*To be read quickly like the end of a commercial to cover my ass:
Buzz Aldrin is an impressive man; a former engineer, astronaut, USAF pilot, Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, and one of the first two humans to walk on the moon, in your face Russia, take that, we own the moon and you were too slow, you big, slow-slows. Aldrin has done incredibly brave & important things for the United States, and nothing can take that away.
That being said… at age 88, I fear he’s going down a road similar to Richard Simmons, perhaps with fewer jazz kicks but, sadly, equal parts manipulation. (Stay with me for this weird segue that I’m really committed to for some reason…)
With his last public appearance in 2014, rumors have swirled about the once social-butterfly & fitness guru, Richard Simmons. Some believe his two long-time maids have taken advantage of his mental state, controlling him & his wealth to their own advantage. There was even a popular podcast in 2017 called ‘Missing, Richard Simmons‘ that tried to get to the bottom of things to no avail. Last year he went to the hospital & his walk from the car to his door is the only time he’s been spotted in 3 years.
Now in the spotlight for similar reasons, there are concerns that Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is being taken advantage of as he advances in age. Always down to believe the weird crap I see online, I am joining the school of thought that he, too, is being controlled by ‘handlers’ who do not have his best interest at heart. I am nervously sweatin’ for this oldie.
According to ABC News, Aldrin’s children are claiming outsiders are edging in, and he’s countering that they, along with his former manager, are trying to control him:
Andrew, 60, and Janice, 51, filed a petition last month in Brevard County, Florida, circuit court to become their father’s co-guardians, which would give them control of his finances and business affairs because they believe he has become paranoid and confused.
“The alleged incapacitated person suffers from cognitive decline,” according to the petition. “This cognitive decline has resulted in loss of memory, confusion, general delusions, paranoia, and unusual behavior. He is now associating with new acquaintances who appear to be manipulating him with false information to their own benefit and his detriment.”
Aldrin, who denies the allegations, fired back in a June lawsuit that includes Andrew, Janice and former personal manager Christina Korp this week, accusing them of elder exploitation, fraud and alleged misuse of funds.
Buzz once punched a man in the face for saying the moon landing wasn’t real. (*Following video selected specifically for music that accompanies punch.)
And I heard he also killed a man with a trident once. (Buzz, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, you might want to lay low for awhile). Clearly he’s not one to put up with bullshit, and I respect that & want to give him the benefit of the doubt… but he is almost 90, his Twitter interactions are getting a little goofy, & those ties have been getting a tad short…
At the same time, as a culture we’re pretty quick to discredit the elderly. He claims his son & daughter have been going around telling everyone he’s got dementia, and that makes it easier for them to seem legitimate in their actions. Unfortunately stuff like that happens all the time. In a study by the North American Securities Administrators Association (the what now?), 23% of elder financial fraud cases were carried out by a family member, trustee and/or someone with power of attorney. Oy.
Still… it *appears* his family wants what’s best for him. And his manager makes some pretty solid points. There have been new ventures popping up under his name, and his social media did take a weird turn, especially starting in June – when after only a few tweets a month – he dove in, mostly RTing people supporting him in the fight against his family. (Clearly I’ve gone too far down this rabbit hole).
Whatever the truth is, I hope people can put greed aside, work it out & take care of an American hero. Same for you, Richard, wherever you are…
Kate signing off while patting self on back due to Richard GIF that has the word ‘Buzz’ in it.