Neil Young, Stoner Astronaut
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" I have a terrific, nostalgic sermon for you today, but we have to do the opening rituals and stuff first.
1. I would like the faeries to give back the thick envelope of photographs I set aside to have scanned. The best of the best. Gone. Only in Chateau Johnson can this happen.
I'm trying not to get worked up. But certain faeries had better hand over the pics, or they will not go to Spoutwood next May Day.
2. What a busy time this has been! On August 23, my beloved daughter The Spare headed off to college. The Spare! The Spare! What will my life be without the Spare making me laugh all the time! And her big dinner parties. And her Doctor Who parties. And her Harry Potter parties. And her 4th of July get-togethers. And her Christmas dinner soirees. I think we counted: She had eight parties last year with at least 10 guests. Seems like some of the life has been sucked out of the house.
Spare didn't choose just any college. She is attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. This expensive institution is not on the edge of the city. It's not in a quiet city neighborhood. It is right square on the freakin downtown streets, Center City, wedged in between skyscrapers and the Kimmel Center and the big theaters. You can see Billy Penn on top of City Hall, about six blocks away. Granted, Philly isn't New York, but at that particular spot it sure feels like it. To each her own, but I sure couldn't live amidst all that bustle. Spare! Spare! Never forget your Appalachian bloodline!
3. On we go to our pathetic patient, Decibel the parrot. Decibel hurt her wing awhile back, and the bills are mounting. We brought her home from the hospital last Monday, and within days she had torn her wound open again. Back we went to the vet for another $100 appointment, and now the poor feathered fool is wearing a bird collar.
The vet covered Decibel's collar with a few layers of surgical tape. Needless to say, Deci is hard at work trying to chew through the tape, and making good progress. Mr. J and I have to hand-feed her. But at least the collar is making her more docile. It's easier to give her the two kinds of expensive medicine she has to have twice a day. All of this so she doesn't peck on her injured wing -- so I have no idea how long she'll be in the collar. Seems like it's going to be awhile.
Now for the sermon: Mr. J just told me that NBC News.com reported the death of Neil Young, the first astronaut to walk on the moon! Is it any wonder you're reading this blog and not an online news source? As much as I mourn the loss of the real Neil, I just can't help but have some fun with this.
How old were you when the first man walked on the Moon? Were you even born? I was a ten-year-old who was just captivated by space travel. Among my earliest memories lie visions of the space flights dating back into the early 1960s.
So it was that my whole family had gathered to watch the lunar touch down, which (if I recall) was in the late afternoon, during a thunderstorm. (Some local preachers later sermonized that the storm was proof of God's wrath about the whole Apollo mission.)
My mother and father couldn't understand why Neil Young had been chosen to be the first man to walk on the Moon. After all, he was a stoner hippie freak with a whiny voice who dared to insult fine Southern folks. But there he was, humming "Cinnamon Girl" as he plunked down the Canadian flag next to the lunar module. Neil even complained to Houston that he needed to be back in time for a big rock concert in New York on some guy's dairy farm.
My family thought it would have been better to find someone who was really committed to space travel, rather than a rock star with other pressing commitments. But who were we to question our government's crucial decisions? We loved Richard Nixon, leader of the Free World.
A few of my friends thought Jimi Hendrix should have been the first astronaut to come out of the hatch and walk on the moon. Jimi was at least an American. And why did they leave Janis in orbit? Those were different times, I guess.
A few days later, Neil touched down and got back to his day job. He often said that his days as an Apollo astronaut were a defining moment in his creative life.
Rest in peace, Neil Young, ground-breaking astronaut. Egg on face, NBC.com.