Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blast from The Past: Lunar Landing Edition

It was 40 years ago today that Apollo 11 lifted off to begin the mission that would put the first humans on the Moon. Today began a week-long celebration, of sorts, that has at least two newspapers here in Delaware asking for reminisces from readers about the Moon Landing.

And NASA has released newly restored footage of the first moonwalk. That restored material is included in the video below.

I found this, by the way, as part of an interesting report on the release on the NY Times blog The Lede.

I was seven years old in July of 1969 and my memory of the Moon Landing has me, for some reason, in a classroom at Woodacres Elementary School, in Bethesda, Maryland. I would have been a first or second-grade student that year, but I would think that school would be out in July.

Perhaps it was a summer school session; I have a memory of one summer when I was quite small when we did some sort of summer school, or perhaps a summer program at the school. I remember brown-bag packed lunches eaten under a tree outside.

If it was in Woodacres Elementary that I watched the Moon Landing, then I think it was the case that I was suffering from a scratched cornea that day and was shortly taken off to the eye-doctor, who applied a temporary eye-patch.

I had been struck in the eye by a thorn-bush branch that whipped back into place as we walked through the woods near our home. There would probably have been a line of us -- I was one of seven kids -- and I think whoever was ahead of me brushed past that branch causing it to spring back at little me.

I think I remember not being able to see what the hell Niel Armstrong was doing when I watched the Moon Landing. In fact, looking back at even restored footage, I'm amazed at what we were impressed with on our television screens back then.

Anyway, that's what I think is my memory of the Apollo 11 mission. I hope my Mother and Father can correct or corroborate my recollection. I have found lately that my memories of childhood are at least partly productions of my imagination.

What happened 40 years ago, in my memory, is recreated from the scraps that remain in memory from the little I saw and heard from down below the big people. The right side of my brain is playing with those scraps and creating new dramas, comedies, and mockumentories for me.

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