Vice Chancellor of University Relations
I was 11 years old and staying in a cottage on Newfound Lake, New Hampshire. My aunt and uncle, Agnes and Tom Cormier, had no children and would invite their nieces and nephews to share their two-week vacation with them the last two weeks of July every year. My brother, Peter (’75, pictured above left), and I were watching the first moon landing on a small black-and-white television with rabbit ears and a manual dial that was perched on the kitchen table as my uncle looked on. To my aunt, who grew up during the Great Depression and World War II, space travel seemed only possible through the creative imaginings of Hollywood B movies and comic book fantasies. She was too nervous to watch, so she went into a nearby bedroom, where she could hear what was going on, but didn’t have to see a potential tragedy unfold. Peter, 16 at the time, was the typical teasing older brother. As Neil Armstrong began his historic descent down the lunar stairs, Peter yelled out, “Agnes, Agnes, they’re stepping on the moon. They’re sinking, Agnes, they’re sinking.” My aunt was unamused, yelling back, “Stop it, Peter Galvin, stop it right now.” My brother just laughed. He hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years.