Tuesday, July 21, 2009
We knew where we were in November 1963, but . . .
we know equally where we were on July 20, 1969.
To set the stage:
We had moved from Boston to Washington, after coming back from India. We were supposed to move into a new apartment house in Silver Spring. When we arrived at the apartment house to sign the lease, with our furniture arriving that same day by Allied Van Lines, the apartment developer told us that the apartment house was not yet finished construction and it would be some time before it was done. So, we were stuck. We put our furniture into storage, and rented temporarily, a hotel room in DC. Our friends from India, the Walkers, were with us, because they had driven one of our two cars from Boston to DC.
So, there we all sat, in a hotel room in DC, trying to decide what to do. Then our friends suggested that we all rent a cottage in Chincoteague for the summer and use the time to turn a bad happening into a fun, family vacation. Chincoteague was on the Virginia coast, across an inlet from Assateague Island. Each year, they had the annual pony swim, when they swam the wild ponies that lived on Assateague to Chincoteague.
So we all drove off to Chincoteague. I commuted on the weekends from DC, where I was working, to Chincoteague.
I was there, at Chincoteague, on July 20, 1969. We were partying a bit, drinking wine and eating Chincoteague oysters, when we turned on the little black and white TV in the living room. All of us, four adults and six kids, gathered around that little TV, watching in awe, as they landed on the moon, and man took those first steps onto the surface.
After . . . we walked outside and looked up into the sky, at the moon, shining there for all to see. We just stared at it, trying to grasp that fact--there were men up there, on that lunar surface, looking down on us. It was difficult to take our eyes off that shiny disk in the sky . . .