Space Cover #12, Apollo 11 Paul Calle Cachet
For obvious reasons to those who know me and the history of my father and stamp designing, I can imagine no better example of an Apollo 11 First Day Cover than one with a cachet by the designer of the 1969 First Man on the Moon stamp.
With dual cancels of Washington DC Sept 6, 1969 and Moon Landing Jul 20, 1969, the real gem of this cover is the original hand drawn pencil drawing that is the cachet.
Following the issuance of the US postage stamp in September to commemorate Apollo 11 and the First Man on the Moon, my father Paul Calle who designed the stamp, began taking blank First Day Covers and doing original pencil drawings on the envelopes of the image of Neil Armstrong on the stamp, other "First Step" images, and portraits of the Apollo 11 crew based on his pen and ink sketches during their Suiting Up prior to the launch on the morning of September 16.
I was not really aware of the amount of these hand drawn First Day Covers that my father had drawn in 1969 until several years ago when I began to put together an exhibit for the American Philatelic Society APS Stampshow. The exhibit was to be of the original Apollo First Man on the Moon stamp sketches my father did in 1969 and expanded to include the sketches I did in 1989 for the 20th Anniversary stamp and the sketches in 1994 for the 25th Anniversary of the Moon Landing stamps my father and I jointly designed.
While opening boxes at my father's studio that had not seen the light of day for over 20 years I came across one of these covers , then another and another. Each cover had a numer 1/11, 5/11, 11/11 indicating that he planned on each different image as an edition of 11 covers to commemorate Apollo 11 on the Moon. I knew that my father had done some of these drawing on FDCs because in 1989 he encouraged me to do the same with the stamp I had designed in 1989 and we jointly did the same in 1994. I asked my father about them and he related how he was so very excited when the stamp came out that he set about to draw and draw these covers. He then proceeded to tell me that while he kept many of them, he gave others away to friends, family and others who either collected stamps or had an interest in the Apollo Program! I recently asked one close friend of his who was with NASA during those years and yes he had a few of the covers! I came across letters my father wrote to Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins after the stamp came out and I believe he sent each of them one or more of the covers. I count at least 17 different drawings he did on these FDCs and have posted most on our website.
I have no idea of the fate of the rest of the covers but I suspect one day I'll run into someone at a stamp show and they will tell me.... "Nice to meet you Chris, I knew you dad in 1969 and he gave me this great cover for the Apollo Moon Landing, I still have it...!