|July 20th 1969... our wedding day.
After hurrriedly and distactedly getting into rented tails. The huge wedding party piled into the limo for the drive down to the little church in steamy Hoboken. Thunder showers threatened and I was very nervous. Everyone in the car was listening in on the radio blasting from the driver's area in front of the partition. Actually, the rocket's long descent was climaxing just as we pulled into the block where the church stood. They passed right by! I was the only one who noticed! My protests were drowned out by the cheers. A surreal moment to be sure.
We're still married. I don't have that much trouble remembering the anniversary date.
-Michael Marrella, M.D.
It was a hot night on Lake Geneva. The sounds of the frogs singing could be heard through the still night. It was muggy. Of course, being a Florida child, you get used to the humidity. At six years old, I always enjoyed the lake. I loved to go out on my daddy's boat. We loved to fish, although my dad never caught anything.
This summer night was different. My mom had told me that some men were going to fly to the moon. The men were actually going to walk on the moon. I remember that it seemed very mysterious to me that people could walk on something so small. My childish eyes did not see the moon as a big thing.
As we watched the television, I noticed that three frogs were looking in the window. They were watching the television. I said, "Look, daddy, the frogs want to watch the walk too." My father looked confused as he looked at those frogs. He went over to the window and hit it. The frogs hopped away. In a few moments, they were back again. The same scene repeated itself over and over. My dad would hit the window, the frogs would hop away, and then return. Finally, he gave up in defeat.
During the coverage of the walk on the moon, the frogs watched.
My dad shook his head and said, "That is the darndest thing I have ever seen."
When it was over, my dad turned off the TV and walked to the window. He said to the frogs, "The shows over, you can go home now." The three frogs hopped away.
For many nights, we looked for the frogs but they never returned. For one night of history, even the frogs watched.
In the summer of 1969, I was where I always went for the summers with my family, to a remote ocean side home in rural Maine. My father grew up there, and we looked forward to the cool, dark, serenity of the evenings, a welcome contrast from the steaming heat of suburban Virginia.
The evening before the Moon landing, my parents and I went for an after dinner walk. The sky was so clear. The stars shone bright, but the moon was in its last phase before a new moon would rise. A sharp, crescent sliver shone above us, and was breathtakingly reflected in the ocean. My stepmother broke the silence. "Those astronauts better land soon," she sighed, "or there won't be much left to land on."
She actually said this with a straight face. I was convulsed with laughter, as was my father, and my hardened teenage veneer actually weakened for those moments, and I let the spirit of what was about to happen to the Apollo crew, happen to us, standing on the bluff above the Atlantic. Momentous, yet a small step. One day at a time. The seriousness of my life as a 15 year old had been broken by the humor of the moment.
The next evening, it was quite late when the lunar module actually opened. There was no television, only a small transistor radio on which to hear Armstrong's famous words. But I stayed up. In my room, under the covers, I listened to every word as I gazed out my window. My heart was beating so hard. I was so exhilarated. I knew this was an historic event. When the broadcast was finished, I turned the radio off, rolled over, looked up at the nail clipping of a moon, and thought of my stepmother's comment from the evening before. A big smile came over my face; they had indeed made it in time.
- Adele Brown, Writer
I was 17 years old and it was my last summer before I went to college. My friends and I had gone to a local swimming pool to spend the day. On the way home we talked about the moon mission, and couldn't believe that someone would really make it to the moon.
About 2 miles before my friend dropped me off, we started to pass a car. Unfortunately, it was at an intersection. (We all lived out in the country in rural northern Missouri.) There were four of us in the seat of a 4-wheel drive pick-up. The car turned left in front of us, and my friend who was driving swerved to the right to miss the car. We ended up going down the gravel road, sliding sideways, and rolling over in a drainage ditch. No one was hurt, but the truck was totaled. That night, with a very sore neck, I watched the lunar landing.
My dad commented that it was safer to go to the moon than to let four teenagers out in a pick-up truck!
- Carola Aubuchon
I was 14 years old. I was in the apple orchard and got stung by about 10 wasps. I'll never forget it.
- Author Unknown
On this particular mission I was 6 years old. I was following the astronaut story the best a six year old could. So when something came on the TV, I would try to catch it. I probably missed more than I saw, with it being summer and living in small town Kansas, I was usually playing outside with friends and family. We had the yard that all the neighborhood kids would congregate in.
The reason I can remember this mission is because when they splashed down, my two year old brother and I were jumping around the living room celebrating that they returned safe. While I was jumping, my neck popped and stuck. It hurt liked the devil and had to go to a doctor, because my parents were a little nervous about trying to straighten my head.
As a result my summer was a bummer for the next couple of weeks. No playing, no swimming, and no sports of any sorts. The only good thing that came of this was that the night we had liver and onions, I said it hurt to much to chew. So while my brothers and sister had to eat the most horrible dinner know to kids, I sat in front of them and sucked on a chocolate shake.
For the record, I was in St Paul, KS. I was living a normal kids life and having a summer that I would kill for right now.
- Scott Smith
As a twelve year old camper and youth of America I thought it would be the neatest thing to watch the moon landing. The only problem was that I was at sleep away camp and there was no television available to us. I had an ingenious idea! Did it work? Please continue to read to find out.
On that exciting morning I decided that the only way that I would be able to see the moon landing was to return home from camp for the day. After all, I was only an hour from home. As our bunk left breakfast that morning my retainer "accidentally" fell out of my mouth, caught between the two planks in the bridge and then by some mysterious consequence it was crushed by my own two feet. It actually might have been one foot, but who cares, mission accomplished!
After having braces and retainers in my mouth for the past six years, I really couldn't imagine one day without dental apparatus in my mouth, so I immediately had the camp call my parents to pick me up and have my lifelong hope of having a beautiful smile and seeing the moon landing accomplished. Well, mission complete! Apollo 11 landed and I had my braces fixed. Unfortunately, I had such a great orthodontist that he had my retainer fixed in record time and I was back in camp by dinnertime and didn't get to see the moon landing until many weeks later when I returned home from camp. Needless to say, as a result of this, I try to watch anything to do with our space program to this day!
- Lee Gitter-Cruz
I was celebrating my fifth birthday on July 20, 1969. I distinctly remember watching the moon walk in the hospital emergency room. Why was I there you ask? Well I was playing a game of "Space Launch" (as we called it) with my older brother and sister, and I was the rocket. My sister was lying on her back on the floor with her feet in the air and I would sit on her feet, then she would push me into the air "launching the rocket" and my brother was the catcher -- HE MISSED! OUCH! I went to the hospital emergency room to have my broken arm set, while I watched the moon walk.
- Author Unknown
My wife and I were on our first tour of Europe. We were both teachers and had the summer off. We were spending the night in Pisa, Italy and weren't paying much attention to the news.
It was late at night. It was very warm in our room and I could not sleep, so I took a walk to the hotel lobby. There, a few people were gathered around the TV watching the moon landing! Of course all of the English language broadcast was drowned out by the local Italian commentary.
I sat and watched until I got tired and then went back to our room. Well, my wife was fuming! She had awakened and found herself locked in the room. I had locked the door and taken the key. The door could not be opened from the inside or the outside without the key. Bobbie (my wife) telephoned the desk to explain the problem, but no one spoke English and she spoke no Italian! The room was very warm and she was locked in. Not only that, but she missed seeing the moon landing!
She has not let me forget this night and whenever the subject of the first moon landing, or of the leaning tower of Pisa comes up, so does this story.
We have been married for 28 years.
- Michael Marcus
I was miserable the day man first walked on the moon. The day before I had fallen off my bike and broken my leg. I was eight years old. All I can remember is being confined to a sofa with the only three networks in existence carrying the same news--first man to walk on the moon.
Two hundred and fifty miles away a thirteen year old boy lay on a sofa just as bored as that eight year old girl. The day before (on his birthday) he had slipped and fallen down the hill leading to the edge of the lake. The resulting knee injury required 75 stitches.
Eleven years later that little girl met that boy. They (we) have been married for 18 years.
- Jennifer Ashby, Early Intervention Specialist
- David Ashby, Nuclear Maintenance Instructor
When the day came for the Apollo 11 mission to begin their approach to the moon's surface, our family was gathered in our den to watch the historical events unfold. I was setting in front of the TV with my model of the moon lander, the Eagle. As the Apollo 11 crew approached the moon's surface, we called out to my brother to come downstairs to see these brave men land on the moon. When the Eagle landed on the moon, in my brother's excitement, he came racing down the stairs, tripped, and landed on his thumb, breaking it. As the men landed on the moon, my brother landed on his thumb. We later sent a letter to the Apollo 11 crew about our brother's "landing", and to our surprise, we received a letter back. Our letter from the astronauts was big news, so we ended up having an article and picture printed in the state newspaper. Today, the article and picture are framed and hangs in my brother's home for his children to know how man walked on the moon on July 20, 1969 and how he became a part of that historical day.
- Walter Frick
I was nine at the time of the landing and was given special permission to stay up late to watch. I had been obsessed by all things in space for the past two years. I lived in the east end of Glasgow, Scotland and my friends and I were all obsessed with Armstrong and his team.
I still remember the feeling of awe that went over me when those grainy images flickered onto our television. My mother brought me in a cup of hot chocolate and I remember saying, "Mammy, quick, you might miss it. There's a man on the moon." My Mother knelt down beside me and said, "Son, I've got awful bad news. The whole thing's a con. I just looked at the moon out the kitchen window and there's bugger all up there!"
Gerard Kelly, Actor
In the early sixties, my friend Dan, who had seven kids (out of nine total)
still living at home, didn't have a TV. Finally, in response to the
clamoring of the children, he told them he would buy a TV "when a man goes
to the moon."
Years later, on the day before the moon landing, Dan quietly arrived home
with a large box and unpacked a new TV set, on which they watched the
landing. He had remembered. Dan died recently. I suspect he still had
that very TV set, hardly used since.
Bob Heinmiller, Internet Entrepreneur
I wasn't paying that much attention to current events. I was busy with hurried preparations on July 20th, 1969 -- our wedding day. After hurriedly and distractedly getting into rented tails, the huge wedding party piled into the limo for the drive down to the little church in steamy Hoboken. Thundershowers threatened and I was very nervous. Everyone in the car was listening in on the radio blasting from the driver's area in front of the partition. Actually, the rocket's long descent was climaxing just as we pulled into the block where the church stood. They passed right by! I was the only one who noticed! My protests were drowned out by the cheers. A surreal moment to be sure. We're still married. I don't have that much trouble remembering the anniversary date.
-Michael Marrella, M. D.
We'd spent our summers at our cottage in the Cape Cod National Seashore since 1953. We had no electricity so we didn't have a television set. When the time came for the moonwalk on July 20, we decided we didn't want to miss the historic moment. We jumped into our Jeep Wagoneer and raced the hour and a half trip to the Hyannis Mall. We bought a 13-inch black and white television set with a cigarette lighter plug for $65 at Kmart, picked up a new car battery, raced back and set about getting the thing rigged up in time for the festivities. What a modern miracle -- a TV picture out on the dunes! Our 9-year-old daughter and the two of us huddled around waiting for the moon landing. And waited. And waited. Finally, after our daughter stumbled off to bed, the astronauts took their giant steps -- and our TV picture began to shrink! Soon it was the size of a small matchbox with two little white things the size of fleas jumping around the screen. We had used up most of the juice in the new battery and we were about to miss the walk. My husband said we could just bring the set out to the Jeep and plug it in there. No sooner said than done, except that the reception was impossible inside the car. What to do? Hold the set up on the roof of the car. But it was drizzling lightly, so we had to find protection -- our large sun umbrella from the porch set. While one of us held the TV set on the roof of the car with one hand, the other held the huge umbrella with the other hand. We both held on to the top of the doorframe standing where the running board would be, a drizzle softly falling. We saw it to the end. I've often wondered which was the weirder sight, people jumping around on the moon or the two of us watching them.
-Mildred Champlin, Teacher
Copyright © C.M. Pate 2001 All rights reserved.