If you're old enough to remember the moon landing, you know what an historic moment it was. If not, you probably got a sense of it because of all the coverage this week.
Which brings me to an email I got recently:
On July 20, 1969, as commander of the Apollo Lunar Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon.
His first words after stepping on the moon, "that's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,' were televised to earth and heard by millions.
But just before he reentered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark, "Good luck Mr. Gorsky.''
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Mr. Gorsky in either the Russian or Americxan space programs.
Armstrong never answered the question of what he meant until July 5, 1995 in Tampa Bay, Florida when a TV reporter brought up the 26-year-old question.
Mr. Gorsky had died so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question. In 1938 when he was a small kid in a small Midwest town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbor's yard by the bedroom window. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.
As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky.
"Oral sex! You ant oral sex?! You'll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon''
That was the end of the email. Great story, right. Except a Google search shows the story isn't true. The transcripts show Armstrong never mentioned a Mr. Gorsky. The only controversy is whether he said "one small step for man'' or "one small step for A man.'' He said it was the latter.
But the interesting thing is how these urban legends never die even when they're debunked. Which is why I got the email from a friend with dates like 1938 and 1995 even though it never happened. It's like Obama's birth certificate. The state of Hawaii has certified it. The Honolulu papers published births in those days and his birth was published. And yet the legend that he wasn't born in Hawaii won't die.
Or like the tales of alligators in the New York sewer system.
Once a story like this starts, you can't stop it. There's an old saying like a rumor is halfway around the world before the truth pulls his pants on.
Anyway, if you ever hear the Mr. Gorsky story, you know it's not true. It's true good to be true, unfortunately.
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