07-14-2012, 06:15 PM
Down in the housekeeping staff lounge, there were others who were just as excited as Big Luke Macaffey about meeting Buzz Aldrin. Lacey Keene, one of the senior maids, was passing around the snapshots her parents had taken of the Apollo 11 launch to her coworkers, explaining each and every one as they circulated around the break table. Mom and Dad Keene had arranged their vacation schedule back in 1969 to witness the momentious occasion first hand, traveling all the way from Lawrence, Kansas to Merritt Island, Florida by car. Lacey, their only child, hadn't been born yet (she would come along two years later), so they were free to travel unencumbered by family responsibilities for the time being. Armed with the latest model Kodak camera and a roll of high-quality color film, the Keenes stood within the crowd of onlookers, ready to record history in the making. It had been a long wait under the broiling Florida sun before anything happened, but the awesome power of the Saturn V SA-506 rocket roaring to life on launch pad LC 39-A at Kennedy Space Center, rising ever upward with the dreams and good wishes of the American people, had been worth it.
"Okay," she said, pointing at one of the faded, yellowing photos,"this one's the rocket before launch; Dad swore it was as tall as the Empire State Building. And this one's the loading elevator where the astronauts got into the capsule. That's one of the rocket boosters; Dad said his Buick could have fit inside it with room to spare. There's a shot of one of Neil Armstrong in there, somewhere."
Dorrie Lance held up a picture. "Is this it?"
Lacey looked at it. "Yeah, that's it," she said.
"You sure that's Neil Armstrong?" Dorrie asked.
"Oh, yeah," Lacey replied, nodding. "You see that red stripe on his suit? That's means he's the commander of the mission."
Dorrie was suitably impressed. "Hm, interesting," she said. "Learn something new every day."
"So, you going to see his show?" Tanisha Verrill asked Lacey.
Lacey's face fell. "Wish I could," she said ruefully, "but I'm scheduled to work this weekend. Be nice if I could go see him, but, well, you know..."
"Gotta pay the bills," Tanisha finished for her.
"Gotta pay the bills," Lacey echoed.
"Maybe you'll get lucky and get his room to clean on your schedule," Dorrie said hopefully.
"Yeah," Lacey sniffed, "and maybe the moon will fall out of the sky."
Lunch at Adamo's had been superb. Springs and Dimitra decided to forego dessert (for health reasons), and, having run out of topics of conversation, left the restaraunt arm in arm, smiling contentedly--just in time to see Assistant Chief of Security Rob Houghton haul Boone Morris to the exit.
Dimitra was startled at this raw display of brute force. "My goodness!" she exclaimed. "What was all that about?"
Springs merely shrugged. "Ah, just some chiseler they caught gettin' the bum's rush is all," he explained. "Looks like that hippie I told you about."
"The one who said the moon landing was a fake?"
Dimitra shook her head. "I don't know why anyone would believe it to be a fake," she said. "I mean, there were tapes, pictures, people were there to see it--why would he think it didn't happen."
"Ah, you know the type," Springs growled. "Conspiracy theorists, they call' 'em. Been around since the Cold War. Kennedy assassination was a hotbed for conspiracies--still is, as far as I know. People think what they want to think, believe what they want to believe. They see things that ain't there, and won't see what is. Like the man says, 'My mind's made up, so don't confuse me with the facts.' Show me anything that happens in the world, and I'll show you a nut job who thinks there's a government cover-up."
"Well, let's hope that's the last we see of him," Dimitra said.
"If I know Big Luke Macaffey," Springs said, nodding toward the security office, "it will be."