The Day Neil Armstrong Made Me Cry
It Was Only a Paper Moon Until 1969
It’s true. Neil Armstrong made me cry; but it wasn’t exactly his fault.
Most of this is my own recollection, but I consulted with my mom to get some of the background and prior events.
This came back across my mind a month or so back when a conversation came up – and I was asked about any celebrities I met. Due to the passing of Neil Armstrong, this story immediately came to mind…and hasn’t left. Bringing this up to a friend became the catalyst to me actually trying to formulate it into more than a mention of a youthful experience.
I suppose it would be a highlight of many people’s lives to have an opportunity to be one-on-one with this legendary man. Even more if the man in question came to the person’s house; such as what happened for me. Why isn’t it the highlight of my life? For one, I was only age four. The other reason is most likely because my encounter ended in tears. Not such a proud moment of mine, but maybe some would sympathize with me.
How much I was able to remember may be surprising, but many details were fuzzy…while some still are. As I read articles released shortly after his death (which saddened me, like many others, when I heard the news), it reminded me how much he shunned from the spotlight – and even seemed a recluse to some. It takes great courage to shake the limelight…especially if folks take notice of how “celebrity” is handled these days. Who wouldn’t have loved to eat some Wheaties with him on the cover – or join his outer space fan club? He was obviously too classy, or too humble for that. I would have welcomed it; as I sure millions of others, but it seems he figured it was better to make money doing his job rather than flaunting his accomplishments. I admire it: but maybe I would have learned of Wheaties sooner. [Honestly, I think I became aware of that cereal brand when Mary Lou Retton appeared on the box. Doubt I was the only one.]
Reading the articles about Neil Armstong’s life, and lifelong elusion of fame, made me wonder how in the world he ever ended up inside of my house. Thanks to my mom, some light was shed on the circumstances.
There was apparently some talk of having something relating to an air and space center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Rather than taking any decisive action, the city preferred to hem and haw over the issue rather than deciding to go for it. Ultimately, I think the city of Chandler was the one bold enough to finally go through with it – but don’t quote me on it. All I know is Scottsdale is not known for an air and space center.
Due to the issue of breaking ground on something regarding air and space, there was some sort of event or conventions where some astronauts were attending; in an attempt to persuade Scottsdale to build the place in question. I wasn’t in attendance, so I had to get that part of the story from my mom.
She told me (along with explaining the pretense) a mixture of astronauts were at this event to help champion the cause – keeping space exploration in the minds of youth. According to my mom, the more current astronauts were the ones getting most of the attention at that point. Neil Armstrong was more in the back – where barely anyone was congregating. I find it hard to believe, but that’s what I was told. Continue reading