Residents recall Armstrong’s giant leap

Locals recalled being amazed when they saw American hero Neil Armstrong be the first human to walk on the moon.

Armstrong died Saturday at age 82 and we asked six people what they remembered about the day Armstrong took that giant leap for mankind:

Zorita Bradfute of Portales said:

"My husband was teaching night school so I was watching the landing in our barn in Denver about three or four months after we moved in. I was just amazed by it. The landing brought tears to my eyes."

Donald "Doc" Elder, Eastern New Mexico University history professor said:

"I met Neil Armstrong in Houston on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. He turned out to be just the most nicest and down to earth, no pun intended, and genuine celebrity I have ever met. He told me it could have been any astronaut to walk on the moon, but he was the fortunate one that got that assignment. When it happened, I had played a baseball game the day before and I got spiked by a cleat. They gave me pain killers so when I watched the moon landing, it was a really trippy experience. It was a proud moment for Americans."

Kathy Harris of Bethany, Okla., with Old Fashion Soda said:

"I was with my sixth-grade class and we watched it on TV. That was something unbelievable. We've come so far since then, but that is what started it all."

Steve King, a Portales Junior High School teacher said:

"I was in high school and we got home from football practice and saw him land on the moon on a color TV. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I wanted to up there and be there with him."

Earl Tinsley, retired airman of Portales said:

"I was stationed in Kunsan, Korea, at the time and I just thought it was great. It was one of the highlights of my life to see someone step on the moon."

John West, retired Air Force of Clovis said:

"I was at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Our base commander declared it an official base holiday. I watched the moon landing in the barracks in our day room. I was thinking 'wow, one of ours did it.'"

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