Neal Armstrong and I

When I was a boy there was one great event that gripped my imgination like no other and that was the American Space Programme, starting with Mercury, passing through Gemini and culminating in Apollo.
I recall the day and the minute, the exact geographical location, the trousers I was wearing, the smell of the African bushfelt, when those crackling words came floating down from the moon. Neil Armstrongs. They need no repitition because they are iconic and carved in the granite of human history.But they changed me forever.In that moment I became a cosmic and no longer a human being.
What I did NOT like was TRicky Dicky’s association with it all.
I have never since been able to look at that celestial orb without thinking of those 17 missions and of the men who like children performed their antics on its surface, and why not? What would you do when confronted with the largest sand-pen you had ever seen? The quasi science put aside, riding buggies and hitting golf balls seemed just the thing to do, and how I longed to touch the dust on one of those glass-enclosed suits at the smithsonian, and what awe I felt when I touched that little slate of the moon.
Man truly transcended himself with that program, albeit in childish fashion, and now the first man to setep onto that surface has passed away. At the time, Countless parents called their new-born sons (and daughters) Neal, others went as far as LUnar-module, which is kinda cool.

Fare Thee Well

WEll Neal turned out to be the most modest, contained, polite man about, so NASA chose wisely when it chose him for that simple action.
Lets hope no one decides to call the moon Neal Armstrong Globe, or some such nonsense.It would not surprise me.

©Howard Gamble
30.08.2012

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