Monday, July 20, 2009

Humanity Steps on the Moon

Certain events deserve nothing less or more than a simple bow of the head. Such was the landing on the moon that took place forty years ago today. I was underway, traveling by car, far from home, somewhere in Indiana, driving in darkness and listening to the radio. At last, and just in time, I saw lights and an easy exit. I drove off and made it to the light—a filling station. The owner had set up a TV set in the garage, the two bays empty, the lifts lowered on their oily columns. And there, a handful of us—locals and travelers—stood in the semi-darkness and watched as Neil Armstrong descended and made contact with the dust of the moon. Humanity was watching. I waited in line at the pay-phone until, my turn, I called home to share the moment with my family back in the state with the red earth, Virginia, where we lived in what, in our small circle, brings that whole time back: the Wallingford house.

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