Evening, solstice fans.
And welcome to countdown day #2.
Our wild ride continues, yes, but we’re just about as close to reaching the end of our journey without actually arriving there.
So, in our remaining time together, let’s talk about a famous #2. (Hey, in some circles, this guy just might be the most famous #2 of all.)
Born in Glen Ridge, NJ in 1930, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. will forever be
known as “Buzz.”
The story goes that Aldrin’s younger sister couldn’t say the word “brother” when she was first learning to speak. It seems that “brother” more often than not came out as “buzzer,” and the nickname eventually stuck. (In fact, Aldrin legally changed his first name to “Buzz” in 1988.)
Despite Aldrin’s many accomplishments and distinctions (chief among them, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses while completing 66 combat missions during the Korean War, plus his status as the first-ever astronaut to earn a doctorate) life as the free world’s most renown “second banana” wasn’t always the smoothest ride.
While touching down on the moon’s surface some 13 minutes after Neal Armstrong on 20 July, 1969 forever put him in the history books, Aldrin suffered plenty along the way.
Having lost his mother (who took her own life) a little more than a year before the inaugural moon landing (while many years prior, his grandfather died in the same fashion), Aldrin himself suffered from frequent bouts of depression and battles with alcoholism.
Additionally, married three times and frequently in the news for matters unrelated to his astronaut career (including a story that less than ten years after the famed Apollo 11 moon landing, he was selling cars – quite unsuccessfully – at a dealership in Beverly Hills, CA), Aldrin has persevered across the years. Having successfully written nearly a dozen books (including two autobiographies), earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, being named to the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and even appearing as a contestant on
Dancing With the Stars, the nonagenarian former astronaut does not seem interested in slowing down.
Buzz will turn 92 years of age in January 2022.
Hope you have enjoyed our penultimate countdown day, people.
It’s a reach perhaps, but if we can liken our journey to space exploration for a moment, our final frontier
Almost home, my friends.