When I look back on my first few years of elementary school, I see now that I was desperately in search of heroes. There were none at my house. Unless you count my mom and little guys don’t wanna see their mom as such when sitting in Mrs. Anderson’s class. Cale Yarborough was my local God and the Apollo mission crew members were my runners-up. This stuff was huge for the country and inestimably riveting for a little kid like me. They wheeled this ungainly industrial grade television stand topped with a black and white model large enough to be a refrigerator into the classroom and we watched the Apollo missions in their entirety. I still get excited thinking about it.
Neil Armstrong…self-proclaimed nerdy engineer. Test pilot whose peers said was one of the best. Ever. Chuck Yeager caliber talent. First man to walk on the moon.
Phi Delta Theta at Purdue. He nourished his right brain with music composition while honing the left with Purdue’s Aeronautical Engineering curricula. And he met his first wife there. She stayed with him for thirty-eight years.
Tough-ass test pilot…Right Stuff astronaut or not…Armstrong had to endure the unimaginable G-Force of grief...burying one of his three children. His only daughter died of a malignant brain tumor in 1962.
After his retirement he first became a professor. Seems fitting to me. Years later he joined Thiokol’s board of directors after their solid rocket boosters were found to be a culprit in the demise of the space shuttle Challenger. Armstrong also chose his paltry few company/business endorsements very, very carefully it appears. Underexposure seemed to be his post moon walk strategy. It seems that he chose his cohorts only after rigorous vetting.
He stopped signing autographs decades ago because it repulsed him to see them for sale by autograph dealers for stunning sums. Seven thousand-five hundred dollars, before his death, if you want specifics. He sued his barber for selling his hair. He won the suit. Commercial gain by others who curried favor with him under false pretenses incensed him.
American Hero Armstrong allowed the inevitable reality of physical aging to take its course without delay or surgical-dermal filler interventions. I see in his face, that same stuff that my stepfather had. A sense of self...tethered to such a strong sense of identity and purpose that his cadence of quiet reserve...made swagger superfluous. And I can only speak for me but…his introverted nature and gallant deportment took him so far out of the public eye that I’d almost forgotten him. Regretfully.
Buzz Aldrin...second man to set foot on the moon…West Point graduate…American hero.Truly.
His baby sisters called him “Buzz.” He thought enough of the nickname to make it his legal one in 1988. Maybe “Dusty” should become my legal name.
He flew the F86 Sabre in Korea and shot down two MiGs. Doing so in the less manoeuvrable Sabre speaks well of Aldrin’s skill. And stones.
A Master Mason…Aldrin claimed territorial jurisdiction over the moon on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Texas? Why does this not surprise me? But I admire Aldrin for cold cocking an Apollo Moon landing conspiracy theorist in the face in 2002 after being lured to a suite at the Beverly Hills hotel under false pretenses. He faced no charges.
It seems that as great a man as Aldrin is, he hasn’t met too many public appearances that he hasn’t liked.
Commercial gain? Why not?
This is from the "People Famous for Doing Shit Second" series courtesy of I reckon, some kind of Franklin Mint thang.
Armstrong co-mingled with stars. So did Aldrin. Then he danced with ‘em.
He chose his cohorts. I'll leave it to you to decide if you think his sieve for cohort inclusion is tight enough.
Exposayvou. Aldrin filed for divorce from his third wife sometime in 2011. These guys aren't easy to live with. None of them. Neither are healthcare sales and marketing strategy consultants who travel an average of two nights per week and try, when they're home, to burn their house down. Shut up.
Overexposure is one thing. Excessive publicity amidst bad plastic surgery is yet another.
Onward. Late for my Botox appointment.
I raised the dosh to pay for it by selling my Buzz Aldrin action figure on eBay.
ADG II …still in awe of these guys...in spite of their frailties.