December 24, 2007

In The Beginning God Created The Heaven And The Earth

I was outside a little while ago, looking up at the Moon and remembering looking up at that very same Moon on Christmas Eve in 1968. The Moon was a little bit different that night, shining in the frigid Virginia sky as we went to Midnight Mass because for the first time in human history mankind had made its way there. Apollo 8 was in orbit, and that night the astronauts made a broadcast which served as a coda of sorts to a year packed with more history than any twelve year-old should have to take in.

I remember reading about the Siege of Khe Sahn in Time Magazines my English teacher had brought in and learning the astonishing fact that America might be losing a war. I recall LBJ withdrawing from the Presidential race after Gene McCarthy's surprisingly good showing in the New Hampshire Primary. The murder of Martin Luther King... and the stories of people who had been to Washington who said you could see the smoke from the fires from the Beltway. Waking up on the second to last day of school to the news that Bobby Kennedy has been shot, and the next morning that he had died. Listening to the funeral on the radio that weekend as we drove up to Granny's house in Connecticut; a news bulletin interrupting the singing of The Battle Hymn of the Republic to say that James Earl Ray has been arrested in London. Thinking that somewhere along our drive north we had crossed paths with RFK's funeral train heading south. Even later, Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago almost coincident with Brezhnev's verdict to the Czechs that socialism could not have a human face.

And through it, we lived our own lives. My favorite uncle died that summer, my first experience with death. We housebroke our puppy and broke him from the habit chewing up newspapers. Laura, the cute girl in my seventh grade class decided she liked my friend Corey and not me.

Well, does all this have a point? No, not really, just a flood of memories brought on by seeing the Moon looking much as it looked way back then. So I'll just wish you all a Merry Christmas, all on the good Earth.

Posted by mayor mcsleaze at December 24, 2007 10:20 PM

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