Page 4 - Boca ViewPointe - September '19
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Page 4, Viewpointe                                                 September 2019

      A Summer of Amazing Memories

       By George Steinman                                musical Hair. A day of joy and thanks and happiness I will never   tickets at the old Westbury Music Fair on Long Island. There
                                                         forget.                                           were a lot of other people waiting there and of course there was
          As you can see from the title of this article, this summer was      Woodstock - Three Days of Peace and Music  also idle conversation. Someone said Judy Collins is great but
       an incredible one with three of my unforgettable memories from      And there it was August 15,16,17 at Yasgur’s farm – three   who is Richie Havens as one of her associated acts. All of a
       the past. The summer started, as usual with celebrating Susan’s   days of peace and music. In a sense a new generation and   sudden from instantaneous memory recall came ‘Who’s Richie
       birthday on July 4th. Yes – she calls herself a ‘firecracker baby’   culture was being born. This was a rather dramatic change for   Havens?’ Do you mean the Richie Havens wearing a smock
       and we had a grand old time.                      our country with its political issues and rather terrible times.   singing Freedom twelve times? Among the silence the woman
          West Point Sixty Five Years Ago                President Kennedy was assassinated, Robert Kennedy was   standing right behind us, tapped me on the shoulder said ‘I was
          Two days later on July 6th the amazing memories from the   assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and   there too.’ And the laughter ensued. Second story. We were
       past started to resurface. I started getting a bunch of emails from   caused riots across the country, and last we had the Vietnam War.   invited by one of our friends to a concert at the Great Neck Park
       my old buddies from the academy. They all included ‘Hey – do   And then came an amazing new culture. The music helped this   on Long Island facing Long Island Sound. And the star – Richie
       you remember that sixty five years ago today the great class of   new world change. There was Richie Havens as the opening act   Havens. After a lot of his songs there was a quiet period and all
       1958 was sworn in at Trophy Point at West Point?’ Oh my G-d!   with among other songs his one word anthem song Freedom.   of a sudden came the words ‘Freedom.’ A lot of us stood up and
       At first I didn’t remember. And then all of a sudden it all came   There was Janis Joplin singing Me and Bobby McGee. And at   applauded and cheered. The others had absolutely no clue.
       back to me in a split second. There we were – over eight hundred   the opposite end we had Jimi Hendrix with his own ‘version’
       plebes, in one day given haircuts, uniforms, room barracks   of The Star-Spangled Banner. Looking back I have two Richie      George Steinman is a resident of The Palms and can be
       assignments, and being sworn as part of the regular USA Army.   Havens stories. First years later I was with Susan trying to get   contacted at 
       It was hopefully to be the start of an amazing adventure, for
       lack of a better descriptor. And then came the question ‘Do you
       remember your cadet serial number?’ Of course I remembered
       it - C14664 as I always pictured myself as having a really good
       memory of things totally useless to man and G-d. Most of my
       old buddies forgot theirs but concluded that, as they were given
       out alphabetically, one class member had to remember as his
       number was C14444. And many old memories and friendships
       were rekindled.
          The Eagle has Landed
          July 20, 1969 – the whole world breathed a sigh of relief
       when they heard those words when the Apollo 11 (Eagle) LM
       spacecraft touched down on the moon – ‘The Eagle had landed.’
       And certainly a huge cheer emerged from Grumman’s Bethpage
       facility. An incredible successful mission. Working at Grumman
       at the time was a marvelous experience dealing with some of
       the best engineering and scientific personnel in the country. And
       also at that time Grumman’s technical library was second only
       to Dartmouth’s library – the best in the country. Way back then
       I was in the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Department and
       was very heavily involved in the autopilot development along
       with training astronauts on docking simulations.
          Recently I picked up several books on the history of our
       space program along with details of the Apollo 11 mission. It
       brought back many memories. The first thing I remembered
       was that the Lunar Module was originally called the Lunar
       Excursion Module, or LEM. The Excursion part was dropped
       for numerous reasons and LEM became simply LM. At that time
       the program was engulfed in a whole set of abbreviations created
       to make discussions and working a lot easier. My involvement
       was with, of course, LMDAP, pronounced as lemdap short for
       Lunar Module Digital Autopilot. And I also found out through my
       readings that Grumman employees were, for whatever reasons,
       not called Grummanites but ‘Grummies.’ Ugh!
          Among others, there are things that I will always remember
       occurred the day after the moon landing and several weeks
       later with the astronauts return to Grumman. As one of the
       best advertisements on the day after the Apollo moon landing,
       Volkswagen took out a full page ad in the New York Times
       (actually page 3) with the picture of a Volkswagen Beetle with the
       caption ‘It’s ugly but it gets you there.’ And then the astronauts
       returned. I remember it was early on a Tuesday afternoon we
       were working and all of a sudden we heard a band playing from
       across the runway. The astronauts had arrived. We all stopped
       working, walked across the runway (which was closed) and the
       festivities began. Just as we crossed the band started playing
       Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In which was sung famously by The
       Fifth Dimension as a combination of the two songs from the

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