There are certainly no memories of the moon landing for me, but all of the publicity around it has made me remember the trips to the Johnson Space Center as a kid. I loved heading there. This was before the creation of Space Center Houston, which I found that to be far less enjoyable visit. Back then at the Johnson Space Center, you could walk through the actual Mission Control. Sometimes, if things were slow with a not so important mission, they would let a couple of us kids to play with the controls. They also had a lot of moon rocks lying around, too, and I seem to remember that they let us touch and play with those. I don’t what I did with the one that might have ended up in my pocket, though. It’s probably worth something today.
We were treated to lunar buggy races, test of the in-development ray guns – created in case those Ruskies tried anything on the upcoming international space station – and we got to see a couple of the Martians walking around the campus who used to hang out there. One December visit we were serenaded by a group of old rocket engineers with at least a couple songs including “O Tannenbaum.” Another, that they sang more heartily could well have been a Party song, as I later realized that they were part of Werner von Braun’s team. They were nice old Nazis, in any case.
As interesting as all this was, best of all, there was all you could drink Tang, the drink of the astronauts. My memory could be a little faulty about all this. Except for the great taste of Tang….well, for a kid.