Space Coast Cocoa Beach, FL, July 1969
Nassau Bay, Houston, TX, November 1969
The grown-ups have been awake all night, coffee cups have replaced wine glasses. I climb into Grandad’s lap. Mom sits close to the TV with Mr. Cernan by her side.
A warning tone sounds on Dad’s spacesuit. It is the only time during the mission that I have seen Mom worried. We listen to the comms between Intrepid and Houston. No voices are raised, no interruptions, calmly, step-by-step, together, they make changes to Dad’s suit control settings. A few minutes pass, the problem is solved.
In his bulky spacesuit, Dad bumped the LM hatch partially shut when he moved over to Pete’s side of the LM to take a photo. The change in the LM’s air pressure affected the operation of his suit. Fairly quickly Dad looked down and saw the hatch was closed, immediately, he re-opened it and the suit returned to normal.
115:47:55 Bean: Houston, how does the LM look? I’m getting ready to go out the front door.
115:48:42 Gibson: Al, Houston. The LM is looking good. You’re Go for egress.
115:49:08 Bean: Pete, here I come.
115:49:14 Conrad: No, no, no, no. Let me come. Dum dee dum dum dum. Got to run through this (small) crater. Here I come. Now, wait a minute. (Pause) Okay; I’m ready for you.
115:49:43 Bean: You might want to give me some directions, too.
115:49:45 Conrad: All right.
115:49:48 Bean: Bumping anything? (Pause)
115:49:52 Conrad: You’re coming straight out and the further you can bend over the better. All right; move to your right.
115:50:00 Conrad: That a boy. Down. (Pause) That’s it; get your knees down. That a boy. Good shape; good shape.
115:50:12 Bean:I’m pulling the hatch closed here.
115:50:15 Conrad: Don’t lock it. Okay, you’re right at the edge of the porch.
115:51:13 Bean: Pretty good; I’d better get my visor down though.
115:51:15 Conrad: Yes, sir. My, that Sun is bright. (Pause)
115:51:27 Bean: Boy, the LM looks nice on the outside.
115:51:59 Conrad: …turn around and give me a big smile. That a boy.
115:52:02 Conrad: You look great. Welcome aboard.
Dad is the 4th man to step on the moon. He does not make a memorable statement when his boot touches the lunar surface for the first time. That was not his role.
But here on earth at 18706 Point Lookout Dr., the family and friends who have been by his side for the last 6 years, celebrate with feelings of joy, pride, relief, and accomplishment that his (our) dream had been achieved.