July 20th is a very important day, as it marks the anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first people to ever walk on the moon in 1969. Over the next few years, 10 more would do the same. Every time we did it, it was incredible without question, but the first time was the most riveting.
But the one thing that has always stuck with me was the "story" my dad told me that night, and I believed him. He told me in a typical "dad fashion way" that they waited till it was his birthday to walk in the moon, July 20. I was like, "wow, dad!" OK, I was a little kid, and my dad was my hero, as was yours at that age. I think he was pulling my leg.....
Truth is, my dad died a few years later, and that was sad. But with that said, I was glad he saw it that night, as he was from a very different time. My dad lived through The Great Depression, he also was an Ice Delivery Man as a teen. He brought a block of ice to your house to keep food cold in your wooden chest for the week as most did not have a fridge as we know it. He played high school football with a fold-able leather helmet and no face mask. He was in WWII in the U.S. Army Air Corps, because the Air Force has not been invented yet. He was born before talking movies, television, played golf with wooden shafted clubs, and his parents never really spoke English, drove or owned a car. And he met my mom at a Dude Ranch! Seems like the Middle Ages.
Even though he "downplayed" that event that night with Neil and Buzz, he had to have been in awe to see how far the world had come since he was born as he turned 45 that night. From block ice delivery, to walking on the moon? It had to be astounding to him, as it was, and still is to me.
My dad's birthday is today, he would have been 96. Too bad he never saw even 56, as 53 was all he was given. It's OK dad, I'll mark the 51st anniversary of the moon walk for you.
After all, they still celebrate it every year on your birthday!