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The Moon Landing & Grandma

I’m old enough to remember the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Pearl Thornton Pratt with her husband James and first child William

I was in middle school at the time and my family lived in rural Colorado. Cable TV didn’t exist in my area and there was no such thing as satellite TV, so we did without.

Very early on the morning of Sunday, July 20, 1969, my father woke me up and together we drove down out of the mountains to my seventy-three-year-old grandmother’s home in Denver. Later that morning we sat in her living room and watched the moon landing on her small black and white television.

During the broadcast, I glanced over at my grandmother. I recalled her telling me that she homesteaded land in Arkansas with my grandfather when she was twenty years old. Years later my grandfather moved to Kansas to look for work. When he had a job he sent word and she drove a covered wagon with their possessions and children to join him.

Now, near the end of her life, she watched people walk on the moon. What an incredible life of progress, adventure, and marvel. But I never asked her to tell me her stories.

Recently, I joined a genealogy group at my Assemblies of God church. These last few weeks I’ve been trying to reconstruct her life, along with many others that have now passed on. Each of them might have told me so much.

I was young, shy and I did ask a few questions, but I could have asked so many more.


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