There are times when it is difficult enough trying to think up stuff for a new blog every day. But there are also a few times when you get handed some inspiration because of an event that happens somewhere in the world.
Occasionally those events are inspiring and exciting, more often than not though they are tragic. Today is one that is a mixture of both and has led to a double-blog post Sunday for the first time.
I’m sure from the title you know who this post is about.
I learned yesterday via an NBC news headline and from a friend from the blogshpere, John Erickson, of the death of Neil Armstrong.
Everybody knows who he was and what he achieved during his life, so there is no point in going over all that again here. Sunday’s newspapers will be full of it.
I have no personal anecdotes about Neil Armstrong. I never met him, and never came close to meeting him. But I was with him, as were millions of others, on July 20, 1969 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. I sat in front of our television and watched, totally enthralled, as he did it.
The tv picture was crappy and the sound intermittent, but it didn’t matter. It was happening, and we could see it happening in real time. It was the most exciting thing that had happened in my lifetime and then some. My Dad watched alongside me, every bit as engrossed in the whole event. He couldn’t quite believe it even though he was watching it happen.
It was and remains a truly wondrous event.
At the time, and being a kid, I never considered the courage it must have taken to be the first man to set foot on our moon. It was just an adventure, but what an adventure.
The word “hero” is bandied about a lot these days, but as far as Armstrong is concerned it is a plaudit well earned and well deserved. And not just for what he achieved in his career with NASA, but in how he lived his life as well.
Is it sad that Neil Armstrong is no longer with us? Of course it is. Men like him are all too rare. But he lived more in his lifetime than most of us could ever hope to or even imagine. He will be remembered well and that’s about as much as any of us can hope for.
And Mr Gorsky mentioned in the title of this post?
Naturally this blog being what it is there is a duty to add a little bit of humor and, fact or fiction, Neil Armstrong was aware of the story of Mr Gorsky and I am sure it provided him with a lot of amusement over the years, as it has also done for people like myself who have retold it many times.
For those who don’t know, the legend goes that when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” statement, but before he re-entered the lander, he said “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”
Over the years, many people asked him what it meant but he would never say. Then one July 5, in Tampa Bay, FL, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26- year-old question. He finally responded. It seems that by that time Mr. Gorsky had died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could at last answer the question.
He said when he was a kid, he was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of his neighbors’ bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.
As he leaned down to pick up the ball, he heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Oral sex? Oral sex you want? You’ll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
11 thoughts on “One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind – Oh, And What A Relief For Mr Gorsky!”
A very nice tribute to a remarkable man. And the Mr Gorsky thing…pure fiction, but very funny!
Thanks. And I know, but don’t tell anybody….oh oh!!!
I think one of the best tributes I’ve seen is at a “hard” sci-fi website called “Orion’s Arm” (www.orionsarm.com). In this multiple-author site of 10,000 years of future history, the calendar uses dates called “A.T.” – After Tranquility. Our date of 20 July 1969 is known as “Armstrong Day”.
I just hope that our real future history will reflect this fiction, and not mark Neil Armstrong’s death as the beginning of the end for manned space flight.
And besides, I thought the great rumour connected with Apollo 11 was that “Buzz” Aldrin was called “Buzz” because he was afraid of bees? 😀
I think there should definitely be an Armstrong Day, there are days for a lot lesser men than him. Where do we vote?
Good rumour re “Buzz”. I read somewhere that he got the name because his little sister kept calling him her “buzzer” when she couldn’t pronounce “brother”, which was then shortened to “buzz” and he got stuck with it. Could have been worse I suppose.
I’ll check out the orion web site, sounds interesting.
Wonderful tribute! Why’d go ruin the Mr. Gorsky story for me?
It wasn’t me, I still think it’s great and funny. In fact I’m with Mark Twain who believed you should never let the facts interfere with a good story!
Excellent tribute! I remember where I was on that date but it was a painful point in my life.
Thanks. And thanks for commenting. There aren’t too many events that stick in the mind like this one, sorry it’s been tainted a bit by other things.
[…] One Small Step For Man, a tribute on hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong the first man to set foot on the Moon. There are differing views on how Mr Gorsky fared, but I hope he did okay! […]
True or not, Mr. Gorsky story is a hoot!
Meanwhile, I leave this for you to read.