Today we are wishing a very speedy recovery to our of the nation’s Space Superheroes: Neil Armstrong.
Neil is famously private. I guess all that publicity from the Apollo Moon landing has made him want to stay out of the limelight. So it was with great surprise and satisfaction that I saw him, in person, at the San Diego Air and Space Museum a few years ago.
The occasion was a gala evening for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8. It was December, 2008 and Frank Borman,
Bill Anders, Jim Lovell and wives were in attendance. After the dinner, there was a question and answer session. The San Diego Air and Space Museum is on the landing path to San Diego’s Lindbergh field, and it has a semi-permeable roof in its central area where the dinner was held. As such, hearing can be difficult in this area, so we all bunched up closer to the stage, in order to hear this panel of space experts speak. As the talk broke up, I was standing next to a gentleman and admiring the space heroes and, in that moment, Neil Armstrong walked within about a foot in front of me. I didn’t have my camera ready, and it all happened so fast, I couldn’t have gotten the pic, anyways, but, there it was. I was nearly elbow to elbow with Neil Armstrong.
The crowd gathered closer as the speakers came off the stage, and I spoke to Bill Anders’ wife for a few seconds, commenting that I didn’t know how she had done it, been so brave and stayed home and held the fort down with children all that time that Bill was away at training or flying over the Moon’s surface. She was quite kind, and spoke to me. Bill Anders is credited with taking the wildly popular Earthrise photo, shown here for those not in the know:
It was a wonderful evening, one I shall never forget. All of us at Sandy Eulitt Stellar Experiences wish all the very best to Neil Armstrong, and to all the astronauts of Apollo 8, making the subsequent Apollo 11 moon landing possible.by