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  Alan Shepard's reply to "Beep Beep" patch?

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Author Topic:   Alan Shepard's reply to "Beep Beep" patch?
andrewcli
Member

Posts: 328
From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-19-2008 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently won this patch on eBay:

This is the second patch that I have seen in almost a year and a half. I remember reading somewhere that Shepard had this patch made in response to Cernan's Beep Beep patch. I also remember that Aurora had a similar patch up for sale in the December '07 auction, as pictured:

I thought this was a replica patch for the patch I bought. Another cS reader (dmash4077) recently sent me a scan of his Beep Beep patch:

It looks like Dan's patch is an original one too. So my question, which one is the "real one"?

The only thing that I can think of is what would Shepard do? In Dan's patch, it looks like the Road Runner is "flipping the bird" at Wiley Coyote or maybe saying "oops". On the other hand in my patch, it looks like Wiley has completely overpowered the Road Runner, almost strangling him. I guess it depends how much Shepard was pissed at Cernan. Additionally, the quality of Dan's patch is not as "embroidered" as mine or other crew patches. Maybe Shepard had his done at a local store, whereas contractors had it done with AB or such and presented to Shepard one day.

Additionally, the seller stated that her father-in-law worked at KSC and interacted with the astronauts a lot and even mentioned that he "was a member of the Corvette Club of Cape Kennedy with Shepard. I assumed this was where he gave him the patch."

So Chris (spaced out) and I are stumped. Any thoughts?

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 07-20-2008 01:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bottom patch is from Randy Hunt. I got one off him three years ago.

The middle patch looks like a bad copy of the one from Randy.

So I think the top one may be the "real one".

andrewcli
Member

Posts: 328
From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-20-2008 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A replica of Randy Hunt's replica.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-20-2008 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In Cernan's "The Last Man on the Moon" he writes, "Every time we would give him a 'beep-beep' jab, Shepard would shoot right back, 'Beep, beep, your ass!'" But was Shepard being clever or simply quoting something he saw on a poster?

According to several different animation websites, an unauthorized poster was produced showing the Coyote having caught the Road Runner (sound familiar?) with the tagline "Beep, Beep Your Ass!". Other reports have the same art appearing on everything from t-shirts to pillow cases.

I even found a photo with similar art and the same tagline as a tattoo.

So did Shepard adopt the comeback from something he saw elsewhere and was the patch created completely separate from the space program?

A search of eBay might help answer that question.

At present, there are two versions of this design being offered, neither as space memorabilia, one a decal matching the "Randy Hunt" version pictured above and another rectangular patch of similar theme.

If Shepard did devise the patch, how did it become so well known? For the story as told to be true, the design would not have been mass produced or even known by many outside the astronaut office and Shepard's friends.

Even today, most people don't know about the Apollo 14 back-up patch and it has been sold as a replica by AB Emblem and others.

Thus barring one of these patches coming out of the collection of the Apollo 14 prime and back-up crews, I am left wondering if this is not a case of mistaken identity...

andrewcli
Member

Posts: 328
From: La Jolla, CA, USA
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-20-2008 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info. I guess the only connection between this patch and Apollo 14 is the statement from the seller, that her father-in-law interacted with the astronauts and was in the same club as Shepard. I might bring it to ASF in November and ask Cernan or Mitchell what they know about this particular patch.

In either case it will go nicely with the other Beep Beep patch and the Apollo 17 beta cloth that I have where I asked Cernan to write, "Always have a good sense of humor!"

benguttery
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Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-21-2008 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've always thought these were patches that were popular during the 1970s that were sold individually to put them on your jeans. They'd say things like Cool, Far Out, Peace, etc. Sometimes, they might not say anything, they might be a symbol such as the peace sign, snoopy, or a flag. Do an ebay search for "road runner patch" and see what you find.

Bill Hunt
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Posts: 378
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 07-21-2008 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, it could simply have been a popular patch that was informally adopted by the crew.

James913
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Posts: 27
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 07-22-2008 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James913   Click Here to Email James913     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can attest that the top patch is the original -- it is identical to one that I was given (along with a Lion Brothers Apollo 14 and an original Apollo 14 roadrunner joke variant) by a retiring Apollo engineer when I worked at KSC about 1980. I don't have any info beyond that, but the "Beep, Beep, Your A**" patch was definitely contemporary with the original roadrunner joke patch (or very shortly thereafter) and circulated among the Cape personnel at the time.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 400
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 07-23-2008 10:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Robert and Ben have it exactly right. I always thought the checkerboard pattern might be related to racing.

dtemple
Member

Posts: 605
From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 05-02-2011 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just acquired a real version of the "Beep Beep Your A**" patch. At one time it was glued into an album. It was one of several Apollo patches including an original four-inch Apollo 11/LEM 5 patch (which I also bought) on eBay. This patch was labeled as a "ground support crew" patch. There are four small glue spots on the back and would like to remove these without damaging the patch. Anyone have any information on how to do this?

SilverSnoopy
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posted 09-23-2011 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SilverSnoopy   Click Here to Email SilverSnoopy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a Dodge vs Plymouth patch. Plymouth Road Runner had a Coyote duster logo on the air cleaner.

Not sure if there was a connection to NASA. Sorry.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 400
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-26-2011 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent. Thanks!

garyd2831
Member

Posts: 442
From: Syracuse, New York, USA
Registered: Oct 2009

posted 09-26-2011 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I should have picked up on the patch thing being a Mopar nut that I am. I just never owned a Plymouth, only Dodge Chargers. The Road Runner was a Plymouth that was first introduced in 1968 as a B-body and carried everything to do with the cartoon character to include Chrysler purchasing the rights in order to produce a one of kind horn for the Road Runner that goes Beep Beep. The "Coyote" Duster was also a Plymouth that came out in 1970-71. This was part of Plymouth marketing much like its sister division Dodge which employed the "White Hat Special" and the "Scat Pack" and Plymouth's "Rapid Transit System". Hope this helps.

mooncollector
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Posts: 75
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 11-12-2011 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given that there is evidently some degree of linkage to Apollo 14 and to Shepard with that original design, I took the plunge and won the one that was just on eBay... for about double what I really would have intended to spend on it, but it doesn't look like too many of them are floating around out there nowadays. It is a good companion piece to the Backup Crew A14 patch and helps "fill out" the collection of patches related to that mission. I have a vintage AB, a modern AB, a Lion, a Backup, and now this. Next I guess is a Recovery patch LOL.

Yeah, I'm getting hooked on this patch thing.

lunarrv15
Member

Posts: 1295
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 11-09-2012 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is this exact or similar another version of the third patch being sold on eBay 281018976438? The checker flag squares have different patterns.

Kevin T. Randall
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Posts: 458
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 11-10-2012 05:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
281018976438 is the 3" version of that patch, where as the one illustrated above is a full size 4" patch.

mooncollector
Member

Posts: 75
From: Alabama, USA
Registered: Feb 2011

posted 11-22-2012 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mooncollector   Click Here to Email mooncollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are evidently several versions out there. I got one (4") that is like the raised-finger examples, with the simpler embroidery, off eBay for the princely sum of $2 last year (it had been washed). That one has a lighter ice-blue merrowed edge.

The "original" one I won is identical to the OP's red-bordered one, has more elaborate stitching and is new. Two people attest to that one being the Shepard style that was given out. But the seller of the recent one seems to be pretty well proven as a source for authentic items from the Space Coast.

Sounds like this item still needs some detective work. I understand that the likelihood of ever establishing a DIRECT link to Shepard for my patch is nil but I am satisfied at least that mine is the TYPE that was given out (or, maybe, one of several types?)

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-23-2012 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that these patches have nothing to do with the space program or Apollo 14 but it seems likely that at least some NASA workers picked up on the neat visual link to the Apollo 14 backup crew patch and decided to buy examples for their own collections.

As people have continued to make this link over the decades and particularly in recent years the patch has kind of been 'adopted' by space patch collectors to the point where examples of this vintage muscle car patch sell for considerable sums.

It's for this reason that I've decided to add a section to the Apollo 14 page of my Crew Patches site covering these patches.

As ever I'm open to corrections and better scans.

All times are CT (US)

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