Steve Windom's Mosquito Beaters has a ton-O-stuff online – including beach web cams! Emphasis on historical, central Florida, Space Coast, and downtown memorabilia.
Ann Collins Williams has a web page for '64 alum - the really old cats. (The URL's too long to fit, so just clik the link and check it out. IE users may get a page not found. Try another browser.)
Our playgrounds were beaches, rivers, and orange groves. Going to the Big City meant a run over to Orlando's Steak 'n Shake or Ronnie's, on Colonial. Remember Florida before air conditioning? Or how it felt waiting for the bus when the mosquito control spray planes fogged the whole county? Say, wasn't that...DDT?
For us, the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air most likely meant another launch that went haywire, ending up with someone hitting the destruct button and another million bucks of rocket up in smoke. The eyes of the world were on us — and life was great.
Hey Now! Thanks For The Memories —
Please Tell Me What They Were!
The year was 1965, school was out, and a fall appointment with the University of Florida was just around the corner. Atonement for certain extracurricular shenanigans seemed possible if...if...why, we'll have a Hootenanny! (In my case, I was part of a crew that managed a head-on collision in the middle of a north Cocoa orange grove, busted by the FHP with a trunk full of beer trying to set up for the Class of '65's version of the previous year's graduation stunt. Boy that went over real well once I got home.)
Right upfront, I want to acknowledge severe lapses in memory. Selective, very, has always been my strong suit, and so it is at this juncture. There was a new theater on Merritt Island, I remember that, just north of the causeway and air-conditioned, and people actually paid money at the door that hot, summer Saturday to see their favorite sons, daughters, girlfriends and boyfriends rage on stage.
Do you recall that “If I Had A Hammer” was considered openly rebellious, grounds for immediate reclassification to 1A draft status if males were caught humming the melody? The implications of that would sure come home to roost in a couple more years.
How I came to get my face in the papers is anyone's guess – there were a bunch of folk – and would be folk yoddlers – who pitched in to make the event a success, and considering my mea culpea above, it hardly seems rational I'd have managed to contribute much of anything.
If it wasn't the Apollo, it came close. I think there are factual errors in the above photo, my goofy hardhat not the least of, and if anyone has any recollections of who participated, what they did, and how it came about, please email with details. Even if you're wrong, who'll ever know?