Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What the Moon Smells Like

A l o h a !
Come inside
(click on photos to enlarge)
Tropic Moon, why you look so small up there?"

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."
Erica Jong

The Natives are . . .

"The covers of this book are too far apart."
Ambrose Bierce

Flapping in the breeze. My jaws?
NO!! Flags!

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins returned from their history-making journey to the moon, 40 years ago this Summer, they splashed into the Pacific about 800 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Thus my island home of Oahu was the first solid land under their feet. It was not their first isle visit, as the Big Island's Mauna Kea had hosted their pre-flight training among her other-worldly rocks in a place now known as Apollo Valley.

Once back upon US soil, the astronauts had fun complying with customs and immigration regulations. Official documents thus record that they arrived from "The Moon" aboard "Flight 11" arriving at "Honolulu Hawaii." In answer to the health question regarding "conditions on board that which may lead to the spread of disease" they answered honestly (gulp): "To be determined."

A customs declaration was also dutifully filed regarding the 47 pounds of Moon Rocks they had obtained. Aboard the gleaming, modified Airstream trailer, that served as their 21 day quarantine, the astronauts and flight surgeon William Carpentier (along with NASA technician John Hirasaki) were the first humans to observe the naked lunar minerals inside the Earth's atmosphere. Though they looked like "ordinary rocks" there was one interesting thing about these rocks. They smelled like burnt gun powder.
A L O H A, Earthlings!