Saturday, December 29, 2018

Apollo 8, 1968 and me




MOON ALCHEMY - When the Apollo 8 astronauts were circling the moon on Christmas Eve 1968 I was probably having a little Christmas nuzzling with a girl resembling Monica Vitti. Attention to space mission detail was slipping, after the dedicated attention I’d applied in the young days of Mercury, umbilical days of Gemini, and heartbreak terror evening of Apollo 1. Viet Nam, riots and protests had taken the wind out of my stellar imaginings, as happened likewise for many others. Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Canned Heat and Velvet Underground (white light/feedback) were my soundtrack. I’d grown used to getting my space news on radio, and didn’t tune into TV for Apollo 8’s famed Christmas broadcast. Dad had just gotten home from a few weeks in the hospital with ulcers. (TV was Wasteland, and I almost missed the moon walk broadcast the next July). This all comes back in fits and starts, after viewing a Nova episode, “Apollo’s Daring Mission”. The moon project comes alive in this telling - the serious (mostly but not entirely) men in short-sleeve white shirts with pocket protectors (akin to the strange control room denizens under the grounds of MIT in “A Beautiful Mind”), sextants, and new species of computer. It was a long series of rides ‘til the end of Apollo -- the earth pictures provided thereof caught the fancy of Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog. This and above elements made technology for me a partially alchemical elixir. More time transpired and there was Moon Traveller Herald Report with Dispatch, home of many stories under construction, especially in 2018. It's worth a look back at the last year of the site as the trajectory needs to adjust for a lot of little rudder flutter.

MOTHER MARY - But that is all ragtime. My year 2018 was askew for reasons personal and eternal. My mother died the last Friday night in February - it was a long road to that point. Long road. I see her in the smallest things. The Christmas manger. A Christmas tree. An orange sauce recipe for ham. A horse running named Holy Week. Remembering how she let me run the neighborhood, until the street lights came on. Almost never lost her temper.Was always interested in that I had to say. Which was helpful as I talked so much. She's with dad - the two forever in good humor now. For more.

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Apollo 8, 1968 and me

MOON ALCHEMY - When the Apollo 8 astronauts were circling the moon on Christmas Eve 1968 I was probably having a little Christmas nuzzl...