This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Thanks for "Moon-landing hero Neil Armstrong dead at 82" (Tribune, Aug. 26).
Growing up in small town USA in the '60s was mundane … unless you lived right across the street from the parents of the first man to set foot on the moon.
When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, I was 13; everything about that event was magical: the giant broadcast tower in my neighbor's yard, the thousands driving by, the visiting celebrities, seeing my dog on national TV.
Dad always used Armstrong as an example of what could be accomplished if we aimed high. I had the good fortune of meeting Armstrong when he visited his folks. We tried on his space helmet, and he shot hoops with us and his son.
Armstrong was truly a great American hero, a fact I've come to appreciate more as the years have gone by. But as I reflect on the excitement of those days and his famous words, the memories I hold most dear are of his wonderful parents, Steve and Viola. If you knew them, you would better appreciate how a humble, unassuming lad from Wapakoneta, Ohio, could reach such great heights.
Salt Lake City