It may have been one small step for man. But on that day in 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong put his best foot forward on the lunar surface, it was a giant step for Ann Staveness.
At that time, the 14-year Payson School Board member was working as an executive secretary in the chemistry department of TRW, the Redondo Beach, Calif., conglomerate behind the Minuteman Missile and Apollo programs. In fact, it was Staveness who wrote all of the proposals, which it could be argued got those programs off the ground.
"It was so much fun," Staveness remembered. "While we were watching the moon landing on TV, we could look outside of the window of our house and see this big, full moon ... It was very exciting knowing that I had part in it."
Eventually, she went on to become the executive assistant for the head of research and development division for TRW.
Staveness never stopped conquering new worlds. In fact, she has a new one coming up Oct. 6, the day after she turns 65 years old: retirement.
That's when she ends her 25-year reign as vice president and senior escrow officer for First American Title in Payson, to be followed by her retirement from the school board in December, when her final term comes to its end.
"I'll be a free spirit," she said without attempting to conceal her glee. "I'll travel, I'll do whatever I want."
Her first year of independence is all mapped out. In October she and her husband, Clyde, plan to spend a couple of weeks in San Diego. In January, they'll take a cruise to the Western Caribbean. Next summer they'll cruise to Alaska. And next fall they're going to drive up and down the coast of New England.