The moon took me on an adventure tonight.
My hair appointment lasted a lot longer than I anticipated, so the sun had set before I took a picture for the day. Lucky for me, the moon was a willing subject. As I looked at the picture, I began to wonder where all the Apollo missions landed and whether or not there was a map of the moon that would show all of the lunar missions. Well, to answer your question, there is--Google Moon.
There have been a lot of space exploration stories in the news lately, including the death of the first man to walk and plant an American flag on the moon, Neil Armstrong. I had also recently read that some of the flags were still visible from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.
I caught myself saying, "Neato!" which reminded me of an old boss I had when we were at New Orleans Seminary, Dr. Cecil Threadgill. Cecil was a kind, jovial man, who overwhelmed me at first with his weird quirkiness. When someone would ask him how he was, he would answer, "Finer than a frogs hair split four ways." With his flat top haircut and eccentricity, I shamefully admit that he wasn't as endearing to me when I was 20 years old as he is now that I'm 50. But through it all, I found him to be an overwhelmingly kind and compassionate man. I loved him.
Dr. Threadgill had quite an interesting history. He joined the Marines when he was 17 years old and fought at Iwo Jima. You know, the same place where the famous photo by Joe Rosenthal was taken of the raising of the American flag in February of 1945. Yes, Cecil was there! After serving his country, he returned home and began pastoring churches. At some point, he joined the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, where he ministered on board the USS New Orleans. He was the Recovery Chaplain for the Apollo 14 Lunar Mission. He gave the prayer for the recovery. I actually have a copy of the prayer, together with Cecil's autograph, tucked away somewhere in my files.
Through the years, I lost touch with Dr. Threadgill, often Googling his name and finding nothing. But today, when I searched for him, I found that he had died in August of 2007. I read his obituary and openly wept. I wish I could have stayed in touch with him. The obituary said that he was born in Mount Vernon, Alabama. I didn't know that! I actually drive through Mount Vernon every day on my way to and from work. And, yes, even in his obituary, he was quoted as saying, "Finer than a frog's hair split four ways." Wow! Or as Cecil would say, "Neato!"
Dr. Cecil Threadgill - June 1925 to August 2007