Space Cowboys

It’s 40 years after the first moonwalk, and as if to celebrate that fact a toilet on the space station broke. I heard varying reports, ranging from the commode was flooding to some pump was out of order. Astronauts from the Endeavour had to use the shuttle’s toilet, and astronauts in the space station had to use the one functional toilet, which was reported to be the Russian toilet. Today, I saw a headline that read, “Space Station Toilet Fixed, Astronauts Relieved.” And there was this quote from another news article, “Flight director Brian Smith declined to speculate whether overuse caused the toilet trouble.” The same article went on to say, “He (Smith) observed that he wasn’t born when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon July 20, 1969.”

The quote made me feel old and sad because I don’t think Brian Smith could ever truly understand. Armstrong and Aldrin were space cowboys, and there are no words to describe how it felt to watch Armstrong bounce down the steps of Apollo 11 and jump onto the moon’s surface. It was the wild west of science fiction turned into reality. It was the stuff dreams are made of and destined to become memories held in your child heart because you knew one day you would grow up to be an astronaut, even if you did get carsick in the backseat of your Mom’s Chevy II, going to the grocery. I can still remember Armstrong static-y voice, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The line never sounded corny or rehearsed to a 13 year-old stuck on a farm, watching space travel from a black and white T.V.

So, today I prowled around the internet looking for Youtubes of Armstrong and Aldrin. I watched a lot of them but I had not seen this one. It’s Aldrin hammering a conspiracy theorist. You know the ones who claim no one has been to the moon. They insist it was all a Hollywood production. All I can say after watching the YouTube is “Hail to the space cowboys. May they ride forever, even if they have to fix a toilet every now and then.”

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9 Responses to “Space Cowboys”

  1. I was in Tombstone, Arizona, when man first stepped on the moon. It was kind of fitting standing in Tombstone “the town to touch to die,” watching America take it’s first step on the moon. I didn’t have a television back then, I remember watching the first step in a bar, I would have sat down had a beer and watched the entire thing, but I was underage.

    Good for Aldrin! That reporter guy deserved what he got, and more.

  2. I was a young 19 year old soldier, or perhaps I should say old 19 year old soldier, in Vietnam. Life was sure exciting back then. I recall reading about it in Stars & Stripes and hearing about it on AFVN radio, but it was just another bit of news at the time.

    • The big news of the time was Vietnam and you were living that. I remember Huntley and Brinkley repeating the body count every night.

  3. worldphotos Says:

    I just watched the punch. That was great. He should have followed up with a left cross.

    • Aldrin was older at the time but he still had a good punch. He actually had to jump up a bit to bop that fool in the face. If he had followed with a left cross, he could have knocked him down. I think it’s funny how that woman took on out of there after the altercation started.

  4. Driver this is all very interesting but I can’t understand why the REAL miracle of 1969 didn’t hit the world news!!
    What news? I hear you ask… well the news that I was born of course!
    Cracking video!

  5. Grrrr I’m onto that NASA!

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