14 July 99

At Ma's, on the oak dresser she got from Gram and refinished, there is an upright, two-sided, 5 x 7, wooden picture frame. On the side facing the room there is displayed a color picture of my brother at the age of 12. He looks a bit like Alfred E. Newman. If you go over and turn the frame around to hide "Alfred," you will see, behind dusty glass, three 2 x 3 pictures that overlap slightly. They look like black-and-whites, indistinct light blotches surrounded by darkness, but, if you look closely, you will note a blue cast, and just the faintest bit of color. And then you will also see that the pictures are, top to bottom: Neil Armstrong standing next to the ladder of the Eagle; "Buzz" Aldrin and Neil Armstrong and the Eagle; and a split screen of President Nixon on the phone in the Oval Office, left, talking to our men on the moon who are standing next to an outstretched American Flag planted at Tranquility Base, right. I took the pictures with my Nikon off our TV screen, as I watched, live, the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of July 20, 1969. (I wish I'd thought to take a picture of Mike Collins, the pilot who was orbiting the moon in Columbia.)

Two Julys ago I was at the library, on the Internet computer I had just recently installed, watching the pictures being transmitted live from the planet Mars by the Sojourner, the rover on the Pathfinder Mission.

Lots of cool stuff has happened in my lifetime so far. These marvels are only the most obvious. I can't wait to find out what's next. I'm sure the day is not far off that when Ralph says, "Alice, you're going to the moon," he'll mean it literally. And maybe I can go, too.




PBS's NOVA last night was "To the Moon," an excellent documentary about the great adventure of going to the moon. It was so good, I think I might even buy the video.

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