One Small Step for Man …

avatarthumbnail.jpgWe interrupt our normal flow of real estate information for a brief trip to the non-real estate soap box …

A couple of years ago my then 8-year-old daughter started drawing pictures for her interpretations of Jimmy Buffett songs. I mentioned the Beachhouse on the Moon tour from years gone by and the below picture was the result.


What struck me then and continues to strike me is the image she chose to copy (without prompting and without surfing the internet to see the original) is iconic and not ironic, which would not be the case if not for what took place 40 years ago today.

Think about it … until 40-odd years ago, no one had ever seen a photograph of the Earth as a whole. Think “Earth” and you can picture it instantly … the last generation couldn’t, not until Apollo 8 turned the camera back upon us.

Would a small child ever have thought that the earth when viewed from the moon has phases? Absolutely not. But she does. And it’s because of Mercury/Gemini/Apollo that she does. And she’s absolutely the better for it.


We can argue the merits of the motivation behind the space race and never come to any sort of agreement; only through hindsight can we see that much of what we as a country believed during the Cold War era was little more than a mirage.

We can argue about the use of the dollars and cents versus domestic spending even though anyone who has worked on the budget for any organization can tell you that dollars not spent on one program rarely find their way into another without a few detours.

(Many of us do the same … over the past year we’ve cut back on what we donate in order to devote those precious dollars toward essentials only to learn later the budget for the essentials really didn’t grow as the money got detoured by that grande double latte.)

Hopefully, though, there can be agreement on the fact that the space program caused many of us – even those born 13 days before man walked on the moon – to look up to the skies and find inspiration.

As a collective, our need to explore and to learn and to stretch the boundaries of what we find possible and to expand upon the givens of our lives, the same need which cause Galileo to turn his telescope to the skies and caused sailors to set out on the open seas (along with the possibility of treasure, admittedly), was answered.


Maybe your four-year-old didn’t explain to you why Skylab needed to be repaired – such a child clearly is a freak of nature – and maybe other 9-year-olds didn’t depart the library with stacks of books on the planets. But has any of us not turned to the skies in wonder, whether it was to view a passing comet or to watch the ISS pass overhead or to see a lunar or solar eclipse or simply to see Venus glowing brightly in the morning and evening sky?

Unconsciously, our mind races through the basic questions … how, what, why … as we look even if we’re not conscious of it taking place and that’s because we have an inherent need to know, to learn, to grow, to expand.

If what we know about the universe around us when my 10-year-old becomes 40 is the same as what we know now, it will be more than a little disappointing. Because for all we think we know because of the internet, for all the affirmation many of us seek through social networking, for all that we learn in school, we know almost nothing.

Nothing not in the purest sense, but at least as a percentage of what there is to know.

If we ever cease knowing that last bit … knowing what we don’t know … heaven help all of us.

We’ll be back to real estate here on terra firma tomorrow.  I’d say to take a pause and gaze at the moon but – naturally, it’s a new moon and there’s nothing to see. And still, there’s everything to see.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

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