There’s not much I can add to the news of the passing of Astronaut Neil Armstrong… except to say that he may very well have been the “Last Great American Hero” in the eyes of all – before the effects of Watergate and subsequent occurrences permanently polarized this nation into differing “ideological camps” that are, today, stronger and more entrenched than ever.
In that, I mean that we, in American society, have probably never again been “On the Same Page” as intensely as we were on the day Mr. Armstrong took his historic “Small Step”! Today, more than likely, there would be voices of differing persuasions, shouting indignantly that the resources applied to a Moon landing would be better utilized for one or the other side’s particular special interests!
Yes, we were divided over some serious issues in 1969 – but, for at least that one day, we were as united as I’d ever seen in my lifetime. And, I’ll never forget the thrill of that!
On a purely personal note, Neil Armstrong’s courageous feat rendered THIS COMIC BOOK STORY that I worked on, as a “period piece”, forever stuck in its year of origin – 1963.
Why? Because in 1963, the Moon had yet to receive its first Earthly visitors! And, in this comic, it did!The tricky thing was that its first appearance in the United States was in 2011 – so I had to explicitly frame it as having occurred in 1963. And, in doing so, the natural thing to do was to paraphrase Mr. Armstrong’s historic quote and begin with:
“1963… When the “Giant Leap for Mankind” on the Moon was still six years away…”
When discussing comic-book scripting, I often evoke the phrase “Writer’s Shorthand”. Considering that there were probably no readers that questioned my use of Armstrong’s words – and that all surely knew what was being referred to – Neil Armstrong provided me with a perfect example of that particular technique.For that, I’d like to dedicate my script, for the Mickey Mouse comic book story I titled “To the Moon by Noon” to Mr. Neil Armstrong!