Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The death of Neil Armstrong - first man on the moon.

Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the surface of the moon on 20th July 1969. He has died at the age of 82, leaving the world with one of the most famous phrases which will go down in history.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
According to those who knew him he was a quiet, humble man in spite of his abilities and achievements, not least of which was being the highly respected commander of Apollo 11.
It is a lovely sentiment which his family have asked for in his memory. Namely when we look up at the moon on a clear night we should remember him and give him a wink. I often look up at the moon and I wonder what he thought when he was back on earth and looking up there. It must have seemed incredible remembering he had actually walked on that distant silver disk which appears to float slowly and gracefully above the clouds. 

Additional Note: About forty years ago Neil Armstrong travelled to Scotland and was made a Freeman of the small town of Langholm, near the Scottish / English Border, the home of his ancestors in the days of the Border Raiders and Reivers. A special pipe tune was composed in his honour called Commander Neil Armstrong's Moon Step 
The following is a little anecdote passed on to me by Myra Adamson and purported to be true.
In case you didn't know this little tidbit of trivia, on July 20 1969, as Commander of the Apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on to the moon were,
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,"
They were televised to earth and heard by millions but just before he re-entered the Lander, he made the enigmatic remark -"Good luck, Mr. Gorsky".
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.
Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to what the – “good luck, Mr. Gorsky' statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.
On July 5 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question to Armstrong.
This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died, so Neil Armstrong felt he could now answer the question.
In 1938, when he was a kid in a small mid-western town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbour's yard by their bedroom window. His neighbours were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. "Sex! You want sex? You'll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon !"

True story. it broke the place up.


  1. What a funny and great story!! And you told it so well. I've never heard this one and I can't wait to repeat it to my husband, or better yet, I'll have to have him read it here.

    Got my lettuce planted today!!! Hope my pot of greens are as pretty as yours looked in your pictures. Roz in still hot but not quite as hot Oklahoma

    1. Thank you Roz. It was good of Myra to pass on the story but he seemed to be a great man and one the world can respect for all time - not only because he got to the moon and back.
      You would not think so much of my vegetables now after the many drenching rains. My carrots are good though and the onions not so bad so it is time to harvest them. I keep waiting for a dry period. The delays in farming are getting serious.

  2. What a lovely tribute, Gwen - and I love that story Myra passed on! Funnily enough, I was sitting staring at the moon last night as it kept dipping in and out of a cloud.

  3. Thank you Rosemary. I must admit I always feel there is something special, almost magical, about the moon, at least in my head. Think I must use it more in my writing! Still we can't use everything and I don't like contrived passages.
    I am getting braver with this blogging though, thanks to you. At the weekend I am doing an interview with Linda Mitchelmore.

  4. Hi Gwen - my daughter told me the Mr Gorsky story several years ago, and straight after the news broke about Neil Armstrong's death, the first thing she wrote on Facebook was 'Good luck, Mr Gorsky'. I wondered how many people would actually understand that!
    I still remember watching that first moon landing, and the moment when Armstrong set foot on the moon. I think it was about 4 in the morning here, but no way could I have gone to bed that night! The first time I saw the moon again after that, I could still hardly believe that two men had actually stood 'up there'.

  5. You are right Paula. It was very early in the morning here and my husband and I got up to see it on television. I know there is Curiosity on Mars now but that is not a living person so I think Neil Armstrong on the moon will probably be the greatest world event in our lifetime.

  6. What a lovely tribute to a very special man. Thank you for posting the story of Mr Gorsky - I hadn't heard it! I agree that Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon in 1969 was probably the greatest event in our lifetime and even when they walk on Mars it won't take the shine off Neil's amazing and incredibly brave achievement. R.I.P. Neil Armstrong.

  7. Thank you for taking time to comment Janice. I know how buy you are but I'm glad you agree.

  8. Gwen - thank you for that lovely tribute. The Mr Gorsky story is definitely one for sharing.
    We've had a bright shiny moon for the last two nights, and I've winked in Neil Armstrong's memory.

  9. I guess it's as good a time as any to practise our winking at our age and stage, Joan!

  10. I just love the throw-away line in Mr Gorsky's story.....and how often something said like that in life comes to pass!
    I can never forget the date either....I was just back from my honeymoon - ah, happy days.

  11. Ah Linda you would be "over the moon" indeed when just back from honeymoon. Both great events in your life for different reasons.

  12. What a wonderful story, Gwen, loved it!!

  13. Thank you Christina (can't think of you by that name)
    I'm wondering why this keeps coming up on FB instead of my next blog re Linda. I have probably done (not done) something strange.