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  Neil Armstrong wants hair back that he left on barbershop floor (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong wants hair back that he left on barbershop floor
Duke Of URL
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posted 06-03-2005 05:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is Neil Armstrong's responsibility, and no one else is to blame.

If he had shaved his head none of this would have come up.

Scott
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posted 06-03-2005 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New info on Barbergate
quote:
Armstrong apparently found out about the sale of his hair by chance on a skiing trip to Colorado. He was on a chairlift with someone who knows Mueller and knew about the deal with the barber.

STEVE SMITH
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posted 06-03-2005 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The above link quotes the collector as saying that he doesn't see the big deal as Armstrong gives autographs, and he doesn't see the difference. No wonder he doesn't understnd why Neil is upset.

Or perhaps Todd Mueller told him he has a passel of Armstong Autographs, and he gives them all the time. Hmm, maybe I should check out Mr Mueller for Armstong Autographs.

Duke Of URL
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posted 06-03-2005 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Y'know, maybe the barber should give some of HIS hair to Mr. Armstrong.

I predict a monetary settlement - and plenty quick! - if the agreement is worded so that he either donates to charity or N.A. gets to take as much hair as he thinks is reasonable in lieu of the old Mazoomah.

earlyduke
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posted 06-03-2005 07:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The article referenced by Scott contains some unbelievable revelations.

John Reznikoff, whom I believe many here at cS are familiar with, said, "On one hand, I kind of understand where he [Armstrong] is coming from, but he gives autographs. There is a straight line between signed autographs and locks of hair, and I am confused by all the fuss."

Mr. Reznikoff is head of University Archives, an autograph clearing house, and is not a stranger to cS, having posted here very recently regarding this "barber" incident. I find it disingenuous, to say the least, for him to essentially claim he is unaware that Neil Armstrong hasn't signed for the public for many years, and why. Knowing that, he surely must know that Armstrong would never have agreed to volunteer locks of his hair for sale for anyone's collection. This makes it clear Mr. Reznikoff knew full well his purchase of Mr. Armstrong's hair was something that had to be done surreptitiously, yet his post here at cS and his quote in the Gazette article give the impression he thought the entire process of his acquisition was, essentially, no big deal.

In Mr. Reznikoff's cS posting, he says, "For the record I neither approached nor bought the hair from the Barber. I bought it from a dealer who contacted him". This leaves unclear, however, whether Mr. Reznikoff put Mr. Mueller up to the deed; if he did, his statement is intentionally misleading. And regardless of whether he did or did not put Mueller up to it (though that seems likely), knowing what Mr. Reznikoff certainly knows about Mr. Armstrong's desire to protect his privacy, his actions cannot be regarded as anything but unscrupulous.

If anyone here can explain to me how "Wheelchair Matt's" antics are any more contemptible than Mr. Reznikoff's actions in this matter, I'd love to read it. IMO, the only honorable thing Mr. Reznikoff can do to atone for his deeds is return the hair strands to Mr. Armstrong.

Scott
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posted 06-03-2005 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're jumping to way too many conclusions. Ever heard of people being misquoted or other innaccuracies in articles? Of course Reznikoff knows that Armstrong doesn't sign. For an example of the lax accuracy in the media, just take a look at all the references in some of these articles to "Marx" the Barber who works at "Marx's Barber Shop". Well, the only problem is that his name is Mark and he works at Herold's Barber Shop.

Back in the late 1860s, people used to go to Robert E. Lee's barber for locks of his hair. That anecdote was widely known before it was alluded to in some of the recent articles. I imagine Lee could have cared less. Granted that was before eBay...

To compare someone wanting to obtain strands of Armstrong's hair and (despite your assumptions) possibly not knowing he would react so unhappily to it, to an able-bodied person showing up in a wheelchair, mocking the handicapped, just to score some free autographs is, well, your right. But I don't agree. Besides, there was another "antic" by Matt very recently that in my opinion is even worse than what you know about. No comparison.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-03-2005 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just so there is no question as to the accuracy of the reporting, in response to e-mails I sent to both individuals...

John Reznikoff wrote, "I did not know Armstrong did not want his hair sold until the press broke."

Todd Mueller wrote: "We are suprised by Neil Armstrong's reaction."

Can anyone else here honestly say that upon reading the news of Armstrong's reaction that it was a surprise? If so, can you please explain why this would be out of character for an individual described by most as protective of his privacy and displeased with the commercialization of his persona.

reznikoff
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posted 06-03-2005 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for reznikoff   Click Here to Email reznikoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by earlyduke:
The article referenced by Scott contains some unbelievable revelations.
Your post is so filled with inaccuracies, false assumptions, terrible analogies, and misplaced (and possibly undeserved) self-righteousness that I will not lower myself to address it. By the way, my business has been labeled in many complimentary ways in it's tenure. Less than a handful of times not so. Never, ever have I been termed an "autograph clearing house".

I will excuse you and give you what you might be incapable of giving me... the benefit of the doubt. Clearly you have me confused with someone else.

Thanks
John

PS thanks for the kind words Scott!

------------------
John Reznikoff
President University Archives, div. of USC, Inc.

reznikoff
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posted 06-03-2005 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for reznikoff   Click Here to Email reznikoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Can anyone else here honestly say that upon reading the news of Armstrong's reaction that it was a surprise?
Threatening a barber that charges $12 for a haircut with legal action seems hardly a befitting response. If this reaction did not surprise the majority of the population it would not be the news item it is. On the other hand if one were navigating towards a star of painting the whole situation in a negative manner your words might have some merit.

------------------
John Reznikoff
President University Archives, div. of USC, Inc.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-03-2005 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by reznikoff:
threatening a barber that charges $12 for a haircut with legal action seems hardly a befitting response. If this reaction did not surprise the majority of the population it would not be the news item it is.
I beg to differ: regardless of Armstrong's response, even if it was not to react at all, if the news of his hair being sold was made public, it would be exactly the news item it has become, much like the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich that was sold on eBay. Its an odd sale that involves a celebrity making it perfect for the 'Oddly Enough' columns.
quote:
On the other hand if one were navigating towards a star of painting the whole situation in a negative manner your words might have some merit.
John, by your perspective, the only manner in which an opinion would be fair would be if it addressed you as having done nothing wrong. And you are right, that is how it should be handled in a news article. This is not a news article - its a discussion board. Opinions are encouraged, including your own.

If you honestly believed that Armstrong would have no objection to the sale of his hair upon learning it was done, then you are less knowledgeable about the space history market then I would have previously given you credit.

reznikoff
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posted 06-04-2005 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for reznikoff   Click Here to Email reznikoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
If you honestly believed that Armstrong would have no objection to the sale of his hair upon learning it was done, then you are less knowledgeable about the space history market then I would have previously given you credit.
Dear Robert, without the lawyers letter there was no story. Think "Deep Throat". It is my belief that the barber leaked it to the press. The cheese sandwich analogy is weak.

You have a point on the difference between the opinions presented here and a news article. I must say, as I have a disabled family member (I am not looking for sympathy), I am very steamed at the wheelchair comparison on this stream. This is insensitive and hurtful.

On your other point you may be right in that my knowledge of Neil might inferior to yours and not up to what you expected. Space in total might be 3% of my business. I specialize in American Historical and Rev. War. I was under the impression that on at least several occasions recently autographs were given to people. I think the signature study goes up to 2000 but I thought the line in the sand was more recent.

Express your opinions, but try to be fair and open.

Thanks
John

------------------
John Reznikoff
President University Archives, div. of USC, Inc.

kucharek
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posted 06-04-2005 12:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kucharek   Click Here to Email kucharek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by reznikoff:
I must say, as I have a disabled family member (I am not looking for sympathy), I am very steamed at the wheelchair comparison on this stream. This is insensitive and hurtful.
So don't you think that other people may consider it insensitive and hurtful that part of their body is sold without their consent. It would have been very easy to find out what Armstrong thinks about collectors, I must say I really don't buy your excuse, especially when you're quoted as saying, that Armstrong is one of your heroes (if that quote was right).

And why did you break your rule of not buying hair of living celebrities? The rational behind this rule is pretty serious and there are enough crazies around that may now see the chance to make money by approaching celebrities with scissors.

earlyduke
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posted 06-04-2005 01:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, it is certainly convenient for Mr. Reznikoff that my post was so full of wild distortions that it doesn't deserve a reply.

But Scott, since you have been thanked for the words you've posted in Mr. Reznikoff's defense so far, perhaps you won't mind fielding this rebuttal.

Let's assume you're right, and that Mr. Reznikoff WAS misquoted in the Gazette. So what. At best, he is absolved only of making a disingenuous statement to the paper. (And what Robert E. Lee's nonchalance to people collecting HIS hair samples has to do with what happened in this Armstrong instance is totally beyond me; to paraphrase, - - apples and lawn mowers).

As you acknowledge, Mr. Reznikoff was well aware of Armstrong's non-signing policy, AND WHY. Isn't it odd that an interlocutor, Mr. Mueller, made the deal with Armstrong's barber, and then got that sample to Mr. Reznikoff, who just happens to like collecting hair strands of historic figures?

This "strange" confluence of events would seem to make it nearly impossible to paint any picture other than that Mr. Reznikoff knew he was doing something shady, or at the very least (and contrary to his protestations), something he knew Mr. Armstrong would find most intrusive, distasteful and unwelcome. Perhaps that was bad enough, but it got even worse.

Think "Wheelchair Matt's" "mocking the handicapped, just to score some free autographs" is bad? How about getting caught having done something sneaky, and then offering to donate money to a children's cancer charity, to deflect from the ignobility of the deed? Can you spell C-Y-N-I-C-A-L? (And I think cynical is about the nicest thing it could be called). Think I'm being too harsh? Well then why doesn't Mr. Reznikoff just return the hair?

It is cynical, too, to attempt self-exoneration, by suggesting Armstrong is overreacting, by trying to portray him as taking a sledgehammer to a poor small town barber who only takes in $12 for a haircut; after all, who could've foreseen such non-compassion toward a simple working man? Please, give me a break. Armstrong's response was totally understandable, as he reacted as anyone who cherished their privacy and had it violated and exploited... BY HIS BARBER!, of all people, might have. And does Mr. Reznikoff not consider himself more knowledgeable, when it comes to the place of historical figures in our society, than the general population? Why, then, the reference to the general population's suprise at this story?

As justification for his own "inability" to anticipate Armstrong's reaction to the affair? If Mr. Reznikoff was "under the impression that on at least several occassions recently autographs were given to people", and if Armstrong's reaction was so unforeseeable, why wasn't Armstrong approached directly with a request for a lock of his hair? Cynicism appears to be in no short supply here.

Lastly, it's ironic that Mr. Reznikoff asserts that "without the lawyers letter there was no story. Think "Deep Throat". It is my belief that the barber leaked it to the press". What are we to make of this? Is Mr. Reznikoff saying that had this matter not gained any publicity he would've just gotten away with invading Armstrong's privacy with noone having been the wiser? Well, duh!!

This whole matter would've been easy to resolve when it first gained exposure; all Mr. Reznikoff had to do was announce he would return Armstrong's strands to him, and apologize for the episode. Even now, that action would bring quick and relieving closure to this sordid affair, and probably even afford Mr. Reznikoff a small measure of positive publicity to boot. That's the course of action I'd advise. Because in another allusion to Watergate, the cover-up is worse than the crime.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-04-2005 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe you are underestimating the "giggle" factor the public assigns to the hobby of collecting hair. The story's catalyst may have been a legal threat (and Sizemore, quite openly, contacting the media to plead his case), but its attraction has been, quite simply, the hair. Had Armstrong been requesting the return of his watch or some other run-of-the-mill item, I doubt it would have made as large a splash as it has. 'Oddly Enough' stories are routinely the most popular on Yahoo News and other media archives. All that was missing from this story was GoldenPalace.com.

I fail to see how Armstrong giving someone an autograph has anything to do with you and Todd buying his hair without his knowledge. But you raise an interesting question: if you believed Armstrong to be generous and desired a sample of his hair, why had you not contacted him previously?

How fair and open have you been to Armstrong's request for the return of the hair? You have offered to donate money, which is fine and good, but its not what he asked of you. He asked for Sizemore to donate the money he received and for the hair to be returned.

I think it is fair to say that not everyone agrees that the transaction between you, Todd, and Sizemore was acceptable or can be justified. Regardless of your motivations at the time, your actions now show a lack of respect for the very individual you say you want to honor. I believe that to be a fair criticism.

derek
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posted 06-04-2005 03:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for derek   Click Here to Email derek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"That's one small snip for a man..."

Glint
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posted 06-04-2005 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wehaveliftoff:
It is a fact, more Americans think John Glenn walked on the moon then Neil Armstrong.

Just wondering if you can recall where or when this fact was established?

reznikoff
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posted 06-04-2005 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for reznikoff   Click Here to Email reznikoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by earlyduke:
Well, it is certainly convenient for Mr. Reznikoff that my post was so full of wild distortions that it doesn't deserve a reply.
I have always found the the most self righteous (and verbose) people to be the least deserving. I work year round with many charities. If you read the lawyers letter you will see he requested of the barber either the hair back or the profit he made to go to a charity or both. No demands have ever been made of me even when speaking with the lawyer. I only offered it because I knew that the barber would not. I did nothing wrong, sneaky or deceiving and will not let you get me mad even with your ludicrous wheelchair comments. I will sign off from this stream and you can say all you wan't. Robert is right... all of us are missing the giggle factor.

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John Reznikoff
President University Archives, div. of USC, Inc.

Astro Bill
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posted 06-04-2005 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Someone speculated on this lengthy thread about the possibility of collectors suddenly brandishing scissors upon meeting a celebrity. This would not be my first thought on this matter. My first speculation would be the possibility of "false hair samples" appearing on E-bay. How can anyone determine that certain hair samples belong to a certain celebrity, if the DNA is only in the root of the hair? How does this collector know that all of the hair samples in his collection are genuine?

Additionally, have we established any agreement on the matter of "possession and ownership" in this matter? The barber cut Neil Armstrong's hair and the hair fell to the floor. Neil then left the premises. I am not a lawyer but doesn't that give possession and ownership of the hair to the barber? Neil may have expectation that the hair would be disposed of but he does not have "ownership" of the hair any longer. The barber can throw it into the garbage, or make the hair into a pillow if he wishes, or sell it to wig makers.

The hair is no longer "part of Neil's body" since he willingly disposed of it on someone's property. How is this "invasion of privacy"? The comparison of the hair to a personal object such as a "watch" or a pen or even a billford is not appropriate. These items, if left at the barber shop by accident, would still be the property of the original owner. Neil would not be disposing of these items volunratily, particularly if it is his Omega watch.

So my point is that Neil does not have possession of the hair; he disposed of it voluntarily; it had no value to Neil and it was no longer part of his body. The barber now had possession and ownership of this valueless item - hair.

The question of the propriety of this matter is something else. I cannot imagine that this scenario had not occurred to Neil during his many visits to his barber. As I mentioned upthread, I have joked mith my parber several times over the years that "you should save that heir in case I become famous." How could Neil Armstrong not have thought of this as his hair fell to the floor over the years?

Is there only one collector of hair in the world or are there several hair collectors?

Astro Bill
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posted 06-04-2005 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Glint:
Just wondering if you can recall where or when this fact was established?
I do not know where that particular speculation came from, but I would expect that the public in general is not as familiar with the personalities involved in the space program as are the members of this message board. We all know the names and can usually identify the major participants on sight. I have read many errors in books and other publications regarding the participants in the space program.

This is only a natural occurrance because individuals are not interested in this or any subject with equal enthusiasm. To make a comparison, I would not know any NBA players if I bumped into them. The only exception is "Shack" Shakeil Oneill, because who can mistake him for anyone?

The space program is full of many "celebrities" who have various levels of recognizability. It has nothing to do with intelligence that someone would not know that John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, while Yuri Gagarin was the first PERSON to orbit the Earth. Or that Neil Armstrong was the first person to set FOOT on the Moon, while both he and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to LAND on the Moon.

A national poll on this subject would be interesting.

barnstormer
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posted 06-04-2005 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barnstormer   Click Here to Email barnstormer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:
Is there only one collector of hair in the world or are there several hair collectors?
I guess I'll weigh in here. I think "the giggle factor" certainly is in play here. I have had this article brought to my attention by several people, (non-collectors) who brought it up, only because they thought that Armstrong's reaction was more bizarre than collecting locks of hair of the famous. Some locks of Manfred von Richthofen's hair have been continually resized down to as little as a 1/8 segment of a single hair and may bring as much as the Armstrong hair mentioned. Those on Collectspace may assume that the Armstrong response to commercialization of his discarded hair was inevitable. But there has been no correlation, here, to the almost daily selling of his autographed items here and elsewhere, which he clearly deplores. The very reason he quit signing. Should everyone send back all his autographed items, or donate the money they made selling them on Ebay? Some my have been offered as gifts or courtesies, and souvenirs-but he clearly would have refused, had he been told they would later be sold for considerable amounts of money, Don't you think? He has taken a very firm stance that selling his autographs is deplorable to him.

But I don't think that commerce hurts him any more than having some of his hair (destined for the garbage bin) in Mr. Reznikoff's collection of samples from many other historic figures.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-04-2005 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rodina (Andrew) was kind enough to link on page two of this thread to the Ohio state law protecting the "persona rights" of the famous.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one. So I can only comment on my layman's read of the code. It begins:

quote:
Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not use any aspect of an individual's persona for a commercial purpose during the individual's lifetime or for a period of sixty years after the date of the individual's death.
As Rodina writes, the law does not specify "hair" as being part of a persona. However, it does allow for protection of his name.

The hair - unlabeled - has no intrinsic value. But that was not what was being sold: it was "Neil Armstrong's hair". The value was created through the representation that this was a famous person's hair.

So while the barber might have the right to sell the non-descript hair that falls to the floor to wig makers or doll manufacturers, the question is did he have the right to use Armstrong's name in connection with its sale.

It doesn't matter if Armstrong realized the value of his hair - because it has no value. The commodity is in his name, and that is a concept he is clearly familiar (reference his prior legal action against Hallmark, for example).

As for Armstrong's reaction, I have found most non-collectors to be sympathetic with the moonwalker's position. Asked whether they would be upset if they discovered their barber was profiting thousands of dollars off strands of their hair, all replied that they would be angered and most would do what it takes to put an end to it immediately.

Fortunately, the majority of the public needn't worry about such things. Unfortunately, Neil Armstrong and other notable figures now do.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-04-2005 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by barnstormer:
But I don't think that commerce hurts him any more than having some of his hair (destined for the garbage bin) in Mr. Reznikoff's collection of samples from many other historic figures.

Maybe not "hurts" him but offends, yes - especially if some of the hair was destined for resale (something we do not know for sure, but I'm sure Armstrong would assume).

I've always wondered how he maintains control over signed checks and credit card receipts. I've only ever seen one check on the market.

Paul

Scott
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posted 06-04-2005 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
barnstormer is absolutely right IMO. I have a hunch that the root (sorry) of this whole situation is Armstrong feeling betrayed by who he thought was one of his few true friends. He had reportedly gone to Mr. Sizemore every month for goodness knows how many months/years. My hunch is it's a personal thing (and perhaps, as someone pointed out earlier, also a warning to other acquaintances). I could be wrong but that's my take right now. If it was just Armstrong being incensed at someone selling something from him that wasn't intended specifically as an autograph, then why didn't Armstrong go after the gentleman who obtained and subsequently sold the handwritten "N.A. Armstrong" address from Armstrong when Neil reviewed his Eagle Scout presentation?

Or if it was revealed that some of Neil's hair from a military haircut decades ago was in someone's possession, would he really care?

I think it's Armstrong being disappointed with a friend.

earlyduke
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posted 06-04-2005 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Reznikoff, you can attack my style of writing, and character (interestingly, while knowing nothing about me) all you want, but it doesn't change anything in this matter; certain facts remain:

1) You surreptitiously (without his knowledge or consent) acquired strands or a lock of Neil Armstrongs hair.

2) You tried to strike a Faustian Bargain (donation to a children's cancer charity) rather than return the hair.

(Mr. Armstrong's attorney's letter is quite clear: "Mr. Armstrong's first preference would be the return of his hair".)

What facts do I have wrong?

You find me self reightous and "undeserving" [of an explaination]?... fine. That is your right. Other readers are free to judge your decision, to simply sign off, accordingly. Your disingenuousness is clear. You are quoted, and seemed somewhat suprised when you said "I did not know Armstrong did not want his hair sold until the press broke." This implies had you known beforehand, you would not have acquired it. Well now you know. Will you return it? If not, why not?

You work with charities year round? That's commendable....but irrelevant. And tawdry to mention, again, in this context. It appears the only charity you're working with in this case is yourself.

You write, "No demands have ever been made of me even when speaking with the lawyer". The lawyer requested the money and hair back from the barber because, legally, it was the barber's obligation to make Mr. Armstrong whole. Of course, the barber is in no position to return the hair, since it's not in his possession... it's in yours. I notice you volunteered a donation, because as you say, "I knew that the barber would not". You also know he will not/cannot return the hair. Did you offer the hair back? Will you?

Last, you contemptibly try to shrug the matter off, asking that we recognize the "giggle factor" in all of this.

While I can't speak for anyone else here, I don't see the humor in your unethical conduct in this matter, and I believe I'm in good company -- I don't think Mr. Armstrong does either.

lunarrv15
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posted 06-04-2005 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by derek:
That's one small snip for a man..."
...uh...one giant hair trim service fee for mankind

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posted 06-04-2005 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for reznikoff   Click Here to Email reznikoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just one more in brief: Thanks Scott. Rob, your right ...you are not a lawyer, stick to what you do as you do it well. Earlyduke you are not just verbose, you are consistently verbose. And wrong in every fact.

Bye Bye

KC Stoever
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posted 06-04-2005 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In our household, there's a bit more than the giggle factor--there's the ick! factor, especially upon learning that the collector in this case has the largest private collection of "historic" hair.

What Armstrong's barber did with his floor sweepings, without asking his celebrated customer about their disposition, strikes me as unethical. What the collector and his intermediaries did is icky.

Reznikoff defends his practice by citing Victorian-era mores.

Yet for fun on slow afternoons, Victorians also liked to gaze upon assorted freaks of nature--human beings, among them the Elephant man--carried from parlor to parlor in baskets for the horrified delectation of society types (in time giving us the term "basket case").

Don't suppose we'd countenance this behavior today.

Armstrong's attorney has probably achieved his client's goal--embarrassing the barber and exposing an unsavory aspect of some collecting and some collectors (and their intermediaries).

RK
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posted 06-04-2005 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After reading this thread that goes on for 3 pages, I am amazed at all the attention this is getting and the diverse views expressed. I find myself comparing this to other people and businesses that do terrible things all the time for money yet are often viewed with a different value system and sometimes even praised for their actions. Different context, different perspective.

I wonder if Mr. Armstrong would just like this to go away. Remember, he does not like publicity. And what is this thread doing?... Adding to the publicity.

earlyduke
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posted 06-04-2005 11:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First, to address "barnstormer's" points. Though Armstrong disapproves of both the high trading value of his autograph, and the shady acquisition of his hair strands, there's a big difference between the two. Any Armstrong acquired signature was done so with his full consent, and knowledge that it could be sold or traded. The same cannot be said of the hair in Mr. Reznikoff's possession. The proof is that though Armstrong isn't happy about the high trading value of his autograph, he accepts it. He clearly does not accept what happened in this barbershop incident.

Also, you wrote, "I don't think that commerce hurts him any more than having some of his hair (destined for the garbage bin) in Mr. Reznikoff's collection...." I don't believe it's up to us to judge the seriousness of Mr. Reznikoff's offense by how badly we feel Mr. Armstrong has been "damaged". It's enough that Armstrong feels the way he does. Anyone here can simply say "I don't see what the big deal is", but it's Armstrong's call, not yours. And frankly, even if Armstrong just shrugged the whole incident off, it still wouldn't mean that Reznikoff didn't act unethically. He did.

Next, Scott wrote, "If it was just Armstrong being incensed at someone selling something from him that wasn't intended specifically as an autograph, then why didn't Armstrong go after the gentleman who obtained and subsequently sold the handwritten "N.A. Armstrong" address from Armstrong when Neil reviewed his Eagle Scout presentation"? Well, good question, Scott. Why indeed? See the above; Armstrong gave what he gave, in your example, freely. He did NOT do so in the barbershop case. Also, in the case you cited, nobody put the person he gave his autograph to up to the deed, with the intent of tricking Mr. Armstrong's autograph out of him, a la "Wheelchair Matt". No, what Reznikoff did was worse than "Wheelchair Matt", because Matt at least did his own dirty work. You're absolutely right, Scott, when you say that Armstrong was disappointed with a friend. And it was Reznikoff (whether thru an intermediary or not) who turned him.

And finally, we have the non-response of Mr. Reznikoff himself. Speaks louder than anything else, IMO. He has Mr. Armstrong's hair. He essentially bribed someone to get it. It has clearly upset Mr. Armstrong. Reznikoff apparently doesn't care. Apparently, he's keepin' it. The uproar over this incident doesn't seem to rattle him. Calling his business an "autograph clearing house" does. "Wheelchair Matt", meet "Barbershop John".

RK
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posted 06-05-2005 05:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, ethics is not congruent with the behavior of most of society. The line of "what is right" has shifted so far that what we once thought absurd and unethical has now become normal. Look at all the corruption in business and government. It is everywhere.

It is a sad statement on the current state of affairs in this country regarding values, respect for your neighbors etc.

1. Do unto others

2. Do the same thing when nobody is looking as when somebody is looking.

If we followed those two rules we would be a lot better off as a society.

MCroft04
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posted 06-05-2005 08:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've read this thread trying to maintain objectivity. But I've read enough to give me a clear perspective. No matter how the hair was obtained, it was an invasion of Neal's privacy. No different than people picking through the trash of movie stars; they don't allow it for obvious reasons. What amazes me is that some folks are tying justify this invasion. No way. I'm just glad that we now have toilets that flush crap away, otherwise I'm sure some folks would be selling that too. My apologies for the crappy analogy, but it symbolizes what the actions of a few individuals who knew better smells like!

barnstormer
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posted 06-05-2005 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barnstormer   Click Here to Email barnstormer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not going to change anyone's mind. Just regret seeing a well respected autograph dealer judged so harshly for something so minor.

barnstormer
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posted 06-05-2005 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barnstormer   Click Here to Email barnstormer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I, personally, do not see anything wrong with buying and selling ANYone's autograph, or hair. (Collecting locks of hair has been perfectly acceptable for centuries) Most other astronauts apparently agree and willingly facilitate the ongoing trading and collecting market. So I disagree with Mr. Armstrong's position. My disagreement is not illegal and it is not unethical. I do not believe it injures him or disrepects him. (as most autograph collectors apparently believe that trading in his autograph is just as harmless) And I feel the same about a lock of his hair being in someone's collection. I just don't feel you can have it both ways. You cannot say "Lets respect the man's wishes and not distress him," by collecting a hair sample, but it IS fine to completely disregard his wishes and continue causing him discomfort and distress by selling his name at public auctions and sales, day after day, year after year. He clearly does NOT accept this commerce and stopped signing to prevent more ot it. You can only be on one side of the fence.

The barber knew (or should have known)he was betraying a confidence. We don't really know if he was first tempted by the agent or if the collector was involved until AFTER the agent secured the hair sample and offered it to him. I don't believe everything I read in the newspapers.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-05-2005 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KC Stoever:
What Armstrong's barber did with his floor sweepings, without asking his celebrated customer about their disposition, strikes me as unethical. What the collector and his intermediaries did is icky.

IMHO you've summed it up very well!

Paul Bramley

pokey
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posted 06-05-2005 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nothing in the 'hair saga' passes the sniff test no matter how you look at it. Excuses are just that. Nuff said!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-05-2005 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by barnstormer:
He clearly does NOT accept this commerce and stopped signing to prevent more ot it.
This is incorrect, at least based on what Armstrong told me directly. He said he no longer signed because people he thought he could trust had taken advantage of his generousity, and he no longer felt confident he could discern those honesting wanting his autograph from those looking to exploit him.

Seperately, he has told others that he finds the autograph market to be "unsavory" and "didn't want to be part of it" - but that is a far cry from objecting to all who sell his autograph. There is a difference between an estate selling off a collection and a stalker (or how Autograph Collector magazine chooses to label them, a "professional collector") scoring a free autograph outside the guy's home and listing it for sale hours later (or writing to him under the false identity of a teacher and requesting 25 autographs for the "students", etc.).

I believe this subject will be covered in the upcoming biography by James Hansen, so perhaps its best to wait for the full account, but its always been my impression that it wasn't the NASA employee who turned around and sold an autograph 30 years after getting it that was considered the problem; it was the neighborhood acquaintance who saw and took the opportunity to line his own pockets at the expense of violating Armstrong's day-to-day life.

RK
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posted 06-05-2005 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, you are right. It all comes down to greed. Greed is ruining our country.

Yet somehow the almighty dollar is more important than fair play both in business and in personal life. I see it all the time. Most people want something for nothing and think nothing about taking advantage of people. They often hide behind a veil false justification for their behavior.

earlyduke
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posted 06-05-2005 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for earlyduke   Click Here to Email earlyduke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barnstormer, if I may, I'd like to make just a few quick points to try to clarify the matter for you (though I think others here, particularly "pokey", got it just about right when suggesting that nothing here passes the "sniff" test).

As I wrote before, there's a big difference between ongoing trading in Armstrong's autograph, which is impossible to make a case for Armstrong not knowing about when he signed freely for people, and his hair being collected for sale without his knowledge. And, again, it is beside the point to argue whether or not, or how extensively, Armstrong has been injured. It doesn't change being able to judge the actions of others.

That is not to say there may not have been some mitigating conditions in this affair. If Reznikoff, Mueller and Armstrong's barber had been able to keep the entire matter secret, I suppose someone could make the case that nobody really got hurt. Reznikoff hinted at this. It's kind of the same question as, for example, what if a man cheats on his wife, and she never finds out; is it wrong? Some people would say yes, some people no, but that becomes a different type of debate altogether.

The problem here, however, is what happened AFTER the story broke. Had Reznikoff simply returned the hair, (thereby following up on his own statement where he implied that had he known Armstrong wouldn't have approved of the selling of his hair, he [Reznikoff] wouldn't have gotten involved) this would've been a minor incident.

But he didn't. And apparently, he won't. It seems he has "gone to ground". Read all the posts here again; it's easy to see the attempts at deception, distraction, and finally, just total evasion. These are not the statements and actions of an ethical person.

Before you lament about having to see a well respected autograph dealer being judged so harshly for something so minor, think about how little this well respected dealer thought of the intelligence of the people he addressed here, and the way he played fast and loose with the truth and was willing to gamble with his reputation, just to hold onto something that isn't rightfully his. I believe your sympathies are misdirected.

Astro Bill
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posted 06-05-2005 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now that Neil Armstrong knows that a lock of his hair has considerable value and since he is so concerned that the funds go to a charity, why doesn't he cut off a few locks every month and donate THEM to charity. This would accomplish three things: he would get a free haircut, he would contribute a considerable amount to charity and he would make a few points with the people who are considering voting for him for the "Greatest American." Also, if he does have the energy some day to have a "signing", he should donate all of the receipts (less fees and expenses) to his favorite charity.

fabfivefreddy
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posted 06-05-2005 11:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I must say that I am disappointed in your posting here.

We have clearly seen some master forgeries of Armstrong's signature sell here for thousands of doallars, yet you have remained "neutral" and kept your distance.

This "hair" thing has probably resulted in numerous inquiries to you for publicity and opinion.

I think the forgeries offend me far worse than any of this hair business.

If you are going to break your silence regarding legitimate vs illegitimate business dealings, I hope you would start with the obvious, fraudulent sale of autographs first.

I respect you for trying to keep our hobby from offending any astronaut (especially Armstrong). However, you are not defending the hobby itself if you always choose to remain neutral on other issues. Please be as vocal against blatant fakes and frauds in this hobby.

Tahir


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