Dallas historian remembers Neil Armstrong visit

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on August 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 25 at 11:12 PM

DALLAS — Dallas historian Farris Rookstool was just eight years old when Neil Armstrong went to the moon.

"I can still see it like a movie in my brain," he said.

But he didn't know how much time he would eventually spend with this American hero.

With mementos he holds with pride, Rookstool shared some of his fondest memories with News 8.

"He didn't have a colossal ego. He was just an ordinary guy who did extraordinary things," Rookstool said. "To me, that's what makes him a totally remarkable person."

In October 2008, Rookstool arranged to have Armstrong visit Dallas to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo mission at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

Rookstool recalled the moment they discovered that Armstrong — the first man to set foot on the moon — couldn't find his boarding pass for the return flight home.

Rookstool intervened with the unsuspecting ticket agent.

"I said, 'Ma'am, he's Neil Armstrong.' She gets the ID, looks at it, prints up the ticket, handed him the boarding pass. Never had a clue that he was," Rookstool recalled. '[Armstrong] looked at me and said, 'Now that was pretty easy, wasn't it?'"

It was a moment that still brings a smile. It’s also a moment Rookstool will cherish forever.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com

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