Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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The Eagle lands on Pomerado Road

I am probably one of the few people who doesn’t have a memory of Apollo 11 that involves television. I did not see Walter Cronkite pause at the announcement that the Eagle had landed. I had to work that night, otherwise I would have probably been glued to the tube with the rest of the world. That summer, I had just graduated from High School and was still Tom Campbell. I was living with Tad and Alice Yamaguchi in Poway, Ca. They would adopt me in the fall.

My first full time job was washing dishes at a restaurant that had just opened by the I-15 freeway in Rancho Bernardo, 5 miles away. I was nineteen, but I still did not know how to drive, so I bought an old 1-speed bicycle and rode to work. My route was north on Pomerado Road, then west on Rancho Bernardo Road. Frequently, my ride was in the middle of the night, as it was on the night of the moon landing. I brought a small transistor radio to work and tried to listen best I could. Then, when I got off work, I tied the radio to the handlebars of the bike and rode home listening to the coverage.

In those days, there was not much of anything between Poway and Rancho Bernardo along Pormerado Road. There were no houses or stores. I do remember one church somewhere between the two towns. There were no streetlights along the narrow two-lane road, and my small headlight barely kept me from riding off into the ditch. I do remember being able to see the moon that night, and a quick check of the Internet confirmed that the moon was in its first quarter on 7/20/09. Today, it seems so much like a dream as I think about riding that old bike down the road in the dark. It was so empty, I felt like I was on the moon myself. My only connections to civilization were the blacktop below me and the radio receiving the voices from that visible piece of disk high above me. When I got home, I went straight to bed. I did not need to see anymore that night. I had all the information I needed. I knew that when I looked at the moon again, it would not be the same.

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July 20, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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