By Sal Giarratani
Moonshots and Agism???
I remember exactly where I was when astronauts stepped onto the surface of the moon back on July 20, 1969. I was out walking Rebel, a beautiful, 1-year old German shepherd. The two of us were headed down High Street on the way to Thompson Square to meet my dad at the train station. He had worked the evening shift at Boston City Hospital, and back 50 years ago, I thought he was too old to walk from the train station to Pearl Street where we lived at the time.
Looking back now that sounds kind of silly since my dad was only 56 years old, but then again, I was only 21 years old and any “50”-number sounded old to me. Today, I am much older than 56, and if anyone said I was too old to be out and about late at night, I would give them a choice reminder that I am not that old yet and can take care of myself.
However, when I got to the corner of Elm and High streets, it was about to happen, so I put my dog’s leash on the health center’s fence and turned my little transistor radio up loud as Walter Cronkite described what was happening. I remember how proud I was to be an American at that moment and listened to Neil Armstrong as he said, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Of course after that I ran to Thompson Square and waited for the train to come rolling in over head. My dad came down the stairs and I ran over to tell him the news but he told me first. I remember him telling me, “You think no one had a radio up on the train?” Then we walked home and when got there my mother said she loved watching it all on TV. She had a better night than both of us.
Botton Line, I still find myself at times walking alone late in the evening but I have never felt too old to walk. It is amazing how old age creeps up on you and it is equally amazing how no one really ever feels too old to live their life. Age is only a number and my father always knew that. I bet he thought he was walking me home that long ago night, huh?