Recently I figured out that the reason I can usually see so well out in the back yard at night (when I’m out there on patrol or just takin’ care of business) is because of the moon. Pop was talkin’ about there being a man up there back when he was a kid.
Now how that fella managed to jump that high is beyond me. But, anyhow, Pop said that he’s real famous ’cause of doin’ it first. He’s whatchacall an astronaut. Pop knows some stuff about pilots, especially naval aviators, and he says this guy was really something.
He went on to talk about how he got to fly the first man on the moon a few years ago.
Gettin’ ready to take a bunch of folks up to Cincinnati, as he was saying howdy to the folks as they walked onboard, he noticed a familiar face and watched the fella and his buddy get settled into their first class seats. Pop checked the names on the first class manifest and matched the seat number to the guy but it didn’t ring a bell. After thinkin’ on it a bit, though, it came to him that the face belonged to Neil Armstrong who, as he later found out, preferred to travel under an assumed name. Pop already knew that he liked to keep a real low profile in public and didn’t like attention. Probably bothered him to get hounded (pun intended) by folks wanting an autograph.
It was Pop’s leg (meaning that he was the one who did the flyin’) and afterwards, as customary, he stood at the doorway to say so long and thank the folks for flyin’ with ’em. Anyway, after this astronaut fella got up and started up the jetway with his buddy, ol’ Pop just sidled up next to ’em like he was headin’ up to talk to the gate agent. Pop looked over and caught Armstrong’s eye, stuck out his hand and, with a wink, said “Sure was nice havin’ you on my flight, sir – a real privilege”. Armstrong shook his hand and, obviously appreciatin’ Pop’s discretion, winked back at him and said “Thanks. And by the way, nice landing.”
Pop said that famous astronaut passed away this week. “Gone west” as pilots say.
Next time I’m out in the yard and can see the moon real good, Pop says I ought to try to wink at it. He said Neil Armstrong would appreciate that.