I spent the afternoon listening to the online reenactment of the 1969 lunar landing. It was on in the background of the work I was doing and the crackles of static punctuated different points of the afternoon.
Forty years ago I was a little over 2 years old. I’d love to say that “I remember the landing” but I don’t. I think I remember being inside that night and that I saw Neil Armstrong take those steps, but that may be a conflation of memories of other broadcasts.
No matter. That moment is indelibly etched in my head. I’m not the son of a son of a sailor. I’m a child of NASA. My dad was working for NASA at that time. My younger sister and I were both born in Rockledge while Dad worked at the Cape. He was an engineer working on ways to go even further into space than the moon. I have vague memories of the apartment and the tv with the black and white images of the lunar lander.
My dad was younger than I am now, and only a few years out of school. He worked on space travel until 1970, then work took him elsewhere. Even though he never worked for the space industry afterwards, he has always been interested in the space program.
I wanted to be an astronaut. But after seeing my father’s gypsy ways in engineering, that approach never appealed to me. I didn’t have a calling to engineering, and in college I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do when I grew up. Instead I’m moving more away from the sciences and further into the arts. But I will always have a calling to the sky and space.
As I said on twitter earlier “The Eagle has landed. Even 40 yrs later I have goosebumps, tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.”