This is one of the biggest days in history, and it is a time I think of often. I was 7 years old in 1969 and lived in a little trailer off of the side of the freeway in Black Canyon City, Arizona. My dad was a Highway Patrolman, and this was one of two trailers and two homes that housed the patrolmen and their families. Even though the houses are gone my trailer is still there to this day. As a kid, this was a really big event for me. I didn’t leave the TV for a good two weeks, I watched every minute as Walter Cronkite would talk us through the entire process of the launch and landing with some awesome models and incredible art work. WOW MODELS AND SPACE ART!!!! I guess my future was pegged and laid out for me in just a couple of weeks’ time. I haven’t researched who built the models nor have I confirmed the art, but I would swear it was all Ralph McQuarrie and Robert McCall. Anyway, I would just watch with amazement as ol’ Walter would talk away in complete professional fandom. He would walk you through the mission and tell you all there was to know about the astronauts who were household names in our house, and we knew every inch of the Saturn V rocket right down to all it’s tiniest of specifications. I started drawing pictures majorly during this time and compiled the whole mission in little scribbles. Once the Apollo lifted off, it was unbelievable to watch that beautiful rocket soar by a wide angle camera mounted on the side of the launch tower. Another camera recorded the aft view as the rocket went into orbit, and it was so awesome to see the stages and coupler rings disengage and tumble slowly back to Earth. It was an anxious wait for the ships to get to the moon; a couple of days to a kid was like 6 weeks. I don’t think I ever went to bed, and I am sure all the rest of the guys and gals from the Star Trek art department were doing the same. I would have loved to have known Doug, Mike and Denise, Jim Van Over, Rick, Andy, Anthony and the rest of the gang back then!!! Can you imagine Doug in his little Jammies running around the house screaming as a kid back then…I might have to draw some of these scenarios just for the heck of it, HAAA! The landing took place perfectly, Neil Armstrong was the first man down the ladder and his words will echo on forever, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil and Buzz started walking around on the moon setting up equipment and placing an American flag on the surface, while Mike Collins orbited the moon waiting to pick up the moon walkers after the mission was over. All the footage on the moon had these little faint crosses on the screen, some type of registration I guess but I had to put those marks on everything I was drawing for years to come. The lift off from the moon through that exterior camera was breathtaking, and all the little pieces of golden debris flying all over the screen inspired the entire VFX community for sure. The reentry and splashdown brought the mission back into full color, and I was so sad that it was over. Even as a youth, you felt like you were a part of the mission, as I am certain everyone that saw this amazing adventure was, too. It was a different time, and nothing was hurried to the point of becoming a blur; the public’s minds were not exposed to the rapid MTV style of needing 4000 edits every three minutes to tell a story. The whole event from the news end to the NASA side of things was so beautifully merged with great talent and exquisite professionalism. This was an unbelievable time, and I’m so glad I had a few moments to relive and share it with you today. Happy 40th, Apollo 11. Below is a quick photo album to relive some of those awesome moments and images from long ago. Enjoy.