Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong: A hero of my childhood.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gte3BoXKwP0The
Why i chose the above music link: It has a different title, but what I have always heard was the chorus :  <the video i give no regard to> Take me away.
I find this song's vocal and words most fitting for this entry.


To the Heavens and Moon 1969: Returning to the Heavens with his passing August 25 2012.

                         An original Rocket Man: Neil Armstrong.

                                       By Mark William Darus

 

I had a few real life hero’s when I was very young. These great men did things unbelievable and against all odds. They threw their asses out there to accomplish things unheard of and thought impossible. They were the adrenalin junkies of their time, what we’d now call X-Games players. Pushing themselves to break limits and boundaries, and dare is say: To go where no man has gone before.

My first childhood hero was Chuck Yeager born Charles Elwood Yeager, Myra West Virginia 1923. An ACE of WWII, he came a test pilot soon after the war..



On 14 October 1947, piloting the Bell X-1, he is the first man to break the sound barrier and successfully land the plane.

Reading about him in a book series my parents bought called Above and Beyond, I found this mans sheer grit elevating to my boyhood mind.



Decades later when I saw the movie The Right Stuff, hearing his voice on the commentary track and the special features showing him as the films technical advisor, I relived my childhood fascinations once again. Sure, the movie was about the beginnings of the Astronaut program in the United States and how the Russians were the first to place a satellite into outer space: Sputnik.

The first part of this movie you might as well say is a tribute to Chuck Yeager.

In my humble opinion: One of the greatest of mankind on this Earth.

 

Second major hero: Alan Shepard. Born Nov 18 1923 in Derry New Hampshire , passing July 21 1998. The first American in space. On January 31 1971, piloting Apollo 14, he landed the lunar module the closest point of destination of all the Apollo missions. He was also the first man to drive a golf ball on the surface of the moon, thus making the longest drive in history.

I vividly remember watching Apollo 14 splashing down on the black and white television my parents owned. Huge parachutes above it as it crashed into the ocean, the capsule bobbing about.

Screaming in the joy of the 9 year old I was as they exited the helicopter. Watching him stepping to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, unshaven face, unsteady legs as gravity nailing him once again after 9 days of weightless life in outer space. Smiling as he and his crew waved to cameras filming.

A truly amazing man with a huge sense of humor: Golf balls fired from the moon. How amazingly cool is that? Utterly ridiculous in a time when serious science held most high. I think maybe his actions played an enormous part in my life. My unusual mind embraces things done for the sheer sense of fun and the nontraditional.



Alan Shepard: When I earn my place in Heaven, I would be most happy to hit a driving range with you and my father.

 

Neil Armstrong born August 5 1930 in Wapakoneta Ohio, passing August 25 2012.

My third and last childhood Hero.

Apollo 11.

2:51 UTC on July 21 1969 <Giving credit where credit is due, the time and date stated is in Earth time. God only knows what that translates to on the surface of the moon.> Stepping down the ladder of the lunar Lander Eagle, hopping from its last leg, he touches down.



His sure, steady voice speaking, static crackling in with each word spoken, Neil Armstrong proclaimed: “That’s small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Watching Walter Cronkite, his voice quivering as he freely wiped tears from his face. “Neil Armstrong, on the Moon.”

So absorbed in the moment, eyes and mind focused in complete tunnel vision on the TV, I cannot say what my parents or sisters said or how they watched this.

My eyes, tears running from them. Smiling as my head descends toward my knees. I began to cry. So glad to see such a monumental event.

I did not remember seeing the splashdown.

Neil Armstrong left this Earth yesterday, August 25 2012.

Into the Heavens he traveled back when.

Into the Heavens he now and forever soars.

As I write this, my eyes begin to leak clear fluid once again. Different now than I was many decades ago, I can still maintain some sense of loss.

Dropping down on my left, and highly pale knee, lowering my head in respect to you.



Saluting.

Neil, you were the last real Hero in my life.

Can’t wait to meet you in the here-after!

Mark William Darus 0825-262012

Sidenote: It was my friend Michelle Kenton to point this out to me: "Wow, Mark. You just started taking pictures of the moon yesterday <08-24-2012>. I guess you jinxed him." Knowing her well over the last 19 years, her sharing the dry humor I possess, we both laugh.
Still, what made me start taking Moon photos two days ago?