One Giant Leap For A Teenager

Earth and moon

Today is the 40th anniversary of man’s 1st step on the moon.

The media is awash in my generation’s memories of July 20, 1969.  Some may even be accurate.

Here’s mine.

1969 was quite a year.  The New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.   Drag queens rioted at the Stonwall Inn.  Ted Kennedy killed Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick.  Most importantly — to me, anyway — I got my driver’s license.

The day of Neil Armstrong’s astonishing moonwalk I was scheduled to work at Chubby Lane’s, the concession stand at Compo (where the volleyball courts are now).  It was a Sunday, so the beach should have been packed.  But like many days that summer, it rained.  I was told not to come in.

I was happy to have 1 day less dealing with obnoxious Westporters, 1 day more of freedom.  But I was not happy not making my $2 an hour, and because the weather was so bad, nothing went on anywhere in town.  To my chagrin, I watched the historic event at home.  With my parents.

To be honest, I remember little of that afternoon and evening.  I do recall it took a while between touchdown and actually setting foot on the lunar surface.  I’m sure I was excited, and probably proud.  But to be honest, the grainy photos and garbled radio transmission made it hard to see and hear.

I was 16 years old.  I watched perhaps the most momentous event in human history for as long as I could.  Then I got bored.

So I borrowed my parents’ car and drove off into the night, seeking a more interesting adventure somewhere in Westport.

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