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190708 July 8, 2019


Man on the Moon
Janet James Holland 
LHS '67

    As first man on the moon, the height of the Apollo era, comes to a head this month in celebrations worldwide and especially, in Huntsville, I thought I would write a recollection of it. As one of Lee's two band freshmen, I so enjoyed an insight into our band trip to the Orange Bowl and many other articles recently presented in the Traveller, and even though I am "younger" than most of your followers, I thought we all might like to remember this day.

    My Mom is 95, one of few left from that era. Tonight we watched the last lawyer alive from the Nuremberg trials on 60 Minutes, and we reminisced  about her being at the Nuremberg trials, which she attended as my Dad was head of transportation there. I regret that I moved her away from the present celebrations in Huntsville as she had faithfully attended them before we left Huntsville. But even here in the wilds of Whidbey Island, we saw my Dad once again in the control room. Chasing the Moon has been previewed on PBS. This time  I am excited that it will be more about all the others who were a part of the success, and we will watch with great interest as we have all the Apollo programs.

    My family began our schedule at the Cape for the launch by retrieving the Governor of Indiana and his wife from the small airport. Dad was from Indiana, thus, the assignment. While we waited for them to disembark, Hugh O'Brien, fresh off of his Wyatt Earp series, entered in a white jumpsuit. He had flown his own plane and would be part of the menagerie in the VIP stands. I remembered his short height surprised me. But then, I was there with my soon to be husband, and he was 6' 8". The Governor's wife reminded me of my Mom, and the picture of the two of them together looked like two Jackie movie starts.

    The night before the launch, we attended the big party. My Dad could only stay long enough to give Lindbergh an award. Dad had to be at the control room in the middle of the night. When the family awoke to head out that morning, it was pitch black. The motel was beside the highway that went straight into the Cape, only a mile away. When we turned onto the highway, it was bumper to bumper. It took us an hour to go a mile, and then it was light. I was relieved to leave the million people behind and enter the Cape alone. As we drove into the facility, the Saturn was ahead, in all its magnificence. We have all seen it at the Space and Rocket Center, but this sight was a different feel. It's not the goose bump I received this morning when I directed a treble choir singing McCain's funeral song, Amazing Grace. It was an innate, instinctual achievement realized in the pit of your stomach. And if that vision wasn't enough, a road running parallel to our car was carrying the astronauts to the rocket.

    And it wasn't Lyndon Johnson, Johnny Carson, James Webb, Westmoreland, and all the dignitaries in the VIP stands that mesmerized me that day. It was the intense elegance and nobility of the Saturn rocket, the rocket my Dad was manager of, the first American manager after the German scientists, that day, his baby, and everyone else who had worked with him and von Braun, making the day a success. Dad credited himself as the guy who carried von Braun's luggage when they met with Walt Disney. But that day he credited everyone, and I was so proud, as I covered my ears to the loudest sound on earth, save for the atomic bomb, begging it to soar, higher, higher......behind a cloud.....into the sun, until it was out of sight.

    I grew up with the German scientist's children. The Stuhlinger's and Schiltz's remain close in my heart today, all their stories, parties I played and sang at. We all lived in an exciting time in history, and as incredible as my Dad's story was, Dr. Stuhlinger's was better, and the man whose 100th birthday I just sang for here on Whidbey, and perhaps your father's, and .......


        Memphis, TN - My thanks go out to Janet for sending us her story about the race for space in which we all grew up. My dad also worked at Redstone Arsenal, but he was not involved in the Space Race, but rater in the Army's missile program.

        I'm going to try a new feature this week and invite you to join in. Click on the link below and see if you can identify the song with only the opening cord. Later I will probably have to expand the number of cords but for now I have a couple of one cord ideas.

One Note One


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Story

Spencer Thompson

LHS '64

    Great issue good story by CE. The restaurant at Governors and the parkway may have been The Dwarf.




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