Monday, July 20, 2009

To the Moon!

Forty years ago, the summer before I started Middle School, my family moved up from West Point, Mississippi to Fairchild Air Force Base, near Spokane, Washington. My dad was a career Air Force man. We arrived on the base a week or more before our belongings did. This is important part of the story.

Like most kids in the 60s, the Apollo moon missions were a dream come to life. I grew up watching every cheesy sci-fi movie ever made and was a devoted Star Trek fan and I saw the Apollo moon landing as our first major step towards a life of exploring other planets. Unfortunately, our TV was in the moving van that was still making its way to the Northwest. We didn’t know anyone at this base, and I was going to miss seeing one of the most important moments in history. My only consolation was a small transistor radio. At least I’d be able to hear it happen.

But a few minutes before the scheduled landing, a guy from down the street knocked on the front door, and when my mom answered it, he handed her a small portable TV and said, “This isn’t something you should miss.” It was one of the best gifts I can recall getting in my entire life.

He came back the next day for his TV, but for a moment the people on this planet were drawn closer together. And that guy went out of his way to do something because he felt it was the right thing to do and I will never forget him and his generosity.

Here’s to the 40th Anniversary of the landing on the Moon.

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