McAvoy LayneSpecial to the Bonanza

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October 17, 2012
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Pine Nuts: Neil Armstrong - a man for the ages

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Born Aug. 5, 1930, Neil Armstrong came to believe he landed on Earth too late. "All in all, for someone who was immersed in, fascinated by, and dedicated to flight, I was disappointed by the wrinkle in history that had brought me along one generation late. I had missed all the great times and adventures in flight." That has to rank as one of the most paradoxical quotes in all of profane history.As seems to happen with truly great men and women, their legacy begins to grow the moment they take permanent leave of this earthly realm, none quite so rapidly, perhaps, as that of Neil Armstrong. Over the ages some have lived their lives out without ever seeing an ocean, others have lived their lives out without ever seeing a snowflake, but no sighted person has ever lived his or her life out without reflecting upon the moon. Adam and Eve saw it, and so will little baby Romeo - born today. Likewise, nothing has ever put things in perspective like our view of Earth from the Moon, a snapshot capturing the stark reality that we are all one, that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men." "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small," confessed the first man to look at Earth from the Moon. "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."We really need to look at our planet through Neil Armstrong's eyes once again, and to hear his words again in 2012, "We came in peace for all mankind."Had you told me back in 1957, as I stood with my family in our back yard, watching Sputnik float overhead in the night sky, that I would someday shake the hand of the first man to walk on the Moon, I would surely have felt a shiver of joy. I feel it when I think of it today.There were many capable men and women upon whose shoulders he rose of course, but it was Neil Armstrong who put a face on the Man in the Moon. His memorial service, held on Aug. 31, coincided with a rare Blue Moon. Coincidence? Probably not. The Armstrong family charmed us with an amusing and touching suggestion. When we look up and see a full Moon, and see that Man in the Moon, we give him a wink. The next Blue Moon, or second full Moon of a calendar month, will appear on July 31, 2015. If I can make it, I'll be right there with you, giving that Man in the Moon a wink with both thumbs up.Neil Armstrong, man for the ages.- Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 17, 2012 07:59PM Published Oct 17, 2012 07:58PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.