Neil Armstrong was 82. He stayed out of the limelight, though he accomplished what many thought impossible. Some skeptics still do. He was the first man who landed on the moon and walked on its surface. Or so they tell us.
There are still those who believe it all was faked.
Some back that theory up with many things, including that we’ve never sent any explorer groups to other planets or even back to the moon more than another time or two. And it’s nearly half a century later.
Me, I think Armstrong walked on the Moon.
It was also for America the moment this nation seemed to become THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE POWER ON EARTH.
Maybe that’s true.
And 1969 was a big year for so many things in this nation. We had overcome the assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. We’d gotten stuck in the Vietnam War…pretty much alone…to stop the spread of Communism. The US economy was strong, music had turned to harder rock, movies were the rage, television was hot and all the world wanted to be American.
We had become the Kings of the World.
Landing on the Moon was simply the final proof.
See nobody else could do it, not even the Russians, our closest competitor and enemy. Russia’s gone now, a nation of broken up leadership that includes the modern day Russian Mafia. Our other enemy, China, is more of an ally today than since it first went Red.
I loved that Moon landing. I loved 1969. I had come into my own as well, a young teenager soon to enter high school. In fact in prison I did a stand up bit about being the FIRST JEW ON THE MOON and it killed. It got me out to compete with other speaking groups about three times a year which was a nice deal.
“Neil…this is Houston Mission Control….we want you to hold up on that touchdown in the Sea of Tranquility…the Moon’s surface is not stable…”
I thought, man we are just moments from touchdown – the glory, the parades, the TONIGHT SHOW..this can’t happen, we have to land.
“Neil, again landing on the Moon’s surface may not be safe…the surface may be dangerous…tell you what..send the JEWISH KID down first and see how it goes.”
See, I was the first man on the Moon, not Neil Armstrong.
How do you think they got those pictures? They threw the camera down and I took all those shots of Armstrong coming down that ladder. Remember how the film shook? THAT WAS ME…I WAS THE FIRST MAN ON THE MOON.
Well, that’s how the comedy sketch kinda went anyway.
Since 1969 – nearly half a century ago – not much space exploration has gone down. Sure we have tons of things up there, mostly to watch 5,000 TV networks or drop a bomb on some enemy. Or perhaps listen in on someone and so on and so on.
But not much in the way of what we all thought would happen has happened.
There is nothing like Captain Kirk, 2001 Space Odyssey or anything close.
No space cars (via the Jetsons). Nope, on the surface things have changed surprisingly little. Clothes are nearly the same. Hair styles are much the same. Cars are really not much faster. Heck, we even design some cars to look like 1969. Music has changed but there is still a hard rock sound out there (though it’s dying).
The big change is with computers and smart phones.
So now we can all now pretend to go somewhere in a video game or whatever.
But what was once the biggest event in our history arguably, is now but a footnote. And that’s sad. Life is that way for everyone though – what seems so important today, is gone tomorrow, as are we all.
For the most part everyone and everything will be forgotten…even 1969.