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Joe Kelly’s Thoughts on Neil Armstrong

Neil ArmstrongIt really was a giant leap for mankind.

Over the weekend, the world lost the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

I  remember sitting in our living room, in front of the TV, watching as Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon for the very first time.

The 1960’s was such a different time from today – in many ways. Most people only had one television at the time. There was no cable, no satellite TV. You got the three major networks, and maybe 2 or 3 others, including a public TV channel. Dad usually decided on what was being watched, and that was it. There was no remote control – if the station needed changing, he probably told you to get up and do it. (Often, you had to use the pliers to change the TV channel.)

The US space program really mesmerized the nation, with its trip to space and, eventually, the moon. There were special reports all the time that took over all the networks. When the “news bulletin” came on, interrupting whatever was on at the time, you just hoped it was about NASA, and not Vietnam.

I distinctly remember watching Armstrong make that first step. So much anticipation. It was like that for all the trips to the moon. The moon landing is probably the last good thing that happened in the last 50 years where everyone remembers where they were when it took place.

Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins – they were truly our heroes. They were our modern day explorers and adventurers. We had no idea if these men would live – or die before our eyes. We didn’t know if the moon was dangerous or not. We all watched the lift-off, the moon landings, the moon walks, the moon rovers. We watching the splash-downs, and the pick-ups from sea. NASA had our attention.

And now the humor:

*For young people who don’t know who Neil Armstrong was – he was the guy who posed for the MTV Video Awards statue.

*Armstrong’s moon walking came long before Michael Jackson’s.

*It was not a good week for Armstrongs.

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