Written by Ronn Ives of FUTURES Antiques in lieu of the anniversary of our lunar landing
"In honor of yesterday's 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing, I'd like to tell you a little personal story.
First, for all of you not yet alive or conscious at that time, this was a HUGE, HUGE event, and should NEVER be ignored. It was one of the greatest feats humans have ever managed to pull off. EVER. It was, and remains, an act that makes me proud to be of this species (and there aren't all that many). Humans throughout all of time looked into the night sky and wondered about that nearest glowing orb way up there. WE - US HUMANS RIGHT THEN ON THAT DAY - were going to find out - hopefully.
The entire modern world was in front of a television on this day. Lots of people gathered together in one home, to share the experience. I know of no "beer party" type events. This was too awesome, too important, too spiritual for such behavior. Everyone wanted to watch, and everyone wanted it silent as the event unfolded... and hopefully succeeded.
THAT you need to remember. We made no assumptions about the results. Other astronauts had died. Though the rocket was sophisticated for its time, a standard cell phone today has more computer power than did that entire space ship and all its systems back then. In other words, those men were DRIVING that thing - this was no "passenger" experience just for the sake of eye witnesses while computers went about "handling" things.
Some families had color televisions in 1969. These were the most desirable homes for the group meetings... at least we thought so. We soon learned that the live transmissions from the ship and the Moon were in black and white. Ah well, it wasn't like there was a bunch of color up there anyhow... was there?
The tension and excitement, the fear and pride, our inability to get our minds around all that it took for this moment to be happening, was on each and every face. NO ONE was blase about this event. NO ONE thought this was justanotherdayofteevee.
MY story: The Moon Landing was a live broadcast, and it didn't occur to me that it was probably being recorded on film (there was no video tape, etc. yet). None the less, this was too big an event to be passive about it, and I readied for the event. I had a Kodak Instamatic camera. I bought a fresh roll of film, a new set of flash cubes, I loaded it all up, I did a test shot, and I was ready to document History.
History proceeded, and I took my photo of the television showing the event. What a moment that was! Oh my god.
Of course you then had to finish the roll, then turn it into a lab, and they developed and printed it. There was a wait. Usually 3-7 days. Once in awhile a roll of film would be destroyed or lost. The wait was terrible.
I got my film back. I got my shot of the television. And... the flash from my camera washed out the entire image on the t.v. screen. My shot was nothing but a brightly lit picture of that huge, ugly, faux-Mediterranean wood console color tee-vee, and there wasn't one dot of image to be seen on that screen. Blank light gray. Flashed into oblivion.
I still have the photo. You can't see a thing, but I know what was there, and I know I was there too, by god."