11 when 7
I was in bed when Neil stepped down on the surface but I didn’t mind, I was only little. Weeks of buildup. We made a giant cardboard rocket at school. Mr Brookes, the caretaker, was called in on a special lunar mission with his stepladder to hang it from the steel girders on the ceiling of our classroom. Mrs Boyle looked very happy when it finally was up there. Just like Gene Kranz I suppose, though Gene’s haircut was way cooler than Mrs Boyle’s. Mrs Boyle was lovely. I can’t speak for Gene, never having met him. We’d painted ‘USA’ on the side in red, just like the real thing. Lots of silver foil was involved too. I can’t remember if we did a countdown. I think Mr Brookes struggled a bit getting it level, just like Neil. But he made it and weren’t we all glad and doesn’t it feel so close and yet so far away?