When the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon, I was living in Germany, my father having been assigned as part of a small American contingent on a British base (RAF Bruggen) in Northern Germany. We didn’t have Armed Forces Television in that part of Germany, and I remember getting up very early in the morning to watch the moon landing on German television.
I had long been fascinated by the space program, going back to the days when Captain Kangaroo would be pre-empted for Mercury launches. In 1967 I began a series of what I simply called my “Space Scrapbooks” - a collection a newspaper and magazine articles lovingly cut from out daily papers and magazines with every articles I could find about the what was once known as the “Space Race,” even Peanuts cartoons.
After all, Snoopy did fly to the moon once, atop his doghouse.
There is even one of the famous Giles cartoons, from the British Daily Express.
The scrapbooks go on from a few months before Apollo 7 to just past Apollo 13. These were the days when satellites in the sky were so few that the schedule for their appearance in the night sky would be printed the newspapers, so that folks could watch for them.
The moon landing truly was a world-wide sensation; everyone I knew at Bruggen was glued to their TVs, watching the grainy footage. From where we lived in Germany we could pick up TV signals from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and all counties carried the news, and public reaction.
It wasn’t a great necessarily time to be an American; it was just a great time to be alive, and human, and know that everything was within our grasp, if we only dared reach out for it.
About those scrapbooks
Everything seems to fall apart with age, so a few years ago I went down to C.A.T. and set some of the headlines to music, in a short program, simply called The Race to the Moon.
Quote of the Day
If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late. - Henny Youngman
The Prisoner Rides Again
American Movie Classics is doing a remake of the classic science fiction series The Prisoner later this year. Those interested in what the new mini-series looks like can take a look at:
It’s Official: A Meteor has demolished NBC
BBC America gives us Torchwood, and NBC gives us Meteor, yet another rehash of cliched (and not terribly bright) characters and situations we have seen in a hundred other trite disaster movies.
One is led to the inexorable conclusion that at some point in the recent past a meteor has indeed hit our planet, and the crash site was whatever passed for creativity at NBC. - and other American networks as well, I suppose.