Moon Landing July 20, 1969
Photo Credit: courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, specifically the NASA History Office and the NASA JSC Media Services Center.
I spent most of my Virginia summer days at the Country Club. I went to swim team practice in the morning. I spent the rest of the day, until afternoon practice, at the club goofing off. My friends and I spent our hours in between practices exploring little places we were not supposed to go. We knew every corner of the lifeguard building which was off limits to kids. We learned how to use the cooking facilities of the snack bar, crawled about the golf course, spent hours in the off limits women’s (21 years and above) golf locker rooms. We struck up summer crushes, played card games, Marco Polo, and watched and admired the older kids. Then there were moments that caught us off guard like the day Jep Pearson fell off the high dive arms first onto the cement and the handsome lifeguard on duty fainted getting towels to mop up the blood. Poor Jep had to spend the next many months, even as school got underway, in a cast that held his arms up in the air, with triangulating metal rods propping up the arms, into the same position they were in as he dove to the cement. I was 15 and it was during one of those summer days of folly that I waited, watching the only TV I knew about at the club. The girl working the snack bar brought a little TV to work so that she could watch the moon landing. This is the only moment I remember of my Country Club days when the greater world penetrated my world of privileged shenanigans. She and I were the only ones there at the snack bar. I don't know if there were other TVs in the adult rooms at the Country Club with faces straining to see this miracle on the moon. But the girl inside the snack bar, and I, leaning over the counter in my bikini, watching, uncharacteristically, jaw open stunned, and reminded of a world larger than my own as the capsule opened. Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, and my brother, soldiering in Viet Nam, on the other side of the earth, counted his days to coming home.