Monday, July 20, 2009

It was Forty Years Ago Today

And doesn't that make you feel old? Well, presuming you're old enough to remember it at all. Or young enough...

It was one of those everybody-come-inside-you're-going-to-watch-this moments, that's for sure, and it made for a pleasant change from the ones the year before, which were funerals. Everyone took it very seriously, because somehow it was going to make everything different: men on the moon.

As it turns out, it didn't particularly, unless you really, really like Tang (local fun fact: in this part of the world, you can now get Tang Strawberry - does that exist back home?). Oh, I know it was a vital part of scientific advances of the era, and it meant a lot in terms of beating the Russkies, but really: by 2001 we were supposed to have intergalactic flight attendants and resorts on the Sea of Tranquillity and all that. On some level, no matter how much has happened since, is it any wonder that we can, at times, feel vaguely ripped off?

Afterward, when the doors on the Mediterranean Fruitwood Consolette that held the television were closed again, and for the rest of that summer, Susie Cooney next door and I would play moon landing, even though Midge didn't have a space suit and had to wear her green prom gown instead if she wanted to ride along with Barbie and GI Joe. Susie would solemnly tie a little plastic bag over her head, which was good enough as a space helmet for Midge.

Later on, a real live astronaut came to town, and because Father Muscato was a Rotary Bigwig or a Shrine Kahuna or for some other reason, I got to be taken along to meet a Man Who Walked on the Moon. It made you feel funny, to think about, but he was very nice. Typically, I remember his wife more, because she was wearing eye makeup, which among Our Kind was considered very racy, and had a large and elaborate hairstyle (I believe that sausage curls were involved, and it was definitely dyed, also racy). I don't remember which astronaut it was, one of the first ones or one of his successors, and now the only other person who might remember would be Father Muscato, and while it's the kind of fragment that might one morning surface, I'd probably first have to explain who I am, and...

Forty years can seem like an awfully long time. Maybe it's time for our next Giant Leap.


  1. Muscato Dear, if you haven't already, you simply must start writing that book that keeps trying to pop out of you.

  2. My blushes. I would think about it, but it's so damned hard to embed Youtube videos into a book - and it requires an attention span of more than ten minutes...