Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Mankind First Walked on the Moon 40 Years Ago Today

style="border:"Originally uploaded by PauloElias
What were you doing 40 years ago today when Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the moon? 

It was July 20, 1969 and I was 12 years old.   It was a very big deal, and yes, I was in front of the TV. 

I remember it well.   Those were the days of intense competition between Russia and the US.  I remember sending away for “free literature” (aka propoganda) directly from Russia to include in my school reports on space exploration.  Me and 100,000 other grade school students. 

The full-color, glossy brochures I remember the most were those showing the freeze-dried space food.  For some reason, that held a fascination for me.  How did they eat in space and yes, how did they eliminate their waste in space?

I remember my family priest (yes, I was raised Catholic) and a fellow-parishoner making  a $10 bet on the actual day it would occur (the parishoner won).  Can priests wager bets?

I remember the crackly voice on the TV saying “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” and the very poor reception on our TV with rabbit ears.

I grew up in the country and we still had a party line (if you even know what those are) and here there was a man walking on the moon!

I’m also from Ohio and so was Neil Armstrong.  He is from Wapakoneta – about 3 hours from here.  If you drive by it on I-75, you can see the museum from the highway, dedicated to the moon landing.  It is shaped like a moon on the horizon.  Back then, it was the only thing out there — surrounded by cornfields.  Today, it is surrounded by a tangled mess of fast-food restaurants and chain motels.

Have we progressed as a nation since then?  I wonder.

  1. It seems fitting somehow to mention TANG (remember that too?) touted as one of the side benefits of space exploration! It was an amazing time.

    I wonder along with you Mary. We/I had such youthful optimism back then that we could somehow solve all our problems with science yet we still have many starving people today.

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