“One Small Step for Man…”: Where Were You On July 20, 1969?

If I were asked what was the most significant event of my childhood, it would be this one for sure. The day that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

Newspapers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Newspapers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Before their marriage, during the 1950’s, my parents and my grandmother had spent their vacation at the Pension Langlois in Nominingue (Québec) on Lake Sainte-Marie. My parents loved to go on day trips by car and they didn’t have one for four long years. It is not surprising that when my father took possession of his brand new ’68 Impala that Spring, we ended up in Nominingue. Were we there because my parents were looking for a cabin to rent for the next summer vacation or did we just end up there and that gave them the idea of looking for one?

No matter what, with three young children, the Pension Langlois was out of the question. While riding around the lake, we saw some “Cabin for rent” posts and we ended up at the farm of Ovila Paiement who had three cabins for rent: the small white cabin, the large white cabin and the pink cabin. If I remember well, we even slept in the small white cabin that Saturday night which leads me to think that this day trip to Nomningue was not planned.

One year later, we returned to the small white cabin in Nominingue for the summer vacation and, of course, we were there on July 20, 1969. A few years back I said to my mother: “How lucky we were that Dad loved so much watching baseball games of the Montreal Expos on TV! If not, we would have never seen the men walking on the moon.” My mother replied: “You’ve got it wrong. That summer we rented a TV because Dad thought it would be such a shame to miss that historical moment, even if it was expensive for us at the time. Afterwards, he kind of enjoyed having the TV to watch baseball games.”

Well, that’s my father all right. He was so curious about everything. Anyway, I am so glad that he rented that TV in July 1969. Because I remember vividly the moment when we saw Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon and us, children, running out outside afterwards excited, looking at the moon and saying: “They are up there?! How cool is that?”

If you believe they put a man on the moon…”.

Where were you on July 20, 1969? 😉