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02 June 2005

Space News: Apollo 11 Astronaut Armstrong Peeved Over Clip

Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong is mighty angry at his former barber according to a story in the Associated Press.

The AP says Armstrong is threatening to sue the hair cutter thanks to the barber's clandestine collection and subsequent sale of the moonwalker's locks to a celebrity hair collector. (Yuck!)

The contraband clippings supposedly fetched the barber all of $3,000; most of which is now gone on legal expenses since the kerfuffle broke out.

Armstrong's lawyer is demanding the hair back and, or, the money (for a charity selected by Armstrong).

The Full Story

On a purely personal note, in my misspent youth as an aerospace photojournalist, I once ran into the famously uncooperative Armstrong at an NBAA show.

One of my first memories as a child was that of watching the Apollo 11 mission flicker its black and white images into my riveted eyeballs.

The experience no doubt influenced and inspired my life. So when introduced to him by a colleague and professional associate of his, I very politely asked for his autograph.

From his reaction, you'd of thought I'd asked to give him the medical exam depicted in the movie The Right Stuff.

In the end, he did sign the program I'd handed to him.

Now I'm not some celebrity hounding autograph hunter. But the first human to walk on the moon, well, that's a biggy.

Armstrong bravely agreed to serve that role in those most hazardous and experimental days of spaceflight. But he was also privileged to enjoy that perpetually exclusive title of first human, heck, life form, from earth, to set foot or paw on another planetary body, if that is the correct way to reference a moon.

So find another barber Mr. Armstrong. But when you hear some young (or older) person tell you how much they appreciate all you've done and how inspired your amazing, brave and heroic service to our nation and planet have been, try to smile. And find your happy place.

More Space News

Space News: Astronauts: Neil Armstrong
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