Moonwalk

The (gulp! ) 50th anniversary is almost upon us.

Where were you?

I, having just met the love of my life (Reader, I married him!)  was right here, with the living room darkened so nothing would obscure the TV , sneaking away upstairs occasionally ( to my usually placid, easygoing father’s extreme annoyance) to finish a dress I was making for my next glamorous outing with The Boy From New York City.  (The dress, in a bright orange fabric , was simplicity (and Simplicity) itself, called a “bubble dress”: a loose shift with a low elastic band so the top part “bubbles”  out over the bottom at about hip level…what a forgiving style!

But enough about (beautiful young)  me! Im writing to tell you, O Ratty, that if you want to celebrate the moonwalk, the spirit, the ethos, of it—

in my opinion,  you can’t do better than to read (or re-read) Tom Wolfe’s wonderful The Right Stuff.  

The movie is pretty good too.

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18 thoughts on “Moonwalk”

  1. Hypatia:
    in my opinion,  you can’t do better than to read (or re-read) Tom Wolfe’s wonderful The Right Stuff.

    I’ve read that book a million times and just had to replace it because it was so tattered and torn. 🙂

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  2. Wolfe was….well, I wish he coulda gone on forever.  I think Back to Blood  was his final novel, he was well over 85,  but it’s as fresh and energetic as his earlier books.  A Man in Full  is one of my faves, and, although I’m alone in this, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

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  3. Hypatia:
    Where were you?

    Up in Algonquin, on a big long canoe trip up in the noplace, with a bunch of Girl Scouts.  Dip, dip, and swing it back, flashing with silver!  Follow the wild goose flight: dip, dip, and swing!

    Best thing I ever did in foolish youth was sneak away from everybody else, paddle out at dusk to a promontory of our night’s island, beach the canoe, climb up, look at the moon in the sky, and think about it. We had all counted on fingers and toes to be sure this was the day, but once that was done, the thing to do was to be alone with it, as you might say.

    Of course you remember all the details about your (then-fabulous) dress and all, especially with a double shot of Significant Context.  That is how it works, and good for you. I am glad you married him, glad that he won out over Glamorous Outing Boy.

    [caption id="attachment_25621" align="aligncenter" width="291"] Tom Thomson[/caption]

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  4. Hypatia:
    I’m alone in this, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

    No, you are not. It was a gruesome book to be sure (but I tolerate John Irving well so …) and apparently it was based upon his daughter’s experience at Duke. I read it as soon as it was published.

    You forgot to mention Bonfire of the Vanities!

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  5. Hypatia:
    Where were you?

    I watched the CBS coverage of the Moon landing in the maintenance shop of the Univac 1108 service bureau where I was working while going to college.  They had a black and white TV which they were working on interfacing to the computer as a system status monitor and it still worked to pick up broadcast signals.

    …if you want to celebrate the moonwalk, the spirit, the ethos, of it—

    Evoloterra is a shared celebration of this epochal event in the history of our species.  People who appreciate its significance gather every July 20 to remember it.  Here is an Evoloterra ceremony and discussion of its development and meaning from The Space Show on 2012-07-20.

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  6. EThompson:

    Hypatia:
    I’m alone in this, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

    No, you are not. It was a gruesome book to be sure (but I tolerate John Irving well so …) and apparently it was based upon his daughter’s experience at Duke. I read it as soon as it was published.

    You forgot to mention Bonfire of the Vanities!

    Oh that is a great book!  ( The movie of it is awful, though..)

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  7. Hypatia:
    The (gulp! ) 50th anniversary is almost upon us.

    Where were you?

    I was not yet born (and wouldn’t be until 1975). Wish I could have seen the moment and heard Armstrong’s immortal words.

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  8. Mike LaRoche:
    I was not yet born (and wouldn’t be until 1975). Wish I could have seen the moment and heard Armstrong’s immortal words.

    For partial consolation, think that you also missed Woodstock, which horror took place the following month.  At least you did not learn about that in contemporaneous mode.

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  9. I was in high school, and my family had just returned home from a three-week family trip.   I went with my sisters to our maternal grandparents in Arkansas, while my parents helped move my paternal grandmother out of Memphis and into Aunt Peggy’s house in Middle Tennessee.   She had actually been living with Aunt Peggy for over a year, but it was time to move all her furniture and dispose of the belongings that could not be retained.   (Rev. Dr. MLK had been assassinated the previous year, and they moved her out of Memphis as soon as the National Guard allowed that sort of activity.   The following year, after the house in Memphis sold, it was time to retrieve her belongings.)

    We had watched all the previous Apollo events.   Our school purchased several additional TV sets so that most of us could see them live.   Schoolwork was adjusted to make time for the Space Race.

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  10. In Houston, watching with the family. I was 7.

    My father pointed out that my great grandmother watching with us came to Texas in a covered wagon and remembered hearing about the Wright Brothers’ flight.

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  11. I was in the Army at Ft Gordon Ga. Although I had just returned from a 2 week leave a week earlier for my wedding, I managed a three day pass and traveled to Atlanta from Augusta. We watched at a Ramada Inn, you know the rooms with carpet on the walls. If memory serves me, we also checked out Six Flags.

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  12. I was 14 and watched it with my family in a Maryland suburb of D.C. The T.V. simulations had them landing about a minute sooner than they did as Armstrong looked for a safe landing place. I highly recommend the new movie Armstrong. As many of you know, my father started working on the space program in 1952.

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  13. I was actually tinkering with a tube type television in my parents garage, a black and white type, (monochromatic display), when I stopped tinkering to watch. I wished I had a video recorder to record what I was seeing.

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  14. EThompson:

    Hypatia:
    in my opinion,  you can’t do better than to read (or re-read) Tom Wolfe’s wonderful The Right Stuff.

    I’ve read that book a million times and just had to replace it because it was so tattered and torn. 🙂

    Hey, great column on AG this AM about the book!  He laments that there surely won’t be any celebrations of  it on “mainstream media” this 50th anniversary.

    Hey Bill Thomas, come swim in OUR  “alternate-stream” media here at  Ratburger!

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  15. Hypatia:

    EThompson:

    Hypatia:
    in my opinion,  you can’t do better than to read (or re-read) Tom Wolfe’s wonderful The Right Stuff.

    I’ve read that book a million times and just had to replace it because it was so tattered and torn. 🙂

    Hey, great column on AG this AM about the book!  He laments that there surely won’t be any celebrations of  it on “mainstream media” this 50th anniversary.

    Hey Bill Thomas, come swim in OUR  “alternate-stream” media here at  Ratburger!

    Not even the movie?

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  16. jzdro:

    Mike LaRoche:
    I was not yet born (and wouldn’t be until 1975). Wish I could have seen the moment and heard Armstrong’s immortal words.

    For partial consolation, think that you also missed Woodstock, which horror took place the following month.  At least you did not learn about that in contemporaneous mode.

    Yes, and also missed: Uncle Ted’s un-excellent, not so good, definitely sub-optimal, submarine detour at Chappaquiddick.

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  17. YouTube — the commie bastards — have a couple of good videos covering the descent to landing ( the roughly fourteen and a half minuets between Powered Descent Initiation and touchdown).

    And

    The first is the link between CAPCOM, Charlie Duke and the astronauts. In the second one you get the Flight Director’s Loop. This one is much busier, giving you all the voices rattling around in Gene Kranz headset, and showing how important all the nerds and eggheads on the ground were to the success of the mission — particularly when things (communications problems and computer reboots) went sideways. All I can say is no wonder those guys smoked like chimneys.

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