Forty years have passed since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and many of those who witnessed it still haven’t forgotten where they were or what they were doing at the time.
My mom hasn’t.
She was in the hospital, recovering from a surgery, as she watched the historic moment from her hospital bed. But the story she tells of what went on that night on the hospital floor is one that makes you laugh.
A gentleman who was recovering from a bleeding ulcer called for a nurse, who promptly went to his room. When she didn’t return to her station, another nurse was sent to check on her. When she didn’t return, they figured something was wrong.
Nope. They simply stayed in the room to watch the moon landing.
My mom paints such a vivid picture with her descriptions of the moment you realize how vibrant the memories are for her. Like the day JFK was shot, when she was ironing, watching TV and caring for a month old baby.
I’m not old enough to remember those moments, but there are ones just as vivid for me, such as Ronald Reagan’s shooting and Sept. 11, 2001. Moreso, the details of who, what, when and where associated with certain sporting events are the ones I hope stay with me for a lifetime.
Like the Cardinals winning the 1982 World Series. My parents were taking a short vacation to the Lake of the Ozarks, and we had to call and get their permission for me to stay up past my bedtime to watch the game, particularly Game 7. I can remember sitting on the floor in our family room watching Bruce Sutter throw the final strike and Darrell Porter go leaping into his arms. My sisters had fixed popcorn for us, and since mom and dad were gone, they even left me have a soda.
I wish I could remember the “Miracle on Ice” more vividly, but the details escape me.
Unfortunately, memories of Tyus Edney don’t fade.
In 1995, with Missouri poised to beat No. 1-ranked UCLA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Edney drove the length of the floor in 4.8 seconds to steal the victory and send the Bruins on to the national championship.
Standing in my apartment in Columbia alongside my friend, Chris Erickson, I simply fell back onto my couch and we sat there in stunned silence. Neither us even attempted to drink our beers. A good 10 minutes passed before either of us said anything as we watched the replay over and over and over and over.
Stunned was also the best way to describe the reaction of a dorm room full of guys when the news came that Magic Johnson had contracted HIV. We were preparing to head to the dining hall for dinner when the news broke. Everyone congregated in our dorm room and watched as the news unfolded that Magic was retiring because of HIV.
Powerful. Impactful. Memorable.
That’s the best way to describe each one of those moments.
Do you have ones you recall? Let me know. Either leave a comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.