this historic event. He was big, muscular and blond. And he was NICE to me! Damn, I wanted to be his best friend.
But I digress.
The reason I do remember this historic event is because they'd set up a (black-&-white) TV in the rustic, open-beamed, cafeteria/great hall of the camp. There were a couple rows of chairs—those uncomfortable, grey/brown metal ones from the era—set up, and I definitely remember walking through the room and stopping to watch images of the lunar module on the surface. Seems I remember Armstrong (he was so cute!) and Aldrin traipsing around a bit too. It's hard to know for sure if my memory is accurate, because I've seen footage of that day so many times now. But I DO remember seeing some of it on that old Zenith at camp.
That day, President Nixon (wasn't he just a great man?*) spoke to the two astronauts from the Oval Office. He said: "For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives." Yeah, it will never leave my memory. (That, and the gorgeous blond lifeguard at camp.)
Here are two of my favorite sites/videos that relate to this amazing event:
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/ An ASTOUNDING site.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBdyzTvA3oA Uncle Walter, and his inimitable manner.
*This is what's known as sarcasm.
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