50 Years Ago Today (or was it?)


This is one of the quirkier things I’ve posted. But then, that’s kind of the point. 

On this date fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind” by setting foot on the moon (they went at night because that made it easier to find). Of course, his memory is entirely different than mine. And so is yours. In fact, everyone who was around at the time has their own subjective version of the event. Here’s mine:

My band interrupted our rehearsal to watch the landing on a tiny black-and-white TV. And then we went outside to look up at the bright, beautiful moon. “Look, you can see it!” we told our drummer Joey’s mom. And after some insistence (“No, not the astronauts, the capsule—look!”), we actually had her convinced it could be seen with the naked eye!

The other thing I remember was that Joey’s cousin produced an amazing flame by lighting one of his farts. I’d heard people could do this, but figured it wasn’t really possible. And yet I’d just seen it with my naked eye! Two giant leaps for mankind!

Our experiences are uniquely, quirkily, ours. Nothing happens without interpretation, without the juxtaposition at least some random, unrelated (“Joey’s farting cousin”) elements.


“Speak your truth” has become a popular buzz phrase. It can be useful: sharing our individual perspectives and experiences helps all of us “blind men” see the whole elephant better. However, for many the phrase has come to mean that there is no objective truth, that there is no single elephant, but that rather each of us has our own elephant (or non-elephant). Think of it as Shrodinger’s exploding elephant in a box. Or is that forest? (“If an elephant falls in the forest…”). Yeah, I know, I’m just jamming unrelated elements together. Or am I? I mean, hey, that’s my truth, man!


What if there was someone who could see all events from all perspectives, no matter how quirky or subjective, even from inside the box with the cat or the elephant or the falling tree or whatever he/she/it is? Wouldn’t that change everything? But of course, there’s no one who can do that. Is there?

God clears his throat.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to 50 Years Ago Today (or was it?)

  1. Chris Makan says:

    Wow this is a great history

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I loved your ending! (I didn’t see it coming.)

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Thanks for a much-needed laugh.
    (I, too, am seeking divine perspective, but I’m not as funny as you are. 😉 )

    Liked by 5 people

  4. badfinger20 says:

    I agree with Liz…great ending.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. smzang says:

    There is no getting around it. He is the one sure thing,
    the one constant to lean on.

    That said, it would be a bummer if all those moon rocks were

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Gary Fultz says:

    “God clears his throat.” I’m thinking there are more than 50 sound effects on that one. Some documented well.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The GIF is hilarious 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Tina says:

    I like quirky. Quirky and I understand each other.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Quirky, yes. Fun, yes. Truth, yes!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. bornagain732 says:

    I turned 3 years old that very day!!!
    Loved this!!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Cethru Cellophane says:

    Those original astronauts found bones on the moon. It was not publicized at the time. Recently after years of study anthropologists declared the “the cow didn’t make it”.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I was eight years old, but I vividly remember watching the grainy images on a black and white TV. I was riveted to the screen. If only we could maintain that same amazement with God.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Joan says:

    I know this to be the flaming truth, Mitch. I can hear that throat clearing now.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is something I would not have expected from you. I do remember the Moon Landing and as my wife at the time had been at NASA and had some insights on the Mission. The memory of being glued to the Television watching in amazement. I can’t recall an opportunity to do any flame-throwing. Thanks for the recollection of a time past.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. David Pettus says:

    This is hilarious. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Good post. I always enjoy your sense of humor. It’s very life-giving, and very much needed at this time, and at any time, by the way. Thanks for being a timely man with whatever God puts on your heart. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I am too young to remember, but I have been told that I argued with my parents that the moon landing was not really happening because most of the stories you see on TV were not real. I even stepped on the front porch with my dad and pointed out that we could not see the astronauts on the moon.
    He told me they were on the other side of the moon, which is why we could not see them. So, I believed him.
    Thus, while not yet 4 years old, I contributed to the canon of moon landing conspiracy theories.

    Liked by 3 people

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