Daily Archives: July 20, 2020

Back To The Moon . . .

51 years ago today, in Tuscaloosa, AL, with our 14 month old son Chris in our laps, Jan and I spent the day sitting in the living room of our only friends who had a color TV, watching the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Of course, since all the video from the moon was in black & white, I’m not sure watching it on a color TV made much difference.


At that time I was still in school, but with my father working for Boeing at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, and Jan’s father working for Rocketdyne at the Cape, I was determined that someday I would work for NASA  too.

And though it took me nine years, in December 1978 Jan and I, and our two kids, moved from Montgomery, AL to Houston where I went to work for a NASA contractor at JSC.

And by the time the Space Shuttle was flying, I found myself in charge of processing the in-flight video coming down live from the Shuttle and sending it out to the world for others to see, kind of completing the circle.

While I was at NASA, one thing I heard over and over, from former astronauts, present astronauts, engineers and technicians, was “We made it to the moon. Why did we leave and never go back?”

But now it looks like SpaceX has us back on track again.

Falcon 9 Launch

This is a time-lapse shot of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on the left and the return and landing of the 1st stage back to the Cape.


Another in our famous Where We Were 9 Years Ago Today series..

July 20, 2011

On to Billings . . .

After coffee and bagels, and a nice quiet night, we pulled out of Riverfront RV Park in Garrison about 9 am heading for Billings, MT about 270 miles away.

And just like yesterday, we had some beautiful rolling vistas along the way.

On to Billings 1

On to Billings 2

On to Billings 3

On to Billings 4

On to Billings 5

On to Billings 6

On to Billings 7

After smooth roads and an uneventful drive we pulled into the Billings Trailer Village RV Park in Billings about 2:30 and got set up. This is our 4th time to stay here and we always feel welcome. Of course the first two times we came through here in 2008 on our way to and from Alaska, we got snowed in for a week both times.


Billings Snow 2008-1012

Hopefully that won’t happen this time.

While I was setting up outside, Jan let Mister out, who immediately jumped down on the pavement and started yowling, and looking down at his feet. After a couple of seconds Jan grabbed him up and put him on the grass. Dumb cat didn’t have enough sense to get off hot asphalt. He just stood there and cried.

About 3 pm Jan called her friend Linda to get a ‘when and where’ for dinner tonight.

Since the ‘when’ was 5:30 we figured we’d have enough time to get our Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club shopping out of the way beforehand, so off we went.

The ‘where’ for dinner was the HuHot Mongolian Grill, one of our favorite places when we’re in town. You start out with an empty bowl and then fill it your choice of different meats, veggies, fruits, and sauces, and then give it to the grill guy. He cooks it all up on this big grill and gives it back to you on a big platter.

Hmmm! Hmmm! Good!

Linda is a longtime friends of ours. She and Jan worked at the same hospital in Houston years ago, until one day Linda decided she wanted some different scenery, so she up and moved to Billings, MT, of all places.

After dinner we went over to Linda’s house to meet her new cat, and sat around and talked for a while, catching up.

We didn’t stay long because it had been a long day, and we’ll see Linda again in a week or so when we come back through Billings, after our Yellowstone/Grand Tetons excursion, and on our way through North Dakota.

Tomorrow we’ve got a short 100 mile run down to Cody, WY to meet up with our friends Al and Adrienne, who are workamping there.

Thought for the Day:

Freedom has a ring to it. And a slight recoil.



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