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Neil Armstrong and I

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

I’m a big space geek. I’ve read way too many books on the Apollo missions and a big fan of what Elon Musk’s SpaceX is doing now and watched the live JPL feed when Curosity landed on Mars.

I actually met Neil Armstrong once. I was working at a sound and lighting company after graduating college. We did the PA and lighting for an event Mr. Armstrong was going to speak. I was working backstage. He arrived a little early, before he was scheduled to speak, I think he was looking for someone.

It’s not really “cool” for a professional working a show to ask the “talent” for an autograph. It’s kind of a unspoken rule, but I couldn’t help myself.

Me: “Mr. Armstrong, would you mind signing something for me?”

He looked at me, a bit irritated.

NA: “Sure, Son.”

I reached in to my bag and pulled out my trusty Fluke multimeter my Dad had bought me.

He smiled, and I handed him a Sharpie and my Fluke. He signed it, right across the top, and handed it back to me.

Me: “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

NA: “You’re welcome.”

True story.

Way back on September 12th, 1962 John F. Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University, that is a favorite of mine. The speech was about how important it is to choose our goals.

“But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” -JFK

Rest in peace Mr. Armstrong.

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