One Small Step for Man, One Giant Souvenir for Me

20 Jul 2009
July 20, 2009
LA Times: Men Land on Moon

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As you get older your collection of chachkas increases exponentially. And, one day, you realize your whole attic is filled with the most “important” and “valuable” memories of your life. Well, not really. Most of it is junk that at various times you predicted would define your life. So much for prognostication. My track record isn’t the best and this is precisely why I rarely play the stock market.

However, every once and while the life event is so big you know the artifact is worth saving. Years later, if you can remember just where you filed it, you can pull it out on an anniversary just like this.

To be honest, I’d forgotten I’d even saved the front page from the L.A. Times from July 21, 1969. If it hadn’t been for brownpau’s tweet about rummaging through his grandmother’s basement this weekend, this headline would have remained filed away. As luck would have it, despite transporting this souvenir through five cities over the last forty years, I knew immediately where I’d stored it.

What a day that was. I’d been reading Issac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy that summer and was filled with interplanetary wanderlust. I immediately called Pan Am’s reservation desk to reserve my tickets to the moon. When the ticket agent asked how many seats I wanted I told her two, one for me and one for my wife. When she asked for my wife’s name I dutifully informed her I didn’t know yet. I wasn’t married but was sure I would be by the time the airline started its service to the Moon. She was not amused and told me she needed a name for the record. Without any hesitation I replied, “Mrs. Gates.” And that seemed to satisfy her.

I wasn’t good at predicting the future but somehow I knew this was one chance I was willing to bank on.

1 reply
  1. Seb Lee-Delisle says:

    Very cool! I kept a copy of The Times (UK) commemorating the event! Or I should say, my parents kept it (I was -3 at the time :-) )

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