During my stay in Mott, North Dakota it happened that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins were on their way to the moon. For this event there were about a dozen of Mott’s finest (plus me) in the lobby of the Mott Hotel watching a black and white TV set that hung from the ceiling. Nobody could see the picture very well, since the TV was small, reception was bad and the transmission from the moon was nothing like today’s high tech HDTV. It seemed that most of the conversation consisted of questions like “What’s that?” “Is that him now?”
At the time I did not realize what a monumental occasion it was, but looking back on it from the perspective of today, it is almost overwhelming that it could have happened. All of the computers used on the moon shot, added together, were not as powerful as the computer in my pocket today, and only a fraction of the computing power used to create this blog post. Very few people in the room that night (somewhere about midnight as I recall) understood how it could happen, let alone what it would really mean to the world.
You might ask, “Why were you in Mott anyway?” Money. I had been fired from my previous job. While getting a haircut the next day, I heard that some guy in Mott was looking for an experienced metal building erector. I needed a job, was fully qualified (willing to work in Mott) and the rest was history. A quick phone call to Mott ensured that I could show up on Monday morning and stay in the Mott Hotel. Continue reading