One small step forward; two giant leaps backward
July 20, 2009 Janine
Monday 20 July marks the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon. To celebrate the achievement we had a moon party hosted in usual great style by Darren and Sandra on Saturday!
Space style fancy dress was worn…astronauts, stars, planets, 60’s dress and even Albert II the first chimp in space. Darren and R2D2 Phil recreated the lunar module and moon in the garden including take off and landing areas.
The original moon landings were played all evening on several TVs and monitors. A CD compiled by Mark played some 80 tracks of pop songs including the word MOON. How many can you think of?
After a very efficient safety briefing from Darren, we got into pairs and proceeded in turn to go on our moon landing missions.
First we were waved off by the rest of the crew, then proceeded to ‘take off’.
Next, the task was to climb out of the lunar module (no easy fete), step onto the moon, declare some immortal words of our choice and then complete a task with our partner.
William and I had the responsibility of erecting a tripod for scientific experiments, which was more difficult than it should have been for the experienced film makers that we are. Then again, everything is tricky in one sixth gravity. Finally, after pottering about on the moon for a while, we ‘splashed down’ into a paddling pool where we were greeted by the President.
But why did we do this, you may well ask?
Today is 40 years since man first walked on the moon. Something most of us take for granted these days. But not us! We all at BYP are absolutely in awe of mankind’s achievement in space exploration; especially the moon landings.
I am the only member of BYP who was ‘there’ at the first moon walk, so to speak. The others are far too young.
So, true to my middle-age, I have felt very nostalgic reminiscing July 20/21 1969.
It was incredibly exciting, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The tension, anticipation…. It was absolutely the single most exciting worldwide event of my lifetime.
We huddled round our primitive black and white, possibly 20″, telly in our lounge….. and waited, waited, waited. Afraid to speak or look away in case we missed it. We had a long wait, waiting for it to land, waiting for the hatch to open, waiting for Neil Armstrong to appear. Then the cheers, shouts, smiles as he and Buzz strolled around the moon at about 4 in the morning, rushing outside staring at the moon to see if we could spot them.
These were the days when TV usually ended with the National Anthem followed by “please don’t forget to switch off your set” and a white dot at about half past ten at night, when it was time for all responsible adults to go to bed. So staying up all night with live transmission on the TV was in itself a memorable event.
We carried on watching, transfixed to the screen as the dawn and daylight arrived. Reluctantly at about 6, I had to tear myself away to go and do my paper round. Every path I walked up, I could hear the familiar ‘beep beep’ from the space transmissions from the TVs in each house. It seemed the whole of Stanmore had stayed up all night to witness this awesome event.
So in Darren and Sandra’s garden on Saturday night, I was 14 again……. reliving the events of 40 years ago and playing with my friends. Fabulous!
You can check out more photos from the event here.