Gene Franzen’s July/August “Brush With History” could have been written by me. The chief difference is that my family decided months in advance to attend Apollo 11’s launch.
I was twelve years old and became very involved in the planning of our Florida vacation that year. We could find lodging no closer than Orlando, and we arose at 3:30 A.M. to have plenty of time to drive over to Cape Kennedy. The Holiday Inn we stayed at offered a special “Moon Shot Breakfast” at 4:00 A.M. The restaurant was packed with tourists headed for the Cape.
Like Mr. Franzen, we found that parking along the highway was surprisingly simple before sunup, and among all the observers there was an easy, friendly camaraderie. Our family, along with many others, toured the Kennedy Space Center that afternoon, and like the Frazens we were glued to the television for the remainder of our vacation.
All of us who witnessed Apollo 11’s launch that morning did feel we were a part of the mission. That day stands out as one of the highlights of my life.