Monday, July 20, 2009

One Step

Diane asked "Where Were You on July 20, 1969?" as man first walked on the moon.

Don: It was Day 176 in DaNang, Vietnam for me. I set up my big reel-to-reel tape recorder to tape the broadcast of the moon landing that we were able to get there on the base. I wanted to have a verbal record of history being made. (One of the "spoils of war" most Vietnam vets recall is being able to buy cameras and stereo equipment incredibly cheaply at the base/post exchanges. Many long, tedious, exhaustive conversations there had to do with the various pros and cons of the equipment being contemplated for purchase.) The recorder reel would tape for about 2 hours so when chow time arrived I left it running and went to grab a bite. The chow hall had the broadcast on so I listened there to the actual landing. When I came back, the recorder was shut off! My roommate had come in, seen the recorder going and thought I had forgotten to turn it off. So he turned it off for me. So much for the recording of history.

Susan: I walked out into the parking lot of the apartment building I lived in and looked up at the moon with binoculars. It seemed as if you looked hard enough you'd be able to see someone there. I knew history was being made but all I could think of was that Don was probably looking up at the moon the same time I was, halfway around the world, away from me.

Don: A movie that is still makes be hold my breath as I try to white-knuckle the space module down is Apollo 13. For a real kick, download Google Earth. Click on the icon for Moon and in the Layers box click on Apollo Missions, Apollo 11 (the moon landing). You'll be able to watch old video clips of the landing transmissions and see close-up photos. Cool stuff. And it's interesting to scan the surface of the moon and see all the little national flags showing the landings over the years. I had no idea there had been so many hits on the moon by other countries.

No comments: