Monday, August 27, 2012

Good luck, Mr. Gorsky!

Remember when it took great effort and talent to achieve worldwide recognition, to garner international fame? Before Jersey Shore, Bachelor Pad, and The Simple Life? Before Hollywood socialites sought fame and courted tabloid rumours?

Neil Armstrong was none of these. Through old-fashioned hard work, he became a household name by doing something that was indeed a “first” in the history of humankind and then shunned the limelight. (And if you’ve ever wondered how much time and effort goes into being an astronaut, check out Dr. Roberta Bondar’s credentials as an example of the level of skill required.)

Assuming, of course, that the lunar landing wasn’t a fabrication pulled off by Stanley Kubrick in a sound studio, can you even compare Armstrong’s achievement with anyone’s achievement from the last 40 years? He was a real trailblazer who happened to end up at the Sea of Tranquility instead of an earthly destination.

Surely Brian’s passion towards celestial bodies and outer space made Armstrong an early hero of his. Did they ever cross paths? It turns out that they did. It was at the Starmus Festival in the summer of 2011, the same one that I blogged about here.

Not only did they cross paths but Brian even had one of his questions for Armstrong answered by the retired navy pilot during his closing speech at the Festival. (The video of Armsrong’s speech with references to Brian can be found here.) With Armstrong’s passing a year later, Brian offers his condolences on his soapbox here.

If he were indeed still alive (and real!), I wonder what Armstrong’s childhood neighbour, Mr. Gorsky, would have to say at the eulogy in a few days?


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