On this day 50 years ago, the Apollo 8 crew–the first human beings to orbit the moon!–took the now iconic photo dubbed “Earthrise,” in which the gleaming, jewel-like earth is seen rising over the gray, barren horizon of the moon.
Inspired by this photo (probably from a spread in LIFE magazine), my late grandfather, Raymond E. Snider, Sr., created the painting you see on the right. In a flight of fancy, he added a mysterious earth-god or -goddess, emerging from earth’s swirling clouds, holding a torch aloft, perhaps to help the lonely astronauts find their way home.
I’m not sure exactly when my grandfather painted this painting; likely sometime in the Seventies. I remember seeing this in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. I do know when he gave this painting to me: May 28, 1985, in the brief period between my graduation from college and my moving from Kentucky to Georgia. (I know because he wrote the presentation date on the back!)
Somehow I forgot all about this painting, but I retrieved it from storage a few weeks ago, and I’m thinking of having it nicely framed. It’s a reminder of my grandfather and our shared interest in science and the world.