The summer I was 19 I took my mother to Newport, R.I. to visit her old friend, Jenney, for several days. Her nephew, Neil, was 22, a navy test pilot attending the prestigious War College in Newport. She knew I was bored to death with two old ladies and suggested that her nephew and I should have a blind date. I was very reluctant but agreed because it would break the boredom for both of us. He and I spoke by telephone to arrange a dinner out for the next evening. He was very nice and sounded great. Neither of us wanted to go very much but agreed that it would make Jenney happy.
Neil called the afternoon of our date to say that he would have to cancel our dinner. He seemed genuinely disappointed, as was I. He said he was very sorry and the only thing he could tell me was that he "had to go fly somewhere." We never spoke again and forgot all about it.
My mother learned years later that he had become an astronaut. Now you know that my "almost" blind date was Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. How strange to watch the landing and remember the pleasant young man of long ago, now famous forever.
Nan B. Standish