It was sunny in California that day, and I was a young pre-teen boy playing in the back yard with a small model of the Saturn V rocket, and I was waiting. The model was nice, but I was focused instead on the hose. I had the hose turned on full-blast with an adjustable nozzle fastened at the end that was turned to the off position. In an empty part of the flowerbed, I had pointed the nozzle straight into the ground into a small puddle of water. It was a big day, and this mission was a GO.
Somehow, even at my young age then, I knew that imagination was a powerful, and beautiful, thing.ExploringWithBruce.com
I counted down from 10. As the count approached 4 and then 3, I began opening up the nozzle. Its light initial flow of water opened in the shape of a cone, making the puddle churn and begin to spread. As it came down to 2 and then 1, I opened the valve wide and the sound was loud, the water pressure grew in power and began spraying in all directions. When I said “zero, we have lift off!”, I could feel the now full-power of water pressure through the nozzle pushing the hose upward, away from the ground, away from the Earth, as I lifted the hose slowly out of the water and into the sky.
I was imagining. The power of the machines that had hurled human beings toward the moon was only equalled to the imagination of the people that invented, designed, tested and built those machines. Somehow, even at my young age then, I knew that imagination was a powerful, and beautiful, thing. Then my flight plan was interrupted, but it was OK.
“Bruce, come inside, it’s happening….” my Father said out our back door with a touch of excitement in his voice.
And with that, I sat in front of a grainy black-and-white television set in our living room. I heard the words, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” And with my family, and about 600 million other people around the world in 1969 on this day 50 years ago, we all watched two men step foot on the moon.