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  Neil Armstrong wants hair back that he left on barbershop floor (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong wants hair back that he left on barbershop floor
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-31-2005 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Associated Press via The Akron Beacon Journal:
quote:
The first man to walk on the moon used to come into Marx's Barber Shop in Lebanon about every month for a trim.

That stopped when Neil Armstrong learned that owner Marx Sizemore picked up some of the former astronaut's hair from the floor of his shop and sold it for $3,000.

...

"He asked me to pursue trying to get the hair back," Sizemore said. "I called the person I sold it to and told him. He was not interested in giving it back. I called Neil back and told him that. Then I got this letter from his lawyer."

The letter threatens legal action if Sizemore does not return the hair or contribute his $3,000 profit to a charity of Armstrong's choosing. The letter contends that the sale violates an Ohio law designed to protect the rights of famous people. It also asks Sizemore to pay Armstrong's legal expenses.

...

Sizemore said he sold the hair to an agent for John Reznikoff, a Westport, Conn., collector listed by Guinness World Records as having the largest collection of hair from historical celebrities. The collection, insured for $1 million, includes hair from Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Napoleon and others.

Sizemore said he didn't initiate the sale - the agent contacted him twice.


Read the full article here.

(My personal opinion: If its true that Reznikoff pursued the barber and not the other way around, I think the only proper thing would be for Reznikoff to return the hair. This almost amounts to theft-for-hire -- if not legally, then morally -- and shouldn't be condoned.)

---------------------------------

UPDATE: In the interest of accuracy, there are corrections and updates to the above AP story.

  • According to John Reznikoff (see his response on page two of this thread) he did not have an "agent" approach Armstrong's barber on his behalf. The agent mentioned in the article (identified separately to be Todd Mueller of Todd Mueller Autographs) worked independently of Reznikoff until an offer was made to for the purchase of the hair sample.
  • Since this AP article was published, Reznikoff and Mueller both say they have offered to make a donation to a charity per Armstrong's request of barber Sizemore.
  • Of his role, Todd Mueller says his company did not profit from the transaction and "merely retained several strands of Mr. Armstrong's hair".

farthestreaches
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posted 05-31-2005 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert,

Do you mean "theft-for-hire", or rather, "theft-for-hair"?

------------------
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http://www.farthestreaches.com

Spacepsycho
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posted 05-31-2005 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From my perspective, the hair being left behind is like the items in your garbage can, once put on the street, anyone can legally take it.

It's bad taste to sell NA's hair without his consent but at least it went into a major collection and it's not going to end up on Ebay. Now there's an interesting lucite that would sell fast.

If NA had told the barber before the haircut, not to sell it, then I believe NA would have a case. But if NA left the hair behind assuming that it was going to end up in the garbage, then it belongs to the person who picks it up.

Famous case when I was working at Disney back in the early '80's. The art dept threw out hundreds of thousands of animated cartoon cells in the dumpster. These were incredible vintage cells in mint condition from all the major Disney cartoons dating back to the 40's. A guy filled his truck with loads of cells, took them home and started selling them. His biggest sale was $138,500 for a Snow White with the Witch at an auction.

Disney got wind of what happened, sued the guy and they sorta won because he had to give back all of the cells not sold, but he got to keep the money. Disney turned around, sold the cells, started their cell business and made a fortune.

Ray

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-31-2005 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The major problem I see with your logic Ray, is that the hair was not trash at the time it was collected. According to the article, Reznikoff pursued Sizemore to acquire the hair after being rejected at least once. Assuming that Sizemore was not already saving the hair (and by his rejection of an earlier offer, it would seem a reasonable assumption), then once Sizemore agreed to Reznikoff's offer, he wasn't creating trash: he was generating a product.

Further, I am fairly certain there is case law that establishes while you can dumpster dive in a celebrity's trash, you cannot do so and then turn around and market that garbage. (Otherwise, why don't we see a constant stream of celebrity garbage on eBay?)

Lastly, there is Ohio law, which (without the fine details yet) apparently provides protection against the exploit of famous people (per the Associated Press, quoting Armstrong's legal letter).

RK
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posted 05-31-2005 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Might be an interesting new business. You could go to the celebrities homes and pick their garbage, take their hair from the barber, their leftover food from restaurants etc. Let nothing go to waste (you could even collect that if so inclined).

"Garbage to Gold Inc"

Sick, but somebody will probably do it.

Scott
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posted 05-31-2005 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about the half-eaten celebrity sandwiches that have been on eBay? I guess it depends on if the celebrity pursues it or not.

This is sort of a gray, fuzzy area.

poolman18
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posted 05-31-2005 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for poolman18   Click Here to Email poolman18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And you wonder why he has stopped signing?

Astro Bill
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posted 05-31-2005 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a "hair-raising" development.

Shouldn't a publicity-shy person as Neil Armstrong have realized that his hair, left on the floor of a barber shop, was worth something to someone? I can recall many times when I was at the barber saying "You should save that hair in case I become famous." How could that not occur to such a famous person as Neil Armstrong? That is impossible, in my humble opinion. He may have trusted the barber, but what about the barber's assistants, etc.? Did he trust all of the staff?

Does Neil shred all of his mail and other trash? Does he have a service pick up his garbage? How could he not know that his hair is valuable?

By the way, the person who has the hair collection not only has a hair collection, he has a DNA collection.

jam1970
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posted 05-31-2005 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jam1970   Click Here to Email jam1970     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Big Question: Would his hair be considered a flown item from Apollo 11 that has been returned from the lunar surface?

If there was enough of it, cut into small pieces and given to every American we could all have a flown moon surface item.

Of course we could say the same thing if it was his toenails or earwax on his Q-tips (I am sure someone would want it).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-31-2005 10:13 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 Astro Bill:
Does Neil shred all of his mail and other trash? Does he have a service pick up his garbage? How could he not know that his hair is valuable?
And that, I assume, is why laws exist (at least in Ohio) to protect celebrities from exploitation (so they can go about a semi-normal life when not in front of the cameras).

A question: Is it obvious that Reznikoff knew what he was doing wouldn't be approved by Armstrong? Otherwise, why didn't he go to the moonwalker for permission first (or offer to pay him the $3,000 directly). And if he was doing this with the knowledge it would cause Armstrong grief, has he not just done a disservice to all collectors by giving Armstrong further reason to stay away?

Scott
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posted 05-31-2005 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please Robert, I think you're splitting hairs here. Who would have known that Armstrong would even care?

MrSpace86
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posted 05-31-2005 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is just so funny! I mean, every time I read this, a grin appears on my face. For one, it is kind of sick if your hair starts to be sold but on the other hand, it happens to none other than Neil Armstrong, the guy that hates his image (and in this case, hair) to be sold for money. I never thought I would ever read something like this.

-Rodrigo

P.S. Well, I oppose to the whole thing. I think that this might be the beginning of a sick trend. Hopefully it won't blow up to big proportions.

RK
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posted 05-31-2005 10:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have the utmost resect for Neil Armstrong and all the astronauts. However, there are far more important things in life than worrying if your hair is being sold.

Some may say that is the price of fame.

I certainly would not mind trading places with Neil to be the first man on the moon. To even go to the moon at all. Hell, to even go into space.

Nobody was injured by this event. I certainly think that it is wrong for the barber to sell his hair but it is not the end of the world.

A few lawyers will make some money on this and from now on every celebrity that cares about this will being a broom and a dustpan when they get their haircut.

Another idea for a business: "Moonwalker toupees" made from the hair of real astronauts.

Astro Bill
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posted 05-31-2005 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with a lot that has been said on this ridiculous subject. There are many things to consider. How is a buyer to know that the hair that he purchases from this or any barber is the actual hair that he says it is? Is the buyer to rely on the "honor" of the barber?

Perhaps my barber will save my hair and will later say that it belonged to Neil Armstrong or President Clinton, of Woopie Goldberg (no, that wouldn't work). Will they do a DNA test on the hair before buying it?

I cannot imagine that this is the first time that this has happened to a celebrity. So as of now, every celebrity knows that his/her hair is worth something and that they should not leave it on the floor. But how could they not have known this already? We have all heard stories over many years about someone stealing garbage from a celebrity. This is nothing new. Neil Armstrong, who all but disappeared from public view for decades after Apollo XI, should have known better. If I, nobody, made a joke about it to my barger several times over the years, how could Neil Armstrong not have considered this. Does he fall asleep in the barber chair? What did he think they did with his hair after he left the barber shop - make pillows?

Here is an idea, perhaps we all should get some of this "Neil Armstrong hair" and put a little in our Apollo XI launch covers. This would NOT be the same hair that was flown to the Moon in 1969, but it comes from the same root. "Let the buyer beware."

BrianB
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posted 05-31-2005 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BrianB   Click Here to Email BrianB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Isn't this sort of like the insurance covers? In case he dies, something could be left for his "heirs"?

Astro Bill
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posted 05-31-2005 11:35 PM     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 Robert Pearlman:
And that, I assume, is why laws exist (at least in Ohio) to protect celebrities from exploitation (so they can go about a semi-normal life when not in front of the cameras).
Robert, perhaps the barber thought that once Neil Armstrong's hair was left on the barber shop floor and after Neil left the barber shop, the hair belongs to the barber, obviously. It no longer belongs to Neil Armstrong. Neil has deliberately discarded it on someone else's property.

This is not the same as the garbage senario because, according to my legal references - "Law & Order" & "Monk" - garbage is not garbage until it is picked up by the garbage truck. Before that it belongs to the original owner. The barber had possession and ownership of the hair after Neil left his shop. The problem arose when the barber sold the hair. How did Neil Armstrong find out about this transaction? I can imagine that this case will be spoken about in every law class in college for many moons.

The second question is - Where can I get some of that hair? I have a bald spot that I want to hide.

spaced out
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posted 06-01-2005 02:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the value is based on supply versus demand surely the ultimate collectible in this new category should be a lock of Story Musgrove's hair?

Matt T
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posted 06-01-2005 03:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While we're all having a good laugh don't forget to stick another zero on the end of the 1,000,000 to 1 against Neil ever signing another autograph.

When he's not busy scalping celebrities John Reznikoff is also Armstrong's favourite form of life, an autograph dealer...

Cheers.
Matt

------------------
www.spaceracemuseum.com

machbusterman
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posted 06-01-2005 06:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I feel sorry Neil Armstrong has to put up with this nonsense. He is one of the most revered people of the entire 20th century.

Only JFK and Adolf Hitler are possibly more well-known throughout the population of the planet but I would wager that neither of them ever had to put up with such nonsense as this.

I'd love an autograph from Neil but he'll never sign again and I fully appreciate his reasons why. I just wish the rest of us who enjoy this hobby could wake up and smell the coffee and realise its NEVER going to happen and stop speculating about how much/why/when/where he will sign again.

Just my tuppence-worth. Regards, Derek

ejectr
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posted 06-01-2005 06:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The hair being what it is and who it is from is one thing. The fact that a trusted confidant in a place of refuge over the years has used him is another.

He had a trusted guy that let him be himself in a place where he could go for awhile and just do what regular people do. A guy thing, like getting a haircut. Somewhere we all go and get this feeling of invasion if even our wife walks in and sits down to wait for us. Now he can't do that anymore, either. He has limited places to go and people who treat him as "one of the guys" anymore and he just lost another one.

How do you think that feels?

Sometimes this collection thing goes a bit too far and this is one of them.

mdmyer
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posted 06-01-2005 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I feel sad for Neil. Imagine his feelings the next time he goes to a barber. I am sure that like many people, he would rather spend his time enjoying his family and friends. Now he has to worry about something as silly as this.

I also hate the fact that he does not sign but I can understand his feelings.

Just a few days ago we were praising his speech at one of the most hallowed sites in American History and now we are talking about someone selling his hair.

What a turn around. I just hope that Neil understands that there are sane people, and a few sane collectors, in this world and that he continues to at least make public appearances.

Mike Myer
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ivorwilliams
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posted 06-01-2005 07:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ivorwilliams     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the other hand. Neil Armstrong has done awfully well out of being the first man to set foot on the moon. He hasn't had a hard life since retiring from NASA and will never want for anything. What is really so bad about someone making a few bucks from his cast offs?

RK
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posted 06-01-2005 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a really funny thread. Only in America could we fight in a court of law about discarded hair.

Now some may argue about the privacy issue and I understand that.

However this is not a stalker or a paparazzi following Neil around.

When you do great things like the first lunar landing, it can be considered that what he did on Apollo 11 with his other crewmates was the greatest accomplishment of our time.

With this comes some level of responsibility.

On one hand I respect his right for privacy. But on the other hand he could have been a tremendous spokesperson, even on a very limited basis, to promote the future of human spaceflight. He has done some promotion and has certainly handled his fame with dignity, but the world could benefit tremendously from his public contribution.

There is always a balance between "crossing the line". Sometimes you have to choose which battle is worth fighting. I am not so sure that the hair issue is one of them.

As long is there are celebrities and true heroes, and Neil is certainly both, there will be people that want a souvenir or the ability to make money off their fame.

It is a question of how far do you go to achieve this. I personally could never do what this guy did with Neil's hair. But is it that terrible? There are a lot worse things.

I would love to see Neil promote the glory days of NASA and rekindle the spirit of manned spaceflight.

Who better that Neil Armstrong to foster the next generations of true explorers.

Also, Neil could raise tremendous financial support for worthwhile causes by utilizing his fame for the greater good.

There is a lot more to be said on fame and celebrity and of course there are multiple perspectives on the subject, most with substantial merit.

This is an interesting thread to discuss boundary issues and the responsibility of celebrity status that is chosen by the individual.

I do not suspect would have turned down the Apollo 11 Command. But with that comes the knowledge that he will be like all celebrities, maybe even more so, for his fantastic achievement.

I wish Neil only the best. I am just trying to add some perspective on this issue.

Scott
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posted 06-01-2005 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
If the value is based on supply versus demand surely the ultimate collectible in this new category should be a lock of Story Musgrove's hair?
Story Musgrave?? You'd have to go back pretty far for that. Like back when he just had a couple of Doctorates. And how would you know it wasn't secretarial? A residue test for V05?

Seriously, ejectr is right. There is a little-known joy in anonymity which we all take for granted.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2005 08:49 AM     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 RK:
Only in America could we fight in a court of law about discarded hair.
Just a clarification: there has been no lawsuit. Legal action has been threatened unless the hair is returned or the $3,000 is contributed to a charity of Armstrong's choice.
quote:
But on the other hand he could have been a tremendous spokesperson, even on a very limited basis, to promote the future of human spaceflight.
Have you seen the work he did with NASA promoting the Vision for Space Exploration, both on NASA TV and on NASA.gov?

kucharek
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posted 06-01-2005 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kucharek   Click Here to Email kucharek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I doubt if a barber could even sell your hair to a wig-maker without your agreement. When you go to the barber, you've a contract that he cuts off your hair. It still belongs to you, but you order the barber to dispose of it. You don't order him to sell it or do other things with it.

RK
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posted 06-01-2005 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, like I said in my post, Neil has done things to promote spaceflight. I just feel that maybe he could have done more. Maybe more in the public forum where everyone, not those interested in spaceflight, could benefit from his inpiration. That is just my opinion. I certainly respect yours and agree to a large extent. That is why I said this issue has many facets that could be discussed.

I have tremendous respect for Neil Armstrong. There are only two other people in the world that I would like to meet and one of them is Neil Armstrong. A truly great American.

There may or may not be a lawsuit. But when a legal letter is drafted, watch out.

I respectfully submit that think you missed the point of my post.

Bob

RMH
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posted 06-01-2005 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You have to give John Reznikoff (or his agents) a little credit in just finding Armstrongs barber to begin with. That must have taken some effort. I wonder how Rezenikoff got started collecting famous peoples hair to begin with.

I live in Ohio and this actually made our front page. Apparently a slow news day, Deep Throat and Armstrongs hair.

You have to feel bad for Armstrong, he just can't trust anybody.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2005 09:17 AM     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 RK:
I respectfully submit that think you missed the point of my post.
Actually, I wasn't disagreeing with your desire for Armstrong to be more visible - though I think the extent to which he has been described by others as reclusive has been exaggerated. I was asking if you saw that feature as I thought it might be of interest.

As for the clarification, I did that more for the benefit of the thread than to correct you directly as its easy to see where a game of "telephone" could begin here and someone unintentionally start repeating off-board that Armstrong is suing his barber...

RK
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posted 06-01-2005 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RK   Click Here to Email RK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with you. I think this thread will be "Hair today and Gone tomorrow"

MrSpace86
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posted 06-01-2005 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have always thought Neil had some issues. I mean, you can be reserved all you want, but look at Buzz Aldrin. He seriously goes around promoting spaceflight, signing autographs, and making the most of what he did so all could benefit in the future. Why accept to be the first man on the moon and think you will not be famous and think that no one will want a piece of you, even your hair. Common sense here.

-Rodrigo

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posted 06-01-2005 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kucharek   Click Here to Email kucharek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neil accepted to be first man on the moon and he knew that he will be famous. But he's an engineer and not interested in celebrity. As everyone else, he has the right to live a private life, like anyone of us.

Wehaveliftoff
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posted 06-01-2005 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is sad that lawyers are involved in this as they will be the ones primarily making money off of this. The article stated that the barber DID contact the buyer and the buyer refused to return it, at least he is an historic collector and not a silly eBayer, already owning a Napolean lock among other historical locks. The Ohio law Neil's lawyer drug up is not that protective of celebrities per se but as to protection of their likenesses and against Physical harm, I'm told by an lawyer. Yet in this instance the DNA factor is the only concern I would have if it was my hair, and perhaps only Neil's concern(?), because the embarrassment it's causing Neil is more than the trouble it's worth, my 2 cents. Not defending the buyer but he is a legitimate collector of hair locks, not an eBay profiteer.

A lock of Elvis's hair sold in 2002 for a record $115,210, Neil is not, nor will he ever be, more than a fraction as popular, hair or otherwise, as Elvis.

#204
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posted 06-01-2005 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for #204   Click Here to Email #204     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by poolman18:
And you wonder why he has stopped signing?
EXACTLY... it tells us something about this society of ours, everything seems to have $$$ attached to it. Neil Armstrong has maintained his integrity for the past 36 years.

Thanky ou Garman and Bales for reading 1202 correctly!!!

Steve Procter
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posted 06-01-2005 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Procter   Click Here to Email Steve Procter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Poor Neil! What next?

Is he going to have to take a bag to the barbers to put discarded hair in? Some sort of 'Folicle collection device'?

Steve

zee_aladdin
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posted 06-01-2005 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for zee_aladdin   Click Here to Email zee_aladdin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will be going to the Buzz book signing in Peoria, Arizona this Saturday. Maybe I should cut some of his hair as I am taking a picture with him and then sell the hair!

Just kidding!

Ante
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posted 06-01-2005 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ante   Click Here to Email Ante     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't he do it like me? Cut his own hair.

------------------
Ante

Scott
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posted 06-01-2005 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This story has now made the front internet pages of ABC, CBS and CNN.

mdmyer
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posted 06-01-2005 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ivorwilliams:
He hasn't had a hard life since retiring from NASA and will never want for anything.
That may not be entirely true. Maybe he wants the things that everyone else wants. Moments of peace when out in public. He might want to be free to travel or simply live life without having to worry about what people are going to do when the recognize him.

Do you know how it feels to be famous? I don't.

Mike Myer
Humboldt KS

spaceflori
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Registered: May 2000

posted 06-01-2005 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:
By the way, the person who has the hair collection not only has a hair collection, he has a DNA collection.
Yep, maybe Reznikoff is cloning Armstrong and doing a signing with the clone one day?

This is too funny...


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