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Old 07-20-2004, 10:39 AM   #1
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I heard on the news this morning that it is today 35 years since Neil Armstrong uttered the some immortal words:-
When Armstrong stepped on the moon's dusty surface at 10:56 p.m. July 20 and said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,"
That day I was in England and with my family had been visiting relations some distance from my parent's home we drove back in a hurry that evening to see the moon landing and did so. Then followed a seemingly interminable wait to see Neil step down onto the moon's surface. The BBC had thoughtfully arranged for a number of pundits and space experts to be "talking heads" in case there was any delay and also the late and much-loved raconteur and all-round wit Frank Muir (half of a successful Brit sitcom team with Denis Norden)

Image stolen from a great frank Muir tribute site

When Frank's turn came he launched into a splendid comparision between how the Americans undertook such projects with how we in the the UK operated. He came up with a phrase I'll never forget as it was one of the cleverest humourous usage of words I have ever heard it went something like this:-
"The Americans do everything on a vast scale whereas the British way is more half-vast". I don't think many in the studio audience got it as there was only a litle polite laughter. If you don't geddit say it to yourself. it's all good Brit Humo(u)r folks!!!
As far as the stepping on the moon is concerned finally after several hours we were rewarded by a very indistinct Black and White television picture which by straining your imagination could be interpreted (as the NASA commentator was telling you) as the actual ladder and Neil's leg.
Nevertheless it was one of the most exciting things that I have ever seen

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[This message has been edited by johnfowles (edited July 20, 2004).]

Last edited by johnfowles; 07-20-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:18 PM   #2
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I remember sitting around the t.v. set watching this. I was in 7th grade at the time. Very exciting, unfortunate that the reason we all wanted to watch the NASA missions was because we would be able to miss a class. We had no idea at that time how amazing and unbelievable those missions were. I got the half-vast joke right away. I keep telling my kids "I have humor!!!"
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:41 PM   #3
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My brother and I were ages 1 & 2 and our oldest brother was 2 months from being 5 but according to our parents,we all sat & watched. I have a good memory but not that far back! I've watched the old clips many times over the years,I wish they had the whole netweorkss' coverage on DVD and or tape. Still,pretty neat to watch. later.

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Old 07-21-2004, 11:54 PM   #4
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Hey, good going John. Way to make me feel old. 35 years huh? That would have made me seven. I vaguely remember it.
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Old 07-22-2004, 07:04 PM   #5
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I'm with you, Violet. I was five (or almost so) and I only kind of recall. Mostly I remember the atmosphere in the living room during it. I was such a clueless kid.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Thirty five years ago today

Not much to add 15 years later except that I recently found "One of the few remaining scraps of the BBC's Apollo 11 coverage"
"Sir" John Fowles Bt
Honorary Curator Bootleg Museum

(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet -?? read the wiki!)
I meant no one no harm
Once inside we found a curious moonbeam
Doing dances on the floor

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