"Magnificent Desolation". Those were the words Buzz Aldrin used to describe the landscape on the surface of the moon as he stepped off the Lunar Module. A few moments earlier, Neil Armstrong had just planted the first human footprint on the face of the moon. His famous statement, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", would become symbolic for that historic moment. (I kind of like the "Magnificent Desolation" remark my ownself!) I remember that date well. Not necessarily because I was so enthralled by history in the making, but because my parents made me stop playing and come watch the moon walk on TV. I remember that it was evening. Not because I looked at the clock, or because anything at all about the situation impressed me. I remember that it was evening because we were at the lake, and we had our clothes on. My cousins, Sharon and Jeff, and I were upstairs playing a board game. At the appointed time, we rolled our eyes at each other and very reluctantly left our game to go and watch "that stupid, boring, astronaut thing" on TV. We didn't even go all the way downstairs. I vividly remember crouching on the highest step possible (so as to return quickly to my play) that would afford me a view of the television. A little black and white number, it was, with rabbit ears. At that time the lake house was simply a weekend getaway, with few of the nicer comforts of home, like a big television set! At any rate, we were "forced" to watch the snowy image on the screen, as our parents, aunts and uncles sat leaning forward in their seats, holding their breath, taking in every second of the event. We watched him take a few steps, hop a few times, and then made a hasty retreat back to our fun. Our parents had informed us earlier in the day that we would be required to watch it. They told us that one day we would be able to say we witnessed the First Man On The Moon. Big, hairy deal. We were SO not interested… but we were at least relieved that it would not interfere with our swimming and skiing. You see, THAT's how I know it was in the evening. We were upstairs playing, out of our swimsuits, and not down at the water. Now, all these years later, I do think it is really cool that I'm able to say I witnessed the First Man On The Moon, and that I'm old enough to remember all the hooplah that went along with it... unimpressed though I was at the time. So today is the 39th anniversary of a big day for the United States of America. I suppose next year there will be a big 40th anniversary party, and I'll bet the 50th anniversary will be an even bigger bash. Way to go, Apollo 11 guys! Just like my mama said I would be, I'm really glad I watched. I'd love to know more about space travel, the stars, planets and the workings of the cosmos, but that will have to wait. I've got to get back upstairs and finish my game.