Monday, July 20, 2009

That's One Small Step for a Man

Forty years ago today, I was a kid and I remember watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I remember the picture on the screen of the old black and white TV in our living room, hard to make out what the picture was all about if you didn't already know.

And I remember "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

As a kid I was a tremendous fan of the space program. Strangely enough, a lot of kids in my class were not. They, and a lot of adults too, took a peculiarly negative, angry, sour, curdled attitude against the space program. As if the space program was dangerously unsettling to their flat-earth view of the universe. As if the space program were a fire, a dirty nasty filthy unclean fire that must be put out.

It's been a long time since I've run into anyone who takes that view of the space program. I suppose it's been a background element in our lives for so long now... Meanwhile, I remember what I was doing forty years ago today. I was glued to the television, in rapt fascination at signals coming to us from another world.

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