I'm sad it took more than 24 hours to realize why I was really excited to interview Buzz Aldrin Thursday. I was a big space nut growing up (yes, I was a Trekkie), but it wasn't quite that.
I played the role of Buzz Aldrin in a second grade play about the first moon landing.
Maybe Col. Aldrin would have been impressed with that had I remembered that from the chair in front of him, not from my couch later that night. Buzz seemed to be overly awed at the fact that his craft that landed on the moon shares the name of our local newspaper. Maybe my elementary school acting would have struck him.
There was a brief moment before Gene Cernan sat down with us that the last man on the moon grabbed fellow space veteran Charlie Duke and walked up to a large picture in the Bush Library exhibit. They were analyzing every aspect of the image of a man on the moon, remembering (and trying to remember) their respective moments on the lunar surface. They joked just minutes earlier that Duke, who was the man on Earth talking to Neil Armstrong and Aldrin as they landed, was more excited about the touchdown than the men who actually touched down.
Think about that for a second: they're reminiscing about landing on the moon. I'll write that again: reminiscing about landing on the moon!
I don't get awe-struck much anymore, but I've been watching "When We Left Earth," the Discovery Channel documentary series, and getting a sense of what these men did, and what hundreds on this planet did to get a select few to another world. Having also had the chance to talk Aggie Mike Fossum as he orbited on Shuttle Discovery, and I'm officially awe-struck now.
Any other space nuts out there? Any other recommendations on cool series or shows if you've got a space itch needing scratching?