Moon memories

By Jennifer Latson
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
July 17, 2009, 9:01PM

BRENT SPINER, actor best known for Star Trek: The Next Generation

In 1969, before Brent Spiner traveled through space on the Starship Enterprise, he was making his professional theater debut in the chorus of a Houston musical.

That July, the Bellaire High School grad came down with mononucleosis and took a hiatus from rehearsals. When the lunar module landed, Spiner's temperature was pushing 105.

"I was in bed and then kind of woke up in a delirium," he said. "The television was on and Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon. I watched it for a few minutes and then sunk back into unconsciousness."

For all Spiner knew, the moonwalk could have been a fever dream.

"I wasn't sure I had seen what I had actually seen," he said. "It was about two days later that I finally found out it had happened."

Spiner, now 60, was too sick to appreciate the momentousness of the occasion; his pain was more pressing at the time.

"Tears did come to my eyes," he said, "but mostly because my throat was so sore."

My Moon Memories

By Jeanette Hoelzl
July 19, 2009

The earliest memory ever that I have is of July 22, 1969 of me and my great aunt Elli in Nienrade, Germany.

It was the day after the first landing on the Moon of Apollo 11 (European time) and I was two years old.

My grandparents had let me watch the lunar landing with them on the black and white TV set with the round screen that we had in the living room, which used to have an outrageous brown patterned wallpaper.

I got really excited about the moon landing. But I think somehow everybody thought I hadn't quite understood what I'd seen, and they were amused about me.

The next day great aunt Elli came from Kiel for a visit and asked me about the lunar landing.

We were in the yard and I told her that there were men walking around on the moon. She just smiled and said something like "Yes, yes, child".

So I said very seriously, "No, aunt Elli" , pointing to the sky where a large pale moon was to be seen, "The men are really walking around on the moon over there right now!". And I remember her widening blue eyes staring at me.

From that moment on, I knew I wanted to become an astronaut.