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      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
    Because this is Whitechapel and we need one of these. We commemorated Stonewall, we should bloody well commemorate the moon landing.

    I am 39 years old (39 and a half), born just a bit too late to have seen the first men land on the moon. I recently spoke to my dad about it and he enthused for a good twenty minutes about it. "It was amazing, it was life-changing. But in the end, it looked like the outskirts of Sudbury."

    Did any Whitechapel members ACTUALLY watch the moon landing? If you're like me, too young, what are your plans for The Big Night? (20 July, 2009, although my dad said he saw it on the 19th, because of Zulu Time.) Me? I've got a plan to get on the roof and drink beer and watch the moon. And take pictures.

    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
    Because this is Whitechapel and we need one of these.
    We had one. You even commented in it.

    ... But, all right, it's the fucking moon, after all. I'll let it stay.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
    Thank you, Miss.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
    > Did any Whitechapel members ACTUALLY watch the moon landing?

    Sort of: I was 8. It was summer holidays, and we were in France and visiting some people that day. The live TV coverage lasted for hours. My parents and their hosts stayed inside, talking, in a dim living room with, the TV on. The hosts had a tennis court with their house, and my brother and I played tennis with each other in the hot sun, coming in occasionally. The TV pictures weren't much: grainy, small TV, black and white; the idea of what they were doing was more exciting than the visible pictures.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
    As noted in the Good Things thread, I just had opportunity to see/meet Buzz Aldrin this weekend as he's touring with his new book, and the first few chapters are spent recounting the trip, quite fascinating for me (but quite possibly familiar ground for others, as my interest had shifted from the real spacemen to the fake spacemen before I ever really got a chance to look for the personal stories of the astronauts) in reading about how bare-bones the lander really was, and how the system was throwing errors thanks to too much information as they're seconds away from landing.

    The numbers involved finally sunk in on reading it, as well (hurtling towards the moon at 25,000mph and you're detaching, reversing alignment, and coupling with the lander? D:), and really served to underscore how monumental a thing it was that they achieved, and renewed my childhood awe at the whole thing.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
    I was seven, and a budding space dweeb even then. My parents and younger sister and I were on a trip to Arkansas to pick up a sailboat from my uncle. I saw the launch in my uncle's living room; I remember that he -- an Air Force guy who worked on Titan ICBMs -- raced out of the bedroom just in time to see it lift off.

    Sometime during that week we picked up a "Tab A in Slot B" type paper LEM model from a GULF gas station. One of those, unassembled, would probably be worth hundreds today. We also bought a little booklet describing the moon missions; I actually have a copy of it, picked up from a garage sale years later.

    The landing happened while we were on the road home. I remember staring out the back window of our Volvo, imagining that I was seeing the specks of light in orbit.

    We managed to get to a motel in time for TV coverage of the first moonwalk. A B&W set, but still, holy fuck.

    I'm certain I saw the landing (uh, SPLASHDOWN) a few days later, but I don't recall exactly. (I do remember watching Apollo 13's pants-crapping-tension return, on a TV set in my Third Grade classroom.)

    The sheer amount of media coverage and paraphernalia available provided a lot of validation for space-nutziness.

    I have four unbuilt Saturn V flying model kits in a closet; two for me, the others purchased on speculation . . . but my jaded adult self didn't think to have one ready to fly in time for the 20th.

    Well, I suppose if I really hurry . . .
  1.  (6364.7)
    I was 12. I watched the landing on TV, then went out on my bike for a ride through what I assumed was now a whole new world.
    (Later the whole family watched Neil Armstrong put his actual foot on the Moon)

    The Space Race was probably the defining thread of my childhood culture (with the Cold War and imminent apocalypse a close second). I remember watching rocket launches on TV when I was four or five. I could watch the most tedious we're-waiting-for-something-to-happen-and-here's-what-it-might-look-like-when-it-does coverage for hours and hours. Walter Cronkite was like a god to me for anchoring that stuff.
  2.  (6364.8)
    My parents got married because of the moon landing.

    They'd been dating for a couple years. My mom was 22 and my dad was 44.

    My mom was in her first job and first apartment and kept blowing all her money on friends. Got to the point she was making ketchup sandwiches. So she went to the only adult she knew who wouldn't rip her off or shame her (family) that being the super of her building, my dad. She gave him half her check and made him swear to keep it form her for at least half the pay period. She did this three times before he realized she was smitten. They went out to coffee and started a conversation that never really ended.

    But two years in he didn't want to get married. He'd been married before and she tried to run him down with a car. It was Ireland in the 50's, that was how they did divorce.

    So he went back to Ireland for the summer in a bit of a snit and they talked once a week. It's that moment in a relationship when they will either commit to call it a day. Something is gonna give, go or no-go.

    He calls her up, a bit drunk and say " maureen. There's a yank on the moon tonight. Let's you and me get married before the summer is up?"
    "You're drunk"
    "Of course I am. There's a yank on the moon and I love you. Marry me"
    "Well okay"

    August 31 1969 they married. I was born at 8:31 am, which they called eerie.

    They're both gone now, but I grew up in a house where my mom would cry when shuttle launches came on.

    Godspeed Apollo 11.
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009 edited
    I grew up in the middle of nowhere and read my parents' pulp sci-fi, including some that continued to speculate that space travel was impossible, so when I discovered their Time/Life records and magazines about the Apollo program, it was almost as if I hadn't been born too late to experience it first hand.

    I was overawed and obsessed over every NASA photo in their collection and listened to a flexi-disc narrated by the guy who played Boss Hog on the Dukes of Hazard over and over. The Right Stuff (all 3 hours of it) came out when I was 8. I gladly sat through the whole thing.

    I don't even want a jet pack. I just wish the kids today got to feel the same way.

    This year, maybe I'll wear a costume astronaut helmet to my birthday party.

    Edit: @orwells_eyes I've really got to start refreshing, before posting, because there's no following that!
    • CommentAuthorJarreddo
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    @orwells_eyes Okay, thread is over, you killed it. Nobody's going to post when they just know it's gonna be overshadowed by your awesome story.

    Me, I'm 21, so obviously I didn't see it. I don't even know if my parents were old enough to remember. I'll have to ask. I really wish I could have lived back then, just to experience such a big change. I mean, that's a world-changing event, right there. One moment you're living in the real world, where humans and earth are stuck with eachother like a couple that got married right out of high school. Then, suddenly you're living in the future.

    I grew up in the age of super-science turned boring. Bleh. Except for quantum physics, what's the last really COOL thing we've done? I can't think of a damn thing.
      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009 edited
    I was five. It's one of my earliest memories. We were poor, and I remember my dad 'acquiring' a tiny portable TV so we could watch it. He and mum are staggeringly uninterested in space, but even they knew that day was significant.
    (And they let me stay awake for the entire of the Apollo 13 situation, praying my little heart out.)

    I assume folks are aware of If not... site recreating the 11 mission in real time. Very cool.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    I was eight.

    It was day time where I lived so we got to go home from school so we could watch the landing live.

    Oddly I remember virtually nothing about the actual landing footage. what I recall is standing at the bottom of the hill outside our house, seeing the tiny, three quarter moon, pale anf ghostly in the day light and holding up a finger to block it out, realising as I did that there was a WHOLE WORLD with people on it up there.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    I had the good fortune of going to high school with (and very briefly dating) one of Neil Armstrong's Granddaughters. They're having a party at their place in West Chester, Ohio, which I've been invited to (again, through the granddaughter). Needless to say, I'm crazy excited about this. Neil was at my graduation, and i got her to introduce me to him; he's crazy nice. The thing that shocked me was that almost nobody there recognized who he was.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    @looneynerd: There was an episode of The Simpsons set at SF convention. Off in a corner was a table where an astronaut was signing stuff . . . or would be if everyone weren't off chasing Mark Hamil. "For God's sake people!" shouts the astronaut's agent, "This guy has actually been in space!
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    OK. My 40th anniversary tribute: I've had this cool little plastic model kit gathering dust in a closet for going on ten years. It has a Mercury Redstone, a Mercury Atlas, a Gemini-Titan II, a Saturn Ib, and a Saturn V, all to scale . . . the Redstone is a little bigger than a Bic pen (Biro). The Saturn V first stage is Red Bull can size.

    I'm going to build and finish as many of these as I can by next Monday.
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    Since it's the anniversary, let's take a moment to put those who admonish this historic event in their proper place:

    Go get 'em, Buzz.
  3.  (6364.17)
    i have the newspaper from that day that my grandfather bought for one of his impending grandchildren (he had 13 kids...he knew it would happen). about 20 years ago, he decided that im the only one who would care. he was right! i still have it and took great care of it.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009 edited
    I don't know WHO wins this thread ... orwells-eyes, for his truly moving moment, (better than MY dad's recollection. Fucking Sudbury, Dad? And I've BEEN to Sudbury and yes, parts of it DO look like the Moon.) or Looneynerd - "who dated (very briefly) NEIL ARMSTRONG'S GRAND-DAUGHTER!!!" (Emphasis added.)

    I'd like to once again thank Ariana and hope I ain't causing no problems. Just figured ol' Whitechapel might want to comment on space and all. Just like Stonewall and all. That's all.
  4.  (6364.19)
    Oooh, I like that! "The moonshot" sounds so dirty. Like zero-g pr0n with tentacle monsters.
    "Yeah, baby! Here comes the moonshooot!" as the rocket penetrates the virgin Moonscape...

    I think I came.
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
    I was 6. Don't remember it all that well, but it seems to me that my mom woke me up at night to watch it, in the den at my aunt and uncle's place, on the tiny little black & white TV.