July 20, 2009
Today was a day of memories, with all the talk of the 40th anniversary of the landing of the first men on the moon. Tonight I was able to watch a special on the History Channel, as well as something earlier on CNN with an interview with Buzz Aldrin as he looked at the Google Moon site (who knew there was such? ).
I don't recall my exact feelings, but I was always amazed at our space program and tonight in watching actual footage of the space craft, its amazing they could do that back then and wonder why we can't do so much more now, given all we know how to do. So its even more amazing what was accomplished in 1969.
On July 20, 1969 I was stationed in the U. S. Air Force in Biloxi, Mississippi and had been there since late May I think, and stayed til October, later than planned.
Several friends I had known prior to going in the Air Force were also at Biloxi- Keesler Air Force Base was the name of the base, that summer, besides the guys I met that summer. One of those pre-Air Force friends was Ed King, a PIKA fraternity brother of mine from our four years at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Ed was in medical school and later became a Medical Doctor and was there for training. He had taken ROTC at Emory and was thus an officer and I enlisted, and because of that we weren't supposed to hang out together, but one of the memorable things we did was go to the enlisted barracks (not sure where) and watch the moon landing together.
Today in watching the retrospectives, it seems they landed on the moon around 3:17 Central Daylight Time- think it was on a Sunday? but they took their time getting off the ship and so the actual moon walking wasn't til around 10 p. m. CDT, since we were in Mississippi. Guess my letters home (which I have) might be a better way to recall my exact feelings that day.
But sadly, Ed King, MD, is not with us today to recall that summer. He died in Israel a few years ago while visiting there with his wife, Barbara, on a church sponsored trip. He had been a doctor in the Federal Prison system I think it was. But had graduated from Emory's Medical School.
The other big event of the summer of 1969 at Biloxi was Hurricane Camille which hit only a few weeks later, causing much damage on the Mississippi coast, and delaying our training for weeks, as I took my first computer course that summer. After all the excitement of a summer in Mississippi, what exciting place did the Air Force send me to? Montgomery, Alabama. More on that in another blog.
My Next Air Force assignment, after Montgomery, was a good one- ENGLAND.