“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” (being politically correct wasn’t such a big deal in 1969) and then we all witnessed history in the making as he stepped off the ladder and stood on the surface of the moon. We all watched in awe. TV Newscasters like Walter Cronkite, had tears in their eyes and the people of the planet earth were mesmerized by the black and white images on their living room TV sets. Yes, it was a day that the entire world felt proud. We had broken the confines of earth and traveled through the cosmos to land on another world, another planet – a moon, our moon. TV shows like Star Trek and Space 1999, were now closer to being realities. There is however, one thing that has puzzled me for many years and that is……who set up the camera? Who set up the camera that filmed Neil stepping off the ladder.
I can only assume that Neil or Buzz stepped on the moon a few hours earlier, before the people of earth knew, to set up the camera. In fact, it could have been Buzz Aldrin that was the first person on the moon. I imagine Buzz and Neil sitting in the LEM after touch down, Neil proclaiming.
“Buzz, go out and set up the camera to film me stepping on the moon, will ya?”
“OK, Neil I’ll go out in a minute. Let me finish this pee.”
Buzz finishes peeing into the long plastic tube, flicks a switch and sends urine shooting out the bottom of the LEM. The body fluid probably floated for a few minutes, before slowly settling on the lunar surface. Buzz then opened the small locker and hauled out his space suit. I imagine the LEM was probably the size of two Volkswagen Beetles. So as Buzz was pulling on his suit, he probably kept whacking Neil in the side of the head with his elbow. Finally he is ready.
“Neil, where’s the damn camera?”
Neil turns and searches the other small equipment locker and soon finds the Sony Betamax camcord,
“Here you go.”
“Grab the tripod too, will ya?”
Neil again ferrets around in the locker and pulls out a tripod,
“Jeez, we bought a lot of unnecessary shit with us,”
“Shit, Buzz! Watch what you’re doing!”
“Sorry Neil. Hey look the blood’s floating! “
“”Thanks Buzz. Jeez, it fucking hurts.”
With the first aid finished, Buzz crawls over Neil, dons his helmet and opens the air-lock. A quick look back at Neil, he gives a thumbs up sign and closes the air-lock door. A few minutes later, Neil sees Buzz walking on the surface of the moon with the camera and tripod over his left shoulder. Grabbing the radio, Neil speaks to Buzz.
“Buzz, don’t go too far away from the LEM.”
“I won’t. Can you see me?”
“Yep, a little to the left……yeah that’s it. How’s the view through the camera?”
“It’s great, I’ve got the ladder in the center.”
“OK, that’s great, now get back in here and I’ll let Mission Control know that I’m ready to make history.”
Buzz nodded and began walking back to the LEM. He climbed the ladder and just as he was about to open the air-lock door, he stopped to ponder for a minute,
“Neil,” he said, “I’m the first human to walk on the moon.”
“Yeah, I know that. Now you know that and Mission Control knows it, but the deal is that I’m the one that’s going to be in the history books, because I’m the commander of this little trip. You’ve been paid, so keep your mouth shut, OK?”
“Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve been paid and I won’t say shit, but just as long as you know that I was first.”
Neil didn’t answer. Buzz opened the air-lock and re-entered the LEM.
“Houston. Eagle… We are ready for the moon walk….copy”
“Copy that, Eagle….zero-minus 60 minutes..Eagle….copy?”
“Copy that Houston…standing by.” Neil switches off the radio and ducks his head as Buzz pulls off his helmet, nearly whacking him again. An hour later, Houston gave the OK and Neil Armstrong became the “first” human to walk on the lunar surface.