Fifty years ago.
So much happened on that day.
Bob Hope, men on the moon and a couple’s date.
The world’s number one entertainer, Hope played in Sandwich, back on July 20, 1969. Larry Nelson escorted Pam Burns to Sandwich on a first date. Nelson covered the story for WRMI radio in Morris.
Hope’s comedic one-liners are preserved by the DeKalb Daily Chronicle story that day.
“Which way is Sandwich,” Hope asked. “What are we the crust? First time, I’ve played to this cow pasture.”
Before nearly 15,000 spectators, who paid $3 a ticket, many sitting on the Sandwich Airport runway, one person asked if he was wealthy. Hope’s reply: “Would I be playing a cornfield if I was one of the wealthiest men in the country.”
Both Pam and Larry recalled meeting Bob Hope, radio, film, and TV star.
But Hope’s best show line matched the headline event of the day, the landing of men on the moon - July 20, 1969. This is the moment, 3:17 p.m.
Hope encouraged the younger members of the audience.
“If I can visit Sandwich, anything is possible.”
Larry and Pam Nelson remember that moment in history.
Later that evening, we all watched TV in astonishment.
President John F. Kennedy’s words and goals to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade came true. On the Sandwich airport administration center’s TV, Hope watched.
Before leaving Sandwich, the couple was reminded.
Another important correlation that day was the Sandwich appearance of Jerrie Mock, the first female to fly solo in a single engine airplane around the world five years earlier.
And as Hope always sang at the close of his TV specials.
As for the Nelsons, that first trip to Sandwich became their last trip as they moved to its countryside and never left, starting this radio station, never missing a fair, and now celebrating 50 years of marriage.
Listen to Mark's full radio story, below: