Saturday, August 25, 2012

"One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind:"

Neil 'Armstrong 1930-2012
I was a teenager when our whole family gathered around the family TV (it was still black and white back then, but it didn't matter, the pictures from the moon were also in black and white) and held our collective breaths as man walked on the moon for the first time in the history of universeIt was the one moment of my life when you knew that everyone in the country--no, everyone on the planet--was doing the same thing you were.

Having grown up on Twilight Zone and Star Trek (the original, folks, in the first run), having read science fiction and comic books, it was just the most exciting thing I could possibly imagine.  Was man actually going to conquer the moon?  Was American ingenuity going to to triumph over the dreaded Soviets and get there first?  Hey, the Cold War was in full bloom and the "Space Race" was a big part of it.   

I doubt if anyone who is too young to have lived through this unbelievable day will be able to understand what it felt like at that singular instant in time.

It was truly an epic moment, the most incredible moment of my life.  I suppose when I think back on it, it still is.  There were no VCR's, DVR's or anything like that back then.  I tried taking photos of the first pictures back from the moon rkgnt off the TV screen with a crummy camera, and of course they didn't come out.

The memory of Walter Conkrite taking off his glasses, and with tears in his eyes saying, "Man on the moon," is one I will take to my grave.

It wasn't until later that we learned just how great a pilot that Neil Armstrong had to be to pull off the landing without crashing or aborting.  Armstrong was a true hero, beyond any doubt.  After retiring from NASA, he refused to capitalize on his fame and hero status and quietly returned to private life.

Today the world lost a truly exceptional person,  a hero, and a really good man.  May he rest in peace.


  1. Nice tribute and under a million words. Well done!

    I loved The Twilight Zone....and Night Gallery for that matter. Remember that?

    1. Thanks, Josie. You know, they did some good episodes of Night Gallery but I never thought it matched the overall consistency and excellence of Twilight Zone.

  2. Yeah, I can't believe they are still trying to take away his Tour De France victories after all these years. :)

    RIP Moon Unit Armstrong

  3. I remember that whichever network I was watching had a simulation (in color!) of Armstrong getting out of the ship and switched at the last minute to the real thing, which was in black and white and fuzzy. But what an amazing moment that was!

    My brother took me to Chicago to see the astronauts featured in a ticker tape parade. Some moments just stay with you all your life.

    1. Oh wow, Lightning, that's awesome that you got to go to the parade. Really nice.