Friday, July 3, 2009
I met Buzz Aldrin and Gave Him a Copy of My Book!
That's Buzz Aldin at a book signing for his latest book, Magnificent Desolation, in Huntington New York on June 24th. Check out the book in front of him. He's looking at Neil Armstrong is My Uncle!
Buzz Aldrin is my childhood hero. (No surprise there). The man walked on the moon! He also has a Doctorate in Science from MIT and a decorated Korean War veteran, (Distinguished Flying Cross). He earned the name "Dr Rendevous" for devising docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecrafts in earth and lunar orbit. An advocate for continuing space exploration, Buzz founded a few foundations and companies, including a rocket design company, Starcraft Boosters, Inc., the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted "to advancing space education, exploration and affordable space flight experiences for all."
A New Jersey native, he's also an author, scuba diver, and skier. Did I mention he's a hip hop artist? Here's the making of Rocket Experience where Buzz talks about his two passions: space exploration and hip hop.
Even though I live over a hundred miles away, when I found out he was going to be at the Book Revue book store, I had to go. I took a half a day off from the library and headed to Long Island. Traffic was horrendous, even by LI standards. I could have walked across Nassau county faster.
The 5 1/2 hour drive was worth it.
When I sat in the audience waiting for him to talk, (Buzz was caught in the awful traffic too) I spoke with an engineer from Grumman (who worked on the L.E.M), a few school teachers and some Long Island friends.
I was a little nervous waiting for Buzz. There's always the chance that the person you admire is not going to live up to your expectations. But Buzz was wonderful. It was great to hear him speak. There were at least a thousand people there, maybe more. So it's not like Buzz had lots of time to chat with anyone. But he did talk to people while he was signing books, which is pretty remarkable when you've got crowds waiting.
We were pushed through quickly. I gave him a copy of my book and got a signed copy of his. My friend Debbie stepped out of line to take the picture. (Thanks Deb, you rule breaker you. Sorry they made you go toward the end of the line to get your book signed). Seriously though, the Book Revue bookstore knows how to handle crowds. They get all the big names. I love this indie book store.
It was a great night. I almost met a twitter/facebook friend. WriterRoss, who joined us during the Twitter interview was at the same bookstore. I tweeted that I was going be there. She was there too and she even called out my name.
Sorry WriterRoss. It would have been nice to meet you. I hope to meet you sometime soon. And yes, I did hit traffic at 11:30 at night on the Southern State Parkway on the way home. But that's just the way it is on Long Island.
I haven't started Buzz Aldrin's book Magnificent Desolation yet. I think I'm going to wait until July 20, 2009. What a great way to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first moon walk.