Forty-five years ago this night, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto the moon. It was an exhilarating event in the U.S. and in much of the world. I did not see it on TV. Instead, I was camping with two of my friends. On this night, forty-five years ago, we were lying in our sleeping bags on a thick bed of pine needles on the crest of a pine covered hill overlooking a local reservoir. The land was posted, but we were adept at stealth camping. We had a perfect view of the full moon on that clear, warm night. Normally, we never had a radio or even a watch when we camped. But this time we made an exception. I carried a small transistor radio to listen to Walter Cronkite narrate the landing. Looking back on it, we made the right decision. It was glorious to be surrounded by nature looking at the moon with our own eyes while listening to history being made.
Given the state of the world today and the craven cowardice of so many of our politicians and pundits, I find solace in what we once were. It's either that or rum.
Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Ask ev'ry person if he's heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory