MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Anniversaries for July 20th

71 degrees, for the moment, is quite comfortable even with the high humidity tapping to be noticed but kept at bay by a cool breeze intermittently passing across the deck. The high is to reach 90 degrees by midafternoon.

Today is Erma’s birthday. The sweet, precious girl is thirteen years old. Erma, named for Dayton’s legendary humorist and author, Erma Bombeck, is my only rescue pooch and there are some distinct differences between her and the other three I’ve raised since they were eight and ten weeks old. Erma responds to me as though she knows I specifically picked her over the dozen-plus dogs at SICSA that August 2018 afternoon.

Today is also the birthday of my late great-aunt, Norma Barmes Scheffer Abbott who was born in 1928. I was one blessed child to be born into a family with so many uncles and aunts, as well as many great, great-great, and great-great-great uncles and aunts. Aunt Norma was fun and unique. A corpse could meet her and never forget her.

One of my favorite, distinct memories from July 20th was being seated beside my great-grandfather, John William “Garrett” Clary on his Davenport sofa on North 9th Street in Elwood, Indiana. For over a year I had been following all the news about Apollo 11 for over a year and above my bed hung a large framed print of the Apollo trio. In the mid-1990s, I was to become acquainted with a delightful senior citizen in Lebanon, Ohio when I would drive down to walk around the picturesque city or shop. It would be nearly a decade before I would learn this gentleman was the unassuming Neil Armstrong, one of my childhood heroes.

On this day in 1969, I snuggled beside Grandpa Garrett, surrounded by other family members, to watch Neil Armstrong become the first human ever to walk on the moon. Sixty years before, Grandpa Garrett got to see one of the Wright Brothers of Dayton, Ohio, fly their airplane in 1909. I can only imagine what was going through his mind as he connected those two events in his mind.

The day is moving on and at 8:10 AM, I am ten minutes behind in my schedule. My David McCullough audiobook, TRUMAN, has five hours remaining and I have now accompanied President and Mrs. Truman back to Independence, Missouri for their retirement years. I do love Harry and Bess Truman.

Make it a great day!

PHOTOS: 1. Erma; 2. Aunt Norma and Mother; 3. Mother, Gary Scheffer (Aunt Norma’s son), Aunt Norma; 4. And 5. Neil Armstrong walking in the moon.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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