LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Moonstruck

I was in grade school living in El Paso, where my father was a drill sergeant at Fort Bliss, the summer of the moon landing and walk, 50 years ago. Fifty years!

Like most everyone else, we avidly watched the TV coverage, on a little black-0and-white TV in our living room. Life magazine was always on our coffee table, with its extensive coverage of the Apollo and other missions. We drank Tang and watched “I Dream of Jennie.”

My family frequently visited nearby White Sands Missile Range (as well as White Sands National Monument), and when I see film clips of Wernher van Braun there with the missiles, it takes me back to those days. I remember being a tad bored with the missile displays and eager to get to the sand dunes.

My science teacher in 1969 had a brother working in Houston in the space program, so I’ve always felt that as her student I had a special window into that world. Certainly, Texans were especially proud of Houston at that moment in history.

As the 50th anniversary approached, there have been many excellent documentaries on the topic. I would highly recommend the three-parter from “American Experience” — “Chasing the Moon” — as the best of the bunch.

Tonight, I’m going to gather with friends for a party to celebrate the moon landing, an idea I cooked up. Phase One of the fête will be a garden party with 1960s appetizers at Red Oak House, and for Phase Two, the potluck, we will all move to another house where they have a more clear view of the sky.

What are your Apollo memories?

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