Where were you at that moment man first set foot on the moon 50 years ago?
Many Sealy residents were not alive then, but some of those who were have vivid memories of that historic event.
“July 19, 1969, was a Sunday,” recalled Patty McAlexander. “I spent the afternoon sewing on a dress. I was between my sophomore and junior years at Sealy High School. I had the black and white television on anxiously waiting for the moment someone would step out of the spacecraft. It seemed to take forever. Finally it happened. It was a moment that changed the world.”
Shelly Richardson was working across the street from NASA’s Manned Spaceflight Center, now known as the Johnson Space Center.
“I was there and NASA Bay was a party town,” she said. “While attending Lee College I got a part-time job at General Electric, which was on NASA Road 1, across from NASA. They had a NASA contract and not sure what all it entailed, but what I did was failure coding, and if anything small or big was written up and then sent to the key punch operators.
“When the Apollo 11 mission landed, all of the engineers and the support staff crowded around a small black and white television just waiting to see what would happen. As Neil Armstrong was standing on the ladder you could hear a pin drop. None of us moved and then he stepped on the moon; we gasped and jumped for joy. Then we took a deep breath and got back to work. Ha! I will cherish those days.”
Elizabeth Wilde was just a young girl eager to play.
“My sisters and I were outside at twilight playing in the dusky light, while trying to catch lightning bugs or fireflies,” she recalled. “Our kitties and puppies were chasing us. It was a perfect summer evening in Texas during July; and then our dad called us to come in and watch TV because there was about to be a historic moment.
“Daddy said they’re about to land on the moon. We said yay! However, we didn't want to stop playing because we were having too much fun. In all our childhood innocence, we thought landing on the moon was fairly reasonable. Finally though, he insisted that we come on in, so us little girls thought if a moon landing is that important maybe we should watch it.
“We did see the astronauts land on the moon in a black and white 25-inch picture. That’s the television we had at the time. My parents, sisters, and I were thrilled about the moon landing, and we wondered what’s next after “conquering space.” It was exciting, but we were so young we couldn’t wait to get back outside and go play!”