I remember the night fifty years ago when they landed on the moon; July 20, 1969. I was sixteen years old and the night was clear with the moon visible to the naked eye. I drove around in my Cougar XR7 blue convertible, with the top down and three friends all singing Fly Me to the Moon at the top of our lungs. We were the only ones driving around. Everyone else was at home watching on TV. But there was something about looking up at the moon and knowing someone from my team was up there walking on it at that very moment that made us want to ‘see it live’ from outside. The radio was telling the story, and we knew minute by minute what was happening. It was the first time I heard, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” That was the moment my country gave me my first USA pride goose bumps that tie us all together.
So, how come we only went once? Why has my daughter never had the chance to look up at a full moon and know someone from her country was walking on it? My generation and those before me have had many things to be proud of that feed the allegiance to the flag. My daughter’s generation, not so much. I want her to have a walk on the moon, saving Europe from the Nazi’s, the New Deal rise from a terrible time. Especially now, when American pride from my perspective, is a shadow from my past.
Back to the moon walk. Once Columbus discovered America, they didn’t say, “Been there, done that,” and walk away? Why did we?
Ok, just hear me out. What if we never walked on the moon at all and it was all simulated? What if Armstrong felt guilty in his old age and threatened to tell, and the CIA then sent a young assassin in to murder him with a pillow in his sleep hoping people think he died of natural causes? At the last minute the CIA agent told to do the dirty deed refused and instead calls Michelle Obama (he knew Melania wouldn’t take the call) and tells her the plan. She immediately steps in and tells them all to tell the truth. Then, Barack tells the CIA, who he is still in touch with, to stop the plan and yells at NASA to get it done; make it happen. Get us to the moon pronto. My daughter, Sarah, and I watch it together in a souped up Cougar XR7 that I buy on eBay two months before the launch. I make 4 million tee shirts in China that have someone fabulous doing Michael Jackson’s moon walk on the moon’s surface and live on the proceeds happily ever after. It could happen.
Meanwhile, back at the real ranch, I’m am going to look up at the moon tonight and imagine that night fifty years ago, the flag that I love so much still standing with perfect posture on its surface, and wonder at what our country might do to give my daughter chills of pride on a hot summer night that I was so privileged to feel so many years ago. Hope springs eternal.