When the Moon Hits Your Eye or Spaghetti in the Sky

Spaghetti al sugo di carne

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We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962


Gaetano Crocetti

 

 

 

I often find myself wondering what my grandfather, Gaetano Crocetti, thought as he sailed to America in 1913. As he voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean from Naples to New York he must have looked up from the deck of the Hamburg and gazed at the Moon. I bet he never dreamed he would have two sons, and of those two Italian-Americans, one would help send men to the Moon and the other would become world famous singing about the Moon.







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This week is the anniversary of the flight of Apollo 11, man’s first walk on the Moon. Liftoff was July 16, 1969 at 13:32:00 UTC. The astronauts boldly went where no man had gone before, to paraphrase one of my fave TV shows.


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We sat in our living rooms on July 20, 1969 and bore witness as Neil Armstrong took those first steps. No longer would humankind tilt up its collective head and wonder if the Moon were made of green cheese.


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Throughout human history man has mused about the Moon; in print, oral history, myth, religion and song, the moon figures high. Uncle Dean, my grandfather’s second son, made the Moon and pizza famous with the song That’s Amore. Although I never discussed it with him, the irony of his song and my dad’s profession was surely not lost on him. If anybody had a sense of irony, it was Dean Martin.


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My father, William Crocetti, Bill to his friends and colleagues, was an engineer at North American Rockwell – Rocketdyne back then – and he worked on the engines for the Saturn V rockets (Heavy Lift vehicles), the very ones that powered men to the moon. During the War he was in the Air Force – I guess he always had his eye on the sky.


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They called it “The Hill,” and the tests he and his colleagues conducted at the Santa Susana Field Lab in the mountains just north of Los Angeles lit up the night sky. The neighbors heard the roar of the rocket engines and felt the earth shake. There were lots of successes, and some damnable failures, explosions that took the lives of brave men, and our nation’s first meltdowns of a nuclear reactor.

My father and his colleagues were Cold Warriors, to a man. They understood the need to be first, and they did everything they could to ensure the primacy of the United States of America. When I was ten years old my dad said to me “Adri, men are going to walk on the moon before you are twenty.” I remember exactly what I said. I looked him right in the eye as we sat at our dining room table and a cynic even then, I replied “Oh no, Daddy. That will never happen.” He smiled his wry smile. And seven years later, just nine months after my father’s death, Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.


Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.

Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969

Click here to see Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface.


The twentieth century was the century of air travel and space exploration. Countless inventions came out of the space race. Advances in microprocessors were fueled during the sixties in an effort to reduce weight. The planners knew that a long lasting compact source of fuel to run the spacecraft and its onboard systems was needed, and nuclear power seemed ideal.

Unfortunately in 1959, a meltdown of the Santa Susana Sodium Reactor occurred, and again in 1964. The reactor was shut down, but the race to the moon continued.

Many innovations are much more mundane than microprocessors and nuclear fuel. Consider cordless power tools, heat resistant ceramics, memory foam and satellite television. These technologies are but a few of the innovations that once seemed so remarkable but are now part of our quotidienne existence.


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Businesses of every stripe were involved in space technology. Do you remember the Fisher Space pen? Its pressurized cartridge with special ink is but one example of the offshoots of the race to the Moon. I still use one today.


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My site is about food, so let’s get to it. Have you wondered what those astronauts ate? For one thing, the Apollo 11 astronauts did not drink Tang. During a pre-flight tasting, an orange-grapefruit mix got the thumbs up. Tang was grounded. Another urban myth debunked.

Their food was pretty “space age,” if I may use the term. NASA figured that each astronaut needed about 2,800 calories per day. Zippered plastic bags with attached spoons contained food whose moisture made it cling to that self same spoon, even in a zero gravity environment. These ingenious bags with their specially designed rehydrating apparatus allowed the men to prepare and eat directly from the self-contained feeding units (my term, not NASA’s.) Included on the in-flight menu were chicken stew, scalloped potatoes, mixed citrus drinks, brownies, pineapple cake, bacon cubes coated with gelatin (to prevent crumb spillage) and coffee, along with Neil Armstrong’s favorite – spaghetti with meat sauce served on Day 2 of the flight. Talk about the influence of the immigrant experience on American history. Spaghetti with meat sauce on a voyage to the Moon! Another thing my grandfather would not have foreseen. I can hear my dad and his brother now “Ain’t that a kick in the head?”


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An interesting note about the song That’s Amore. It was written by another Italian-American, Harry Warren. He was born Salvatore Guaragna to immigrant Calabrian parents in Brooklyn, and known as Mousie due to his small stature. Warren rose to fame on Tin Pan Alley writing such classics as Jeepers Creepers and then in Hollywood where he wrote the scores to over 250 film musicals with songs like Chattanooga Choo Choo, On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe and That’s Amore. And Harry Warren’s musical idol? I quote, “Puccini’s my God. That’s my idea of music.” Another Italian. Gotta love it.


Dino Martin Crocetti and William Crocetti. All Rights Reserved © AdriBarrCrocetti.com

Dino and William – The Crocetti Brothers


I salute Gaetano Crocetti and his sons William and Dean who lived the American dream to the hilt and made America better for their time on earth. I include in my salute President John F. Kennedy who had the vision, and all the men and women at NASA and its contractors who believed in that vision and yes, even the Soviets who stoked the exquisitely powerful fuel of the Cold War.


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The Astronauts left this gold olive branch on the surface of the Moon. With it they left a plaque inscribed “Here Men from the Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon. July 1969, A. D. We Came in Peace for All Mankind.”


Man has finally visited the Moon after all the ages of waiting and waiting. Two Americans with the alliterative names of Armstrong and Aldrin have spent just under a full Earth day on the Moon. They picked at it and sampled it, and they deployed experiments on it, and they packed away some of it to pack with them and bring home.

Walter Cronkite, CBS News, July 21, 1969



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Spaghetti con Sugo di Carne – Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


I do not have the original NASA recipe, but here is my family’s favorite. Have it for dinner, open a bottle of red wine from Abruzzo, and listen to That’s Amore as you gaze at the Moon.

makes about 7 cups

2 medium onions, cut in fine dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed between your fingers
kosher salt
2 cans, 35 ounces each, whole tomatoes

1 pound spaghetti

Pass tomatoes with their juices through a food mill fitted with the medium disk. Set aside.

Pour olive oil into a large Dutch oven. Over medium heat add onions and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute until soft and translucent, being careful not to brown onions, adjusting heat down, if necessary, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Do not brown garlic or the sauce will have a bitter edge.

Add ground meat and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Saute over medium high heat until all juices have evaporated and meat has browned, about 10 minutes.

Add white wine and cook until evaporated

Add bay leaves and oregano. Cook briefly, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste, and toast 1 minute to enhance flavor.

Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until sauce has darkened and you are pleased with the flavor. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove and discard bay leaves. Sauce is now ready to use. It will keep, well covered, in the refrigerator 4 days or frozen, 3 months.

To serve, dress 1 pound cooked spaghetti with some of the sauce. You will not need all of the sauce. Pass Parmigiano at the table.

How to Grind Your Own Meat

I strongly urge you to grind your own meat and poultry. First, you know exactly what cut of protein you are getting. That can not always be said for what you pick up at the supermarket. Further, it is as fresh as it can possibly be. Once ground, meat and poultry present a much greater surface area to the air, and will deteriorate quickly. Grinding your own is a particularly good idea if someone in your home is immune compromised. We are all familiar with meat recalls due to the presence of bacteria such as Listeria and E. coli. But contaminants are not limited to bacteria, and recalls are often due to misbranding and the presence of allergens. Further, much of the product subject to recall is never recovered, having already passed from the supplier into the consumer’s refrigerator. If you really want to know what is in your ground meat, grind it yourself.


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I have been grinding my own meat and poultry for well over thirty years. I started when I purchased my first Cuisinart. The food processor actually chops rather than grinds the meat. I now use the grinding attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. I prefer the texture produced by grinding. For optimum texture grind twice – once with the large grinding plate and then with the small one.


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The technique is simple, and once you do it a couple of times, you will become a convert. Everything must be scrupulously clean and as cold, without being frozen, as you can get it. Place all parts of the grinder (or food processor) in the freezer 1 hour before starting.

Chop the meat in 1 inch chunks for the KitchenAid, 2 inch chunks for the food processor. Spread meat on a sheet pan and place in freezer 15 minutes.

All this talk of cold may sound odd, but a great deal of friction and heat are created when you grind meat, and that contributes to spoilage. Commercial meat grinding concerns add dry ice to the meat as it is being ground to keep the meat cold, thus reducing spoilage.

To use the KitchenAid, assemble and attach grinding unit to the mixer as directed. Drop chilled meat in the hopper and use the plunger to press meat through. Grind first using the large plate and then a second time using the smaller one. The entire process will go rather quickly, and you will have ground meat that is safe and better tasting.

You can use a food processor to create everything from a coarse chop to a puree. Place chunks of chilled meat in workbowl fitted with steel blade, and pulse 3 or 4 times. If it is not chopped finely enough, process continuously for a few seconds. Check, and continue to process until desired consistency is reached. You may process up to 5 cups of meat at a time, depending on workbowl size.

With both techniques, if you are not going to cook the meat straightaway, wrap it well and place it in the coldest part of the refrigerator until use.

The KitchenAid grinder attachment is available at Amazon.


How to cook spaghetti

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For one pound of spaghetti, or other long pasta fill a stockpot, pasta pentola or other large cooking vessel with at least 6 quarts of water, and bring to a rapid boil. Once the water has come to the boil, add a generous dose of sea salt, about 1 teaspoon per quart of water. As the saying goes “The water should taste like the Mediterranean sea.” When the salt is added, the water will bubble up, so do exercise caution. The water will come off the boil, but will shortly return. Once the water has returned to the boil, add your pasta to the pot. Do not break it. As it softens, use a wooden spoon or other utensil to push it down into the pot. Again, the water will have come off the boil. Cover the pot until it returns to the boil. Once it has begun to boil again, uncover the pot, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Remember, the manufacturer’s cooking guidelines are only suggestions; taste the pasta occasionally, being sure it is no longer white in the center and is the consistency you desire.


Latini Spaghetti


Premium pastas such as Latini and Rustichella di Abruzzo are set apart by their use of high quality wheat, in some cases heirloom strains. A unique feature of these products is their long low drying times which helps retain the distinct flavor and aroma of the wheat. The use of bronze dies in the extruding machines imparts a rough texture to the pasta’s exterior making the pasta a particularly good carrier of the sauce, and therefore flavor. These are artisanal products and can cost upwards of $6.00 for one pound of spaghetti. For a more affordable and very good product I turn to Del Verde, De Cecco and Barilla.

There is a lot here. I invite you to take your time with this article. Below are some links for further exploration. For those of you old enough to remember, these links will provide you with a nostalgia filled walk down memory lane. And for those of you too young to have lived the Space Race, take a look. I think you are going to like what you see. Watch and remember all the brave people, both living and dead who put man on the Moon. We came in peace.

Click here to see a 2:18 min Apollo 11 overview clip from NASA.

Click here to see Buzz Aldrin speak with the History Channel about landing on the Moon.

Click here to see a moonwalk montage from The History Channel.

Click here to visit We Choose the Moon, an interactive tour of the Apollo 11 flight

Click here to read the Eat Me Daily article and its many links for detailed information on the Apollo food technology program and the specifics of the Apollo 11 menus.


Note: You can click on any picture to see a slide show with even more pictures!

I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.

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36 Comments

  1. Comment by Jamie:

    What a wonderful post and a tribute, not only to your dad and the men in your family but to the spirit and vision of the Space Program. My dad was the son of immigrants, too, from Russia and isn’t it amazing what these men did only one generation in the USA… they became part of its history in a huge way. Thanks for sharing this with me.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Jamie,

      It’s my pleasure, and I have enjoyed discovering that we have this shared American experience. Our fathers changed the world. And to think of how proud their parents must have been, well it is a joy indeed.

  2. Comment by mariangela:

    Adri ha fatto un post meraviglioso, l’ho letto tutto d’un fiato!!!! Complimenti per il piatto che ci hai proposto, sei bravissima. Un abbraccio e a prestoooo

  3. Comment by Bronwen:

    Thank you for your recipe and wonderful memories of my favorite singer, your Uncle Dean, and especially the sweet picture of the two little Crocetti boys. Handsome little fellows!

  4. Comment by Zita:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful article and the recipe! Im a big fan of Dean Martin’s, and often wish i were old enough to have had the opportunity to see him perform live! He was such a great entertainer and really handsome man, you’re so very lucky to have known him! :)

    All the best,
    Zita

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hello Zita,

      It is a pleasure to hear from you. I enjoy writing about food and I particularly enjoy weaving my family stories into the writing. I have several other family recipes here, Maccheroni alla chitarra, Mom’s Sauce, Croccante and more. I encourage you to explore my site (check the Archives Tab on the menu), and feel free to email with any questions. Indeed Uncle Dean was a special man, a once in a lifetime entertainer and a wonderful uncle. Thank you so very much for visiting and especially for taking a moment to comment. I hope you return often.

      • Comment by Zita:

        I will definitelly check out the archives and try some of the recipes soon. Thank you also for replying, its a lovely surprise to find such a personal blog!

        • Comment by Adri:

          Hi Zita,

          It’s my pleasure to reply. To paraphrase a blogger friend, Judy Witts Francini, of Over a Tuscan Stove on the subject of comments – “It’s good to know I am not whistling in the wind.” I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to submit their thoughts. These days we are all so busy; the world just zips by. So thanks again for taking time out of your day to write.

  5. Comment by Danielle:

    This is a beautiful post and a great looking recipe. what a rich family history you have!!!! I love that you shared it with all of us; thank you.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Danielle,

      I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the article. It was a pleasure to write and most especially to share. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you return often.

  6. Comment by LA_Foodie:

    What a great post. I have long been a fan of Dean Martin. But, what made this personal, is that I used to use a Fisher Space pen. So I dug around in some drawers. And found it. It still works! Brings back memories.
    Thanks…

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Foodie,

      Well, one thing about this post – I have certainly learned that there are legions of fans of Uncle Dean. That has been really heartwarming. And discovering just how much America’s triumphs in outer space mean to people everywhere has been a joy. But you are the only one to mention the Fisher Space Pen. How wonderful that you have an old Fisher pen. I use one to this day, and it is a terrific writing instrument. Thanks for stopping by. Live long and prosper, Foodie!

  7. Comment by Aileen:

    Hi Adri:
    We had a celebration planned for July 20th. My brother is an engineer at what I can only descibe as a defence related facility. He really enjoyed meeting your family in your post. We are making some additions and changes to our evening after reading your post. We will be eating our family recipe for spagetti and meat sauce and listening to “Uncle Dean”. However, we will be as planned watching a wonderful Australian movie “The Dish.” It is based on the use of what was in 1969 the largest radio telescope in the world. It stars Sam Neil and Paririck Warburton (Putty from “Seinfeld”). I recommend it. The telescope recieved audio and video from the space craft and the moon and transmitted it from there. It reminds me of your Dad’s role in the moon landing, ordinary people doing the job they did every day and doing so played a vital part in a great achievement. The movie is set Parkes,New South Wales. Parkes is not out back but definitely in the bush. It is sheep country and the telescope was and still is in the middle of a sheep paddock. One of our guests is making brownies, another staple of space food. We will be opening a bottle of red but it will be an Australian red.

    Aileen

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Aileen,

      I love hearing that you also planned a Moon launch celebration. I can hardly believe it was forty-three years ago. It seems like yesterday. That Radio Dish sounds altogether intriguing. I have never heard of it. Thanks so much for the info.

      I hope your Apollo dinner was great. I still am amazed that Spaghetti and Meat Sauce went to the Moon. Who knew? Thanks so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

  8. Comment by Italian Notes:

    Hi Adri, what a beautiful story. With an appropriate ending in sugo, where everything that’s good and Italian ends. I’ll try your version and hum ‘That’s Amore’

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Mette,

      I enjoyed writing this one. The memories came flooding back, and for the last week and a half I have not been able to get That’s Amore out of my head! I did encounter quite a bit of difficulty in knowing where to stop. I could have gone on, well, from here to the Moon.

      What a terrific turn of phrase “… ending in sugo, where everything that’s good and Italian ends.” I may have to borrow that some time! Thanks so much for stopping by, It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

  9. Comment by Ciaochowlinda:

    Wow, what a lot of fascinating information you put into this post Adri. I loved reading about your dad and your very famous uncle. I bet you have lots of stories you could tell about growing up with these relatives. I’ll never forget that first landing on the moon. I had just started dating the man who would become my husband the following year. My old-world grandfather was living with my parents, and when the broadcasts came showing the landing and men walking on the moon, my grandfather refused to believe it – thought it was all just hocus-pocus!!! Your recipe looks truly delicious – a far cry from that space food. And I grind my meat in that same Kitchenaid grinder too.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Thanks Linda,

      I am so glad you enjoyed this one. It seems to have touched so many people. I have found people’s reactions surprising, touching and heartwarming. I learned that the Space Race holds so many memories for people. Thank you for sharing yours. I love that you had just started dating the fellow you would ultimately marry. What a wonderful connection. Your grandfather’s reaction is classic. The truth is, he is not alone. To this day there are plenty of Moon Landing Deniers among us. An uncle on my mother’s side is counted among them.

      On the subject of uncles, indeed I have lots of wonderful memories and stories about Uncle Dean. The funny thing about it is, as a kid he was just a regular guy to me. I had no idea he was so famous. That’s the great thing about kids – the trappings of fame mean nothing. I just knew I had fun when we were all together. We were four kids and there were seven kids in his family, cousins galore. We had a ball.

      Thank you for the compliment on the recipe. The astronauts’ food was really something. They had cubed bacon coated in gelatin. The gelatin kept crumbs from falling into the sensitive equipment. Can you imagine? Engineering the food was quite a feat and continues to this day. The shrimp for the shrimp cocktail, a favorite of astronaut Michael Collins, had to be of a size small enough to fit through the tubing of the food container unit. This was some serious planning. For more on the food take a look at the Eat Me Daily article and visit the links within that article. I found the information absolutely fascinating. And for in depth information presented in an extremely accessible style, First Man, James R. Hansen’s biography of Neil Armstrong is a great resource.

      Isn’t that KitchenAid grinder wonderful? I love hearing that you use it too. Every time I look at the FDA recall summary, I realize that grinding my own meat is one smart idea.

      Thanks so much for visiting and especially for taking the time to leave a comment.

  10. Comment by Trisha Thomas:

    Adri — I love this post. It is wonderful to think back to those times and hear about your marvelous relatives. Boy were those Crocetti boys good looking men! You should be so proud of them all. And I loved reading the quotes from three men I consider heroes — Armstrong, Kennedy and Cronkite.

    The space food reminds me of a camping trip in the Shenandoah mountains when I was in about 5th grade. My father decided to lighten our loads in the backpacks by packing specially-packed lightweight astronaut food. The last night we were in the woods he made up a beef stroganoff for us all. It was dreadful so we buried it about 100 feet from out tent. As we were cleaning up a big ol’ brown bear came down the path and headed straight for our astronaut\’s beef stroganoff. My sister and I were terrified. Eventually a ranger who had been following the hungry bear showed up and warned us to tie all our food up high in the tree and be prepared for a difficult night as the bear would attempt to get it, and possibly to get into our tent to get anything we might have forgotten to hang in the tree (like toothpaste). My sister and I were frightened and my father wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all. Finally the ranger suggested it might be easier if we just made the two hour hike back out to the central campsite instead of passing the night fending off the hungry bear. So we packed up our tent and backpacks with the bear happily chewing on the beef stroganoff and hiked at night with our flashlights back to the main camping area. It was quite an adventure. I have never touched astronaut food since! But your spaghetti looks delicious!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Oh Trisha,

      That is too funny. I was trying to read your comment to Bart, and I was laughing so hard, I could not finish. Beef stroganoff, a bear and an American family in the woods. Oh my. This tale has real sitcom potential. I am thinking it was a very good thing the ranger was there.

      The astronaut food was a marvel of modern technology, if not always gustatory delight. Peaches, bacon squares, apricot cereal cubes, shrimp cocktail, frankfurters and chicken stew. What a smorgasbord! Did your dad perhaps pack any astronaut ice cream? I remember freeze dried food from my days as a backpacker. Let’s say it was good to get back in the kitchen.

      I have been floored by the response to this post. I had no idea just how deeply the Space Program, and the Moon Walk in particular, had penetrated our collective psyche. This was a blast to research and write. The only difficulty I encountered was where to stop. Luckily for me, I have an in-house editor who was at the ready, trim bin at his side.

      Thank you for the comments about the Crocetti boys – handsome indeed and each with his own particular gifts. Once I decided to write this I knew the quote from President Kennedy would be the perfect set-up. When I read it, I heard President Kennedy’s voice. And of course the Armstrong quote was a must. Again, I could hear his voice speaking those famous words. When I read the Walter Cronkite quote, there it was, that singular voice with its unique intonation. How many evenings did we all spend in front of our television sets with him? Some things are just seared into our conscious minds. The Cronkite quote, by the way, is the opening paragraph of his conclusion to the thirty-two hours of CBS coverage of the voyage to the Moon and exploration of the lunar surface, history’s longest (at that point) continuous scheduled television broadcast.

      And on the subject of television broadcasts, Apollo 11 was Bart’s first big event in his career at NBC News. I am so glad you got a kick out of this. And thank you for a most entertaining comment!

  11. Comment by toni crocetti kellam:

    I meant to say that Dad brought home the small, exit portion of the tail of the rocket, not an entire fuel system or a rocket. Can you imagine, a rocket engine in our front yard? How hilarious.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Toni,

      Well, it was Brentwood – an entire rocket would surely have made for the ne plus ultra of birthday parties! Some kids had clowns, why shouldn’t we have had a rocket!! We would not have had to go to Disneyland for their Rocket to the Moon! Just think, back in the day that ride was in Tomorrowland. Today it would be in Yesterland.

  12. Comment by Ana Daniel:

    Adri, you’re brilliant! This took me back to the day I had 4 wisdom teeth extracted and awoke out of drugged stupor to Moon Landing on TV – which I couldn’t believe was real!!! Also reminds me how much I miss spaghetti!!!!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Ana,

      OK, hands down, you win the most hysterical comment prize. Give that woman a box of spaghetti. That is too funny. How long did it take you to realize the guys were in fact Moonwalking – or are you a fan of Capricorn One? Thanks so much for stopping by, and your comment simply rocks.

  13. Comment by Janet Crocetti:

    I, unfortunately, never met your father, but it was such an emotional entry for me, as well. What an amazing man your father was! I love how you include the history in such a fascinating way!!

    Janet

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Janet,

      My, but this one has had quite an impact. It has been so surprising. I can’t tell you how rewarding it has been to hear from everyone.

      So many people really loved and respected my Dad. His wit, intelligence and sense of fairness were remarkable. I am terribly sorry you never had the opportunity to meet him, but his legacy lives on in lots of stories, memories and photographs. Thanks so much for your kind words. I hope Emily enjoys this one. Encourage her to watch some of the videos – you guys too. It is really cool to see the Apollo footage. Thanks again. I always love to hear from you.

  14. Comment by Anthony:

    Very interesting blog and the recipe sounds wonderful

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Anthony,

      Thanks, Anthony. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed this one. This Friday make some Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and celebrate the anniversary of the Moon Walk!

  15. Comment by Pamela Sheldon Johns:

    Adri, what a lovely post! My mother worked at North American (later North American Rockwell) and wired many panels for the Apollo series. However, I do not have such an illustrious uncle! Really enjoyed this, thank you,
    Pamela

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Pamela,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. How remarkable that our parents both worked for the same company. Small world, most certainly. This one brought back many memories of a wonderful time filled with a sense of big things to come. I imagine it was the same for you.

      And my uncle and his very cool song just fit in so perfectly. He added to the fun, as he always did.

      I am so pleased and really quite flattered that you stopped by. And thanks for sharing the small world story. I love it.

  16. Comment by toni crocetti kellam:

    Awesome post, Adri. It brought tears to my eyes. Did you know that Dad helped design the fuel systems for the rockets? He brought one home one day for us to marvel over. It was split down the middle and we could see the different layers of materials inside. A beautiful thing, for sure.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Dear Toni,

      Yes, he was awesome, for certain. And I do remember the one he brought home. Its quartzish look intrigued me. The older I get, the more I am in awe of him, to be honest. I am just so sorry he did not live to see men walk on the moon. However, I am confident he witnessed it, just from a different vantage point than the rest of us. I figured this one would be a two hankie post for our family members and for those who were fortunate enough to have known Dad.

  17. Comment by Michelle:

    Adri,
    My apartment in NYC has a view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. In essence, the same view that my great grandparents (and countless other family members) had when they sailed into NY Harbor from Naples, at the turn of the century. I think of this often. Could they have ever imagine?. I guess the logical answer is no. But I suspect the real answer is yes. They would have never stepped onto that boat otherwise.
    Lovely piece.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Michelle,

      It must have been astounding for them all as they saw Lady Liberty and knew they had arrived. I think you are right about the yes and no of it. They did not know exactly what they would find here, but indeed, they knew it would be good. Thanks so much for stopping by, and especially for your very kind comment.

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