Restaurants have a kid’s menu, coloring books, and perhaps even word games or puzzles for kids to play while waiting for the meal. Whoever thought that up had kids of their own. They should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
We were at Sunday lunch a few years ago with some friends. Natalie’s friend, Sydney, had a Q/A game and one question was: “Who was the first man to walk on the moon?” Natalie knows the answer to that for sure, but perhaps being distracted by the preacher talk at the table, she blurted out Louis Armstrong instead of Neil Armstrong. I’m just glad she didn’t say Lance. She immediately blushed and giggled.
Our son was with us, and maybe he has picked up on some one-liners from me. He blurted out a line that I think he was proud of as he quipped, “Yeah, Louie’s first words on the moon would have been, ‘What a wonderful world.’” No offense to Neil Armstrong, who by all accounts was a great man, but it might have been better if Louis had been the first to walk on the moon.
I think Neil’s line, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind,” was a good one. But just think if Louis Armstrong had been the first, and as he exited the space craft, he sang the words to “What a Wonderful World:”
“I see skies of blue, and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, dark sacred night. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world”
Those who have viewed earth from space say that it is indeed a “wonderful” view.
I don’t know what size shoe Louis Armstrong wore, nor do I know Neil’s. What I do know is that Neil left footprints from his ribbed-soled moon boots on the lunar surface. Scientists say that given the atmospheric conditions on the moon and the lack of traffic (except for the “man in the moon”), Neil Armstrong’s footprints are still there. While Neil left footprints, Louis Armstrong also left a great legacy of Jazz music and trumpet playing. Every last one of us leaves tracks in life.
I recently preached a funeral for a great man, Richard Hendrix. He left behind some big shoes to fill. It’s great, by the way, to attend a funeral where the eulogies are affirmed by the nodding of heads. The congregation gives “amens” to the words spoken about the deceased rather than blank stares as if to say “Are they really talking about him?” Richard’s funeral was an affirmation of his life.
I guess that Louis Armstrong never knew Richard Hendrix, but the words to the song could not have been more appropriate. You see, Richard was all about family—their two sons and two grandsons. They all live on McKenzie Bridge Road and if you look closely, you will see Richard’s footprints all over that land. Richard was not much of a singer but if so, he would have sung Louis’ words loud and clear:
“I hear babies cryin,’ I watch them grow. They’ll learn so much more, than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
I know Richard is not suffering anymore and that he is in a better place. I’ll bet his view is “wonderful.”