Thursday, July 20, 2006

Moon Landing

From the time I was 12 years old, I loved science fiction. I was a voracious reader, and my very favorite genre fiction was science fiction (notice that I don't call it sci fi, any more than I call San Francisco Frisco). It started when I knocked an Andre Norton book off the bookmobile shelf, and became intrigued when I was putting it back. The librarian directed me from there to Heinlein and Asimov and Simak and Silverberg and Lieber and Eric Frank Russell. I gobbled them down. I wanted to live them. Going to other planets seemed like the most wonderful thing a person could do. I wanted to be an astronaut, although in 1954 they didn't have that name for it. (I wrote to the Air Force and asked what I should study in college to be able to go to the moon. They, of course, told me that girls don't do things like that and there was nothing I could study that would make it possible, but that is another post.)

And for some reason, my step-father hated that I read so much science fiction. Now, that makes no sense to me. He was born in 1903, the year the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, and at the time I am writing about he had lived to see the atomic bomb. How could he doubt that people would fly to the moon? But, he did. We got into fights about it regularly. He referred to my reading as "Wizard of Oz" (thereby relegating it to childish and stupid). At least once a week, if not once a day, we would get into these fights about whether man would ever go to the moon.

So, in 1969, I happened to take Julie and Richard to visit my mother and step-father the week of the moon landing. We watched it together, and afterwards he came out with a bottle of champagne, saying, "Would you share this with me, or do you want me to eat crow?"

Damn. The man had grace, you have to give him that.

9 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

I'll never forget sitting in our family room and watching the moon landing. I grew up with the space program, so for me it just seemed like an inevitable conclusion. For my parents however, (born in the late 20's) it was nothing short of miraculous.

Deja Pseu said...

Oh, and you've read Ursula LeGuin, yes?

J said...

I've always loved that story. :)

Maya's getting into Science Fiction/Fantasy right now. She read Dragonsinger and Dragonsong for about 5 or 6 hours yesterday. :) We were at a storage space my office has, and with no computer or TV, she was sucked into reading. She did have her nintendo with her, and she mostly ignored it. She wanted to stay longer, so she could read more. I told her she could read at home just as well, and she said, "The TV is too tempting there". I'm glad we limit her to two hours a day (summer)....sounds like we're doing her a favor, giving her a chance to get to her books. ;)

Sorry to post so long about something off topic. :) Just came to mind.

Maya's Granny said...

Pseu, Yes, I've read LeGuin -- just not when I was 12.

J. You know that, as Maya's Granny, I'm always glad to hear of Maya's doings. Particularly of her reading.

Deja Pseu said...

Up until about 6th grade, most of my reading revolved around horses and other animals. I was introduced to science fiction in 6th grade, by a teacher who took us on a field trip to the movies to see 2001: A Space Odyssey when it came out, and who had us read Arthur C. Clark's "Childhood's End!" That was a pretty heavy introduction to the genre, but it did whet my appetite. One of my favorites of all time still is Frank Herbert's "Dune".

Cherry said...

Sorry Maya's Granny, I know this is off topic, but Maya is reading Dragonsinger and Dragonsong? She's 10!
I read Dragonflight my Junior year in high school, and it was assigned reading and therefore I didn't enjoy it as much.

I did thouroughly enjoy John Christopher's White Mountain trilogy in 5th, and Ray Bradbury in 9th grade though.

Uncivil said...

I was 12 years old at the time and I will never forget it.

Two days before Neil & Buzz left their footprints on the moon's surface........Ted Kennedy drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island.

Maya and Ted said...

From Maya:
One of my favorite characters in Anne Mccaffery's the Harper Hall trilogy (aka.Dragon son,Dragonsinger etc...) is Menolly,and my favorite firelizard is Beauty,a little 'queen' fire lizard (firelizards are basically miniature dragons.) Beauty is a gold fire lizard.:)

From Ted:
I was too young to remember the moon landing in 1969, but I thought your story about your step dad was pretty funny! :-)

Also, I know core science fiction fans don't call it "Sci Fi," but I have seen "SF" used quite a bit.

Maya's Granny said...

Maya, Menolly is one of my favorite characters, too. And Beauty is a wonderful fire lizard. I am so glad that you are enjoying books that I have also enjoyed.

Ted, yes, we do call if SF, but that is mostly in writing. And I think it is a funny story, myself. And, just a little bit charming.