July 20: “Our men walked on the moon.”

Cooked a big breakfast. Jim and I hiked on a trail up the hill. Hot again. Boys swam. I wrote letters & cooked. Roasted marshmallows with the neighbors. Our men walked on the moon.

Marge Binder, July 20, 1969

Once again, Mom employs few words to tell big stories. It’s the only time during the trip that Mom cites a current event. It was a big one, no doubt, and one that I actually recall.

The mental relics I have are of staring up at the moon and being surrounded by lots of people and massive trees. There was music and radio chatter, and everyone seemed a little extra buzzed. Once again, Dad was in the midst of hippies and seemed very contented. All us humans just looking to the sky.

Mom explained to me: “There are men walking on the moon.” I tried really hard to see them (I’m not being cute, I actually tried), but I couldn’t see them. Even so, I believed what Mom was saying, however implausible.


In 1979, 10 years to the day, a buddy and I took the DC Metro downtown to see Neil, Buzz and Michael appear at an anniversary event at the Air & Space Museum. A 14-year-old hanging in the Nation’s Capital standing a few feet from two men whose feet walked on the moon — that was not an atypical day in my youth, thanks to Maw’s encouragement.

Fun story: At the ceremony, the microphone kept failing. Someone in the crowd yelled out, “We can put a man on the moon, be we can’t hear him speak!” Oh, we had a good laugh. Hoo boy. Still gets me.

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