Sunday, July 19, 2009
UNCLE WALTER, WE'LL MISS YOU
I am incapable of thinking of the Apollo program without thinking of Walter Cronkite. If ratings mean anything at all, it's clear that some people must have watched a network other than CBS during the Space Race, but not me. Apollo without Uncle Walter was like Oreos without milk. Just not right.
He was there when we lost JFK... MLK... RFK. He was there when we lost Grissom, White and Chaffee. When we circled the moon, and ended the Soviet hope of lunar glory. And he was there when Armstrong stepped off the LM footpad and into history.
A side note, but still a testament to CBS News and Cronkite's professionalism: when the camera died on Apollo 12, CBS was the only network (of the whopping 3 at the time) properly prepared to take up the slack with a responsible simulation. So the mission continued, albeit at Grumman's very convincing simulator. And Uncle Walter was at the helm.
But I digress. Walter Cronkite is gone, having lived a long and full life. I will miss him, his wit, intelligence, insights, grace, and moral guidance through our turbulent times. And even if he had been quiet for a few years, just knowing that he was there made it all a bit more bearable.
Godspeed, Walter Cronkite.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE, CIRCA 1969
Welcome to the Missions to the Moon book blog. This is a place to re-live the heady days of the Apollo and Soyuz lunar programs- perhaps the crowning achievements of the 20th Century. Many blog entries will include a new downloadable image or artifact from the space age- items rarely seen and not available in print. It's all in the spirit of my newest book, Missions to the Moon- to remember the great adventure of the Golden Age of space exploration, and ponder what wonders await us in space.
For more info on the author, go to www.rodpylebooks.com.