TLS, one page, 8.5 x 11, University of Cincinnati letterhead, April 2, 1979. Letter to Richard L. McElroy at the Portage School in North Canton, Ohio, apparently in response to a request for a classroom lecture. In part: "You would not be aware that the mail volume to this office is such that it is difficult for me to read it all, and impossible to respond to it all…In your letters you have given few details. You do not identify Portage School as a college, high school, or elementary. You fail to state the student age or class level. Other than 'Ohio history,' you do not specify the subject to be discussed, or the level of detail required. From the information provided, it is not possible to know whether others from this institution might be required to augment or replace me. Use letterhead stationery rather than sheets ripped from a spiral notebook. Identify your needs as clearly and concisely as you can. Make the assumption that your reader has some appreciation of the world's needs. And if you've done your best but fail, don't complain. You've just been beaten by someone who made a better case. Perhaps I'll hear from you again." In fine condition, with scattered creasing and a couple spots of toning. With a 'one small step' in 1969, Neil Armstrong became an instant global icon. However, he shied away from the spotlight and did not bask in his glory. This letter reveals Armstrong as a reluctant hero—inundated with fan mail from around the world, he could become ornery if he felt he was being taken advantage of (thus his decision to stop signing autographs around 1994). Nevertheless, Armstrong truly enjoyed teaching and worked as a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati from 1971 to 1979. A fabulous letter from a decade after Armstrong walked on the lunar surface. From The Bill Lende Collection.
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