they tell me 40 years have passed

40 years onThey tell me 40 years have passed, but I don’t believe them.

40 years since the 9 year old boy that I was got up late on a school night to watch the live telecast of the launch of Apollo 11, and then got sent home from school for half a day on July 21st so that we could all turn on our tv sets and watch the grainy, blurry video images transmitted from that dinky little insect of a lunar landing craft sitting impossibly in the Sea of Tranquility.

Today I relived some of the magic with my 13 year old son, as we listened to the audio in ‘real time’ that was beamed back and forth between the earth and the moon all those years ago, this time streamed over the internet to our desktops. (The bog-standard computer on the desk in this picture is 50,000 times more powerful than the one that the astronauts relied on in the lunar lander! I think it had 32k of RAM or some such piddling amount.)

Our kids shake their heads and smile indulgently at the strangeness of their father. I commented to them that I can’t quite imagine what it must be like to be a child growing up in a world in which the wild adventure of journeys to the moon are now ‘ancient history’.

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~ by Garry on July 21, 2009.

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