Henrietta, Texas. June 2, 1953. I was nine, and Ricky Moyer’s grandmother had a television set. Free of school, with my mother I visited evenings, where in their den, with every lamp turned off — that’s how one watched movies, you see — we all watched Charlie Chan.
But on this day, a scorching summer afternoon of 106 degrees, we sheltered in his Grandmother’s air-conditioning, and on the television that day, we watched people on the other side of the world. A young woman named Elizabeth was being crowned Queen of England in a place called Westminster Abbey.
We watched the black & white procession. We watched the crown placed upon her head. That same day, we learned that a man named Edmund Hillary had climbed Mount Everest, even further away from our hot summer afternoon in north Texas, where farmers and cowboys could gaze upon the Queen.