The LuLac Edition #882, July 20th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: FORTY YEARS AGO TODAY, MAN, THAT WOULD BE US, ON THE MOON.
40 years ago today man landed on the moon. It was perhaps the biggest achievement of the human race. Mankind has always been on the move, exploring new frontiers by foot, land, sea, air and finally space. After the tumultuous year of 1968, the Vietnam War, the Pueblo incident, the dual assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the riots in response to those murders, the invasion by the U.S.S.R. of the Czech people as well as a hard fought Presidential campaign, America and the world for that matter were ready for a triumph.
From my humble vantage point, 1969 was turning into “The Year that Sucked”. I had just finished my Freshman year in high school. And a miserable one at that. A new school, new faces, many changes. My father was recovering from a railroad accident that broke his leg in three places, I had lost an aunt in March of ’69 who was not quite 45 years old leaving my 16 year old cousin with only a dad. On the academic side, I barely made it to Sophomore year because I was hospitalized for 38 days at Wills Eye in Philadelphia with a disease called uveitis. Uveitis is responsible for 10% of people destroying their vision and I was one of them losing the sight in my right eye forever at the age of 15. Plus I was put on a cortisone drug ballooning my weight and giving me horrible acne. Just what every self conscious teenager needed. I was employed as a bagger at Detato’s Supermarket in Pittston and because I lived close, it seemed like I was always there. To add insult to injury, my seventh grade girlfriend, now entering her Freshman year moved south. My 1969 kind of mirrored the hangover the nation had from 1968.
In July of 1969 all people talked about was the trip to the Moon. Even though most Americans were optimistic, this was nowhere close to a walk in the park. There were so many variables that could go wrong and almost did. There seemed to be a collective nervousness. A sense of foreboding mixed with prayerful expectation. The nation seemed to be holding its collective breath as the lunar module descended onto the surface. When the craft landed, it was a while before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. As I watched with my mom and dad in our living room, I remember thinking what an incredible achievement this was. For that moment, all problems big and small faded into the background. In the 60’s we had gathered around the TV in times of national sadness and mourning. It took a journey hundreds of thousands miles away from earth to give us a sense of national joy. As Armstrong walked on the moon, fireworks were set off in my neighborhood. It was after midnight but no one dared complain. Mankind had triumphed and for more than a few of us who had navigated the 1960s, it was about time.
THE VIEW FROM MISSION CONTROL
DISREGARD AND DO NOT LINK TO POP UP AT START OF KING VIDEO. IT'S SOME SORT OF PRANK.