"To the moon!" - Salvation Army Canada
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    "To the moon!"

    Retrospective #41 October 30, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    Well Ralph?
    Well Ralph?

    Recently I have been referencing TV series from the time of my childhood and some of the episodes or incidents that I still recall today. Of course, while the “air-ways” were much “cleaner” and polite back then, things were not necessarily politically correct. A lot of children’s cartoons and the like contained a great deal of violence (Popeye, Looney Tunes, and Bugs Bunny etc.) albeit displayed in comedic slapstick style and not necessarily taken to be real.

    Even some of the series designed for older folk to enjoy oft times contained references to, or implications of, violence - which most of us never believed or expected would actually happen, and it never did.

    Take Jackie Gleason’s the Honeymooners for example - a situation comedy depicting the lives of the fictional Ralph and Alice Kramden along with neighbours Ed and Trixie Norton. Ralph (Jackie Gleason) was the exaggerated, emotional, knee-jerk, male know-it-all who constantly got himself in trouble. His wife Alice (Audrey Meadows), on the other hand, was a mild, intelligent, level headed woman who often rescued Ralph from his latest “adventure gone wrong” or you might even say “rescued him from himself!”

    As these episodes unfolded, a common feature was to have Ralph and Alice argue over whatever it was Ralph was up to. Ralph, often unable to properly defend his plan or counter Alice’s clear logic as to why he should not proceed, would burst into a loud rage (with extremely animated facial expressions and bodily reactions!) often ending with one of his classic lines, when with an upward cut, punching motion, he would declare “To the moon Alice! To the moon!” - Which meant of course he threatened to hit her hard enough to send her into space, all the way to the moon.

    It might interest you to know that the distance from the earth to the moon is 384,400 kilometers. That would be quite a ride!

    Lately, a popular exchange between children and adults is: “I love you to the moon and back!”

    The phrase "to the moon and back" basically means more than anything or more than anything else. The notion is using the distance from the Earth to the Moon and the return trip (or 768,800 KMS or so) as a measure or unit or quantum of (say) love - In short, a lot. It comes from a recent children’s book: I Love You to the Moon and Back Board book – Jan 1 2015 by Amelia Hepworth (Author), Tim Warnes (Illustrator)

    Now you may find what I am about to say next a little hard to believe but here at the Archives we possess an object that has actually been “to the moon and back!”

    Do you believe me?

    Most of you are saying “No!” You are correct!

    From another very popular sit-com back in my day, “Would you believe (Get Smart) that we have a replica of an object that has actually been to the moon and back?”

    Well we do. You’ll find a picture at the end of today’s post. With the artifact is a copy of the letter that accompanied the original agent and just in case you are unable to make it legible, here’s what the letter says:


    June 1, 1972

    Volunteer Chairman
    The Salvation Army
    ??? North ??? Street
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Dear Mrs.???:

    It was my pleasure to take the enclosed flags to the moon on Apollo 16.

    I am returning them to you without the staffs (because of space and weight limitations of the spacecraft) to be displayed in the manner that you indicated in your letter of February 2, 1972.

    We normally do not stamp or inscribe the items that are carried, but you have my permission to do so if you desire.

    My sincerest congratulations and appreciation to you for the work the Salvation Army has done over the years,


    John W. Young
    Captain, USN
    NASA Astronaut

    “To the moon Alice! To the moon!”

    Do you remember this chorus by Charles A. Miles?

    Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heaven above;
    Deep, deep as the deepest sea is my Savior’s love.
    I, though so unworthy, still am a child of His care;
    For His Word teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere.

    That’s a good thing to know on a Monday morning wouldn’t you say?

    “To the moon and back Randy! To the moon and back!”

    Or even better yet: “To the Cross and back Randy! To the Cross and back!”

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