July 21st, 2019

How I missed hearing the man on the Moon.

Today is the actual 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing of humans on the Moon. There has been a lot of documentaries on TV in the past few days to ensure that nobody forgets the great adventure by humanity. None of my nine children had been born in 1969. I was still a single young man enjoying my mid- 20s. I'd completed my Australian military national service in South Vietnam two years earlier in 1967. Then, after resuming my pre-nasho employment as a technician with the Long Line Section of the PMG for six months I became bored and caught a passenger ship to England. I should add that prior to my PMG job I had been working as a cinema projectionist until 1964. (My military service was in 1965 to 1967.) But back in the PMG position in 1967 I had a brief encounter with NASA's Project Mercury helping to build some racks of equipment for use in an emergency back-up land-line system should the primary systems fail. Project Mercury was a series of manned orbits to test concepts prior to Apollo. By the time Apollo 11 landed I was working as a solo driver/tour guide for a London based company called New Frontier. The specialty was camping tours of Europe, North Africa and Scandinavia. On 21July 1969 I was running a tour into the Arctic via Norway and on that momentous occasion we were camping alongside the very high walls of a Norwegian fiord which acted as a barrier to radio communication. So the long and short of it is that while we knew that the landing was scheduled, frustratingly on that date we heard nothing. It was not until a couple of days later that I saw a Norwegian newspaper confirming what we had missed. I still have a copy of it squirreled away somewhere.

Paul R. Weaver.

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