Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite and the first man on the moon

Walter Cronkite died yesterday. He had a reputation of honesty and integrity. I'm sure he wasn't a saint, but he was leagues beyond his least in appearance to the common man. I remember watching his excitement over the first moon landing. He watched it like I did — with a child's eagerness. I was on the verge of 8 years old at the time, and I got up in the middle of the night (much to my father's chagrin, I'm sure) and watched the live footage as it happened. And Walter was there, up and watching it, too. I don't know if he had to be there; but, I hope, he was there for the same reason I was — an innate curiosity. Anyway, he's dead now and I feel sad for his passing. i think a good man has been lost.

NASA, on the other hand, gets the "idiot of the century" award for erasing the original video tapes of that very moon landing. Some boob erased the tapes. Thankfully, other sources have been recovered, including (I think) the very CBS footage Walter Cronkite watched. Hopefully, NASA will hang on to this version of the most historic moment in space travel yet. It also makes me sad to think we landed on the moon 40 years ago now. Why aren't we on Mars? Why don't we have a moon base? Why? Because we're always too busy killing each other to worry about space travel. That makes me sad, too. Maybe Walter's better off where he's at now...exploring whatever lies beyond.

Goodbye, Walter, and thanks for everything.