Home > Bitching, Ohio, Traumatic Childhood > The Time I Was Snubbed by Neil Armstrong

The Time I Was Snubbed by Neil Armstrong

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

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When I was in 2nd grade, we were assigned a project in school to interview someone who had our ideal job. We were told to brainstorm what he wanted to be when we grew up, then go find someone who actually did that.

Many of my fellow students had a fairly easy time finding their interview subjects. There was no shortage of police officers, firemen, doctors, or veterinarians in Cincinnati. Some had a tougher time, like the kid who selected “movie star,” and had to be content just interviewing an undergrad actor at the local college.

My choice was the toughest of all since I wanted to be an astronaut. I had been fascinated with space for years at that point, daydreaming about aliens and all the fun adventures we could have. I imagined them as being little, green, and able to make me fly (I had seen E.T. a lot). But I knew I would never meet any unless I went into space myself. Not the most noble reasons for wanting to become an astronaut, but hey, I was 8.

I thought that maybe I had a chance of completing my assignment. My parents live only a street away from the most famous astronaut of our time, Neil Armstrong. I had never met him, but knew even at that age that he was somewhat reclusive, and rarely granted interviews. I can see his point, but I was still super excited to talk to him. I thought that where professional journalists had failed, I could somehow succeed. With my adorable red curls and big blue eyes, how could he resist? My parents and I reached out, asking for just ten minutes of time to inspire a little girl (me!) to become an astronaut.

We were refused.

I took the news hard, and was on the verge of camping myself on his lawn until he came home from grocery shopping or something. An ambush by an 8-year-old girl would probably be the last thing he was expecting. But my parents refused to take me over there, saying that he had a right to his privacy. I later learned he had a good reason to dislike strangers, since people later tried to sell his autograph and even his HAIR for ridiculous amounts of money.

I ended up just writing a paper about him instead, which fulfilled my requirements for the assignment.

I’m still bummed by not getting to meet him, but he does live right down the street from my parents. Maybe I’ll see him one day at Kroger and be able to say hi after all these years.

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