The astronaut in this famous picture turns 84 today. I actually met him once and the first thing that struck me was his small physical stature. I suppose I fell victim to expecting my heroes to be larger than life.

I met Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin back around the turn of the century. I had recently left active duty (but was in the California National Guard) and working as a security guard at a defense contractor that made satellites. It was the kind of place where many employees, even janitors, had security clearances (one reason I was working there was because I already had a Secret clearance from active duty). One day Aldrin visited the facility and since I was working the main entrance that day I signed him in. As a brush with greatness I know that's pretty lame.

Both images from NASA