Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

We all went to the moon

summer•shorts no:02


My Godfather went to live in California, so I never really got to know him – but he always sent me a Christmas present. These invariably arrived very late and in a very bashed up condition; one year I got a huge doll called Baby Secret who whispered in an American accent when a string was pulled; the next year it was a dented metal box containing a microscope with glass slides and test tubes.

Choosing presents and posting them obviously became a chore; the following year I received a letter from National Geographic telling me a subscription had been paid for and I would receive a magazine each month. Not the most suitable present for a little girl who was still avidly reading Milly Molly Mandy books, but I loved getting the big yellow envelope from America every month and I especially liked the maps and wallcharts.

The thing that I remember most was following the Apollo missions to the Moon. In February 1969 the National Geographic magazine came with a map of 'The Earth's Moon' – front and back, with all the craters and features named. I've still got it, complete with the pin hole where I stuck in a pin on July 20th 1969 to mark where "the Eagle has landed".

15 comments:

  1. What great presents!!!Your Grandfather obviously put a lot of thought into it and wasn't a sceptic about the moon landing!

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  2. Celia, when I was a kid I collected all the maps that came tucked inside the National Geographic. Many of them were tacked to my bedroom wall. Now we are loyal subscribers to the magazine. It's changed--for the better, I think, with more of an eye toward contemporary issues. But I don't save the maps any more. I feel very guilty tossing them in the recycling bin.

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  3. When we were little we did not have the same access to photographs and images that today's children have. Black and white telly, the odd magazine etc. I remember National Geographic images where amazing so I would imagine that it was a great thrill to get your present.

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  4. I still buy the odd copy of the Nat Geog after years of getting it as a subscription. It seemed so exotic!
    Do you remember watching the launch and the landings? I was at secondary school and remember sitting watching with my dad when I came home from school-must have been the launch. And thinking somehow the world would never be the same.

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  5. Hi eag - welcome to PPPs, I think I learnt lots from National Geographic.

    Hi Ed - those maps were wonderful.

    Hi Acornmoon - we didn't have wildlife and travel TV programmes in colour so the photos in NG were very exciting.

    Hi Threadspider - I don't think I got up in the early hours to see the first step on the moon, but I remember sitting in the hall at primary school and where we all watched it on a black and white TV. It must have been a special broadcast on the morning afterwards. It was so exciting to think there were two men actually up there on the moon. The launches and return journeys and splash down were nail-biting viewing.

    Celia

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  6. As a keen amareur astronomer I was allowed to stay up for the moon launch and landing. History in the making.

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  7. What a smashing present,Celia.

    I get so emotional remembering these landings:I cant watch the film Apollo13 without being in floods. When we went to the Space museum in Washington DC my children feared for my sanity when I burst into tears on seeing a replica of the moon buggy...I was 10 when they landed and it burnt onto my memory.

    I wonder if anything will have this sort of lasting impact on my children?

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  8. My early years were peppered with moon landings. I was only about 2 and 1/2 for the first moon landing so my memories must be muddled with later landings. But I remember how moon mad we all seemed to be - its funny how hopes that might have been brought on by this development for my future haven't happened. Where is my space home?

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  9. Oh and what a treasure to still have on this anniversary of landing on the moon!

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  10. Lovely post. I remember so clearly the family all sitting around the TV the night of the first landing. My mother was most annoyed at the fact it was MEN sullying her romantic moon with their moon boots and dusty foot prints. Of course, we, like everybody else, ran outside to check the moon and think amazing thoughts.

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  11. Hi Veg Heaven, Englishcountrygarden, Rhiannon, Daine and Fay - the moon landings certainly seem to have made a huge impression on a generation who were children at the time. I watched some of the TV footage from 1969 last night and it brought back the excitement and how the language used by mission control and the astronauts became part of our lives too.

    Thank you for sharing your memories of July 1969.

    Celia
    x

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  12. Depending which side of the Dateline you were on when they landed, you spelled it Moonday, not Monday.
    And those wonderful Nat. Geographics! Only available on subscription when I was a kid and we couldn't afford that so I treasured any that came my way.

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  13. A little off-topic, but you might like this. If the link is not current just google Hope Sandrow

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/16/garden/16chickens.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&emc=eta1

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  14. How amazing you still have this copy. I was too young to remember the first moonwalk. I did have a microscope as a kid though. My great-aunt subscribed me to a magazine from America, and remember always pulling a face when I had to visit to collect it! x

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  15. Hi Moreidlethoughts - good memories :-) and thanks for the link.

    Hi Louise - just sometimes I'm pleased I hoarded stuff!

    Celia
    x

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