Monday, July 20, 2009

More on the 40th anniversary of the First Moon Walk

Why are we so fascinated by the First Moon Walk on this particular anniversary?

Is it knowing that this may be the last 10-year anniversary where all three astronauts of Apollo 11 may be alive? (after all, Neil Armstrong is 78). Is it a sense of what may have been (why did we abandon manned space missions out to the moon and beyond?) Or is it because we have so many Internet "toys"that allow us to follow the mission, minute by minute, complete with astronaut updates on Twitter?

(If you are interested in one such site, here's a very good one, run by the JFK Presidential Library).

Or, you can go to "Google Moon".

But the one I really liked was the NY Times "readers' moon memories" . Must be the anthropology major in me. If only I knew where my photos were, I would scan and post them on this blog. Yes, I took black and white (of course!) photos of the TV screen at home. My Dad and I stayed up late to watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps.

However I never thought of taking pictures of us watching TV. That would have been interesting!

And what if we had had the Internet then? Well we could say that about any time of history. Better in some ways that our memories are frozen in those faded photos and home movies. No matter how dated they seem to our children.

Eight months later I would go on a trip with other high school seniors to study a total solar eclipse on the grounds of East Carolina university. (Greenville, NC) If the moon landing was a thrill of a lifetime, this trip to North Carolina taught me some interesting things about life on earth. But that will (perhaps) be a story for another time.

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