CINCINNATI -- He is the most iconic figure from the space race yet nearly two years after his passing, he remains one of its least understood.
Neil Armstrong’s “One step…” mantra is echoing around the world as we mark the moment 45 years ago that man set foot on the moon. No time like the present for the aura of mysteriousness and detachment that grew up around Armstrong to be debunked.
In my experience, the best way to incur his disfavor was to ask about his space adventure. Questions about technology, mechanics, aeronautics, ballistics, neighbors, golf, farming? Not only fair game but things he’d eagerly talk about.
He was not a distant, dismissive man by any stretch. He had a great sense of humor and was a legendarily loyal friend. He just didn’t like to talk about what the world saw as his most noteworthy achievement.
It was to him, a mission. No more, no less. And not worth the tedium of recounting it one more time.
WCPO Insiders can read more about my interaction with Armstrong and the down-to-Earth guy he was.