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Author Topic:   Stafford lecture in DC
mensax
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posted 11-16-2002 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, tonight's the night... 8PM... at the Air and Space museum. Tom Stafford will give a lecture and sign his latest book. I have a couple extra tickets if anyone is interested. Free! Come check out the museum, catch a movie, and meet an astronaut!... or just stay on the couch! ;)

If you're interested in the tickets just look for the balding guy in his forties... well that won't work, that sounds like most of the guys here at collectspace! I'll have my fourteen year old son with me to keep an eye on me!

Hope to see some of you all there!

Noah

OPOS
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posted 11-18-2002 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OPOS   Click Here to Email OPOS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had a great time at the Stafford lecture on Saturday. Had a chance to meet Noah, John K., and Robert. Always great to get together with other collector folks when possible. Lecture was interesting, got to sit front (and I mean front!) and center with John K. My son even did show and tell today about our trip to the lecture! He is really begining to understand how fortunate he is to meet these heroes!

Tom Edmonds

John K. Rochester
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posted 11-19-2002 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
..Tom's a great guy.. I hope you all get to meet him ( and I as well ) at the convention..or the signing in May.. a great night was had by all..

Dan
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posted 11-19-2002 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan   Click Here to Email Dan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also attended the Stafford event on Saturday. He gave a great speech, full of amusing anecdotes, many at "Geno's" expense. What a great guy! It was also fun being able to look around the museum a bit afterwards without the usual crowd. I noticed Tom Jones in the crowd, who I recently saw talk about his shuttle flights at the airport museum in College Park, MD. Don't know if anyone saw other astros there. Regards,

Dan

disglobes
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posted 11-19-2002 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for disglobes   Click Here to Email disglobes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello,

This is the first that I heard of Tom Stafford attending the UACC Convention in May???????.

Charles

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-19-2002 08:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stafford is not confirmed (nor yet invited) to the May Sims/Hankow show. I may have mentioned to John that I was working on arranging Stafford as a possible guest -- collectSPACE will be lining up additional astronauts to attend (seeing the show is in our backyard, Washington, DC) but who they will be has yet to be announced.

cms
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posted 11-19-2002 09:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cms   Click Here to Email cms     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just returned from a book signing by Mr. Stafford in Dayton, Ohio. What an absolute pleasure it was to meet and speak with this amazing man. He gave an excellent lecture and spent the better part of an hour answering various questions from all the different folks in attendance. Afterward, he autographed a copy of his book and was kind enough to sign a Gemini 6 photograph I brought along .....just in case! If any of you have a chance, I highly recommend attending one of his upcoming book signings. You won't regret it..

Chris

William
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posted 11-20-2002 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for William   Click Here to Email William     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also was at the book signing in Dayton last night. An excellent lecture and a wonderful book. Was well worth the drive. I was the one who asked about spacecraft nicknames...Charlie Brown and Snoopy...

GerryM
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posted 11-20-2002 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GerryM   Click Here to Email GerryM     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Stafford is not confirmed (nor yet invited) to the May Sims/Hankow show. I may have mentioned to John that I was working on arranging Stafford as a possible guest -- collectSPACE will be lining up additional astronauts to attend (seeing the show is in our backyard, Washington, DC) but who they will be has yet to be announced.

If Stafford is under contract with AVD (spacesource) ,,,he surely wont be at a autograph show ,,,you can book that!

Gerry M

John K. Rochester
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posted 11-21-2002 07:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
..sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant Tom Edmonds.. a fellow CollectSpaceian that was there with his son and who had some great stories about his collecting..

RMH
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posted 11-21-2002 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris:

You got lucky with the extra autograph. I saw him speek at WPAFB and he wouldn't sign a photo for me.

There was not a large turn out there as I don't think many knew about it. He did give a great speech, I was surprised at what all he talked about (from the Gemini missions thru the shuttle program.) He was also the best at answering questions from the audience of any pre shuttle astronaut I have seen. He really went into detail and explained the answer. I highly recommend seeing him speek. He seemed open to all sorts of questions from UFO's, omega watches, to Joe Engles replacement.

Now to read the book.........

mark plas
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posted 11-22-2002 12:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What did General Stafford say about Engle s replacement??????

mark

mensax
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posted 11-22-2002 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I went to the General Stafford lecture and met my first astronaut! It was a real treat to hear him reflect on his days at NASA. I was blessed to be only a couple of rows back (right at eye level) and to hear him describe the wonders of that historic time. I even got to ask him a question! ... "What would he change about todays' NASA if he could?" He sort of hemmed and hawed a bit like a politician on his response... oh well.

I took my young son with me. I've tried my best to share my enthusiasm for space with him. The drive to get there and home was a couple of hours each way in cold rainy weather and his company was greatly appreciated.

We got there six hours early and took a slow tour of the museum. It really is unbelievable. Looking into the capsules was my favorite part. Talk about claustrophobia! How did those guys fit into those capsules and not go crazy?

Just walking in the door of the Smithsonian and being presented with such an unbelievable collection is beyond words... Alan Shepards capsule, oh, there's the Apollo 11 capsule, LEM 1, Spacesuits, Skylab, Apollo Soyuz, and what's up with John Glens spacesuit next to Gagarins? How did we get that??

We then went on to see the new 3D film on the Space Station. The whole show was amazing! I kept saying to myself... "I didn't know, I just didn't know". The movie really made you feel like you were there. It's an amazing craft... my opinion has vastly improved. The movie is worth seeing just to see the launch of a Russian rocket. It is just wild!

People-watching (or listening) was great too. A ten year old telling his father things about the lunar rover that I didn't know. And of course the usual... "What's a cosmonaut?" And then someone looking at the LM and commmenting that it was part of the Shuttle...

I did also get to meet several collectspace people... including THE Robert Pearlman. Great people, one and all.

After the lecture we all stood in line to get General Staffords book signed. I brought along a space pen that I bought months ago with General Stafford name engraved on it. He shook my hand, used the pen, and signed the book and included all his missions. I was pleased.

Noah

[Edited by mensax (February 06, 2007).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-22-2002 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was good meeting you Noah, and your son -- I look forward to the next opportunity.

In defense of the General, he is under contractual obligation not to sign memorabila for anyone but The Space Source and Omega Watches. He may sometimes make an exception for a direct donation to his museum, but the Smithsonian being federal property, he could not fund raise while there. To their credit, the NASM did send along notice with all tickets that the General would only sign his book.

Incidentally, the suit you saw was not Gagarin's flight suit -- that resides with his capsule at the RKK Energia museum in Russia (the inner layer of his suit is on display at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Memorial Museum at Star City). Most of the other Russian memorabilia you saw was purchased and then donated by Ross Perot.

John K. Rochester
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posted 11-22-2002 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
.. I can understand your frustration at your son's inabilty to get his Stafford item signed, but if you put yourself in his place.. after the lecture there was an EXTREMELY long line to get books signed.. and after all, the web site and placards for the event did stipulate that there would be only his new book being autographed. That being said, it still doesn't help how he must have felt. Friday at the book signing General Stafford had a ton of time between signings to converse and "shmooze" it's a shame that so much time was allotted on Friday ( 4 hours) and the turnout was sporadic at best. Hopefully, the Scott Carpenter signing in January at the NASM will be better.

Jurg Bolli
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posted 11-22-2002 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I met Stafford 1.5 years ago by pure chance at the Cosmosphere in KS, he talked to me for a few minutes, signed my ticket and was very friendly. I wish he'd come to a place closer to Albuquerque for me to meet him again.
But thanks to collectspace I got the book autographed anyway, thanks.

RMH
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posted 11-22-2002 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark:

Referring to Joe Engle's replacement (on Apollo 17 with Jack Schmitt) - Someone asked Tom Stafford (Stafford apparently had some part in crew selections at the time) about how Joe Engle felt about being replaced by Schmitt on Apollo 17. Tom Stafford said there was great pressure from the science community to put a scientist on the moon and that Joe Engle understood the situation and was not bitter by the decision to put Schmitt in Engles place and today Joe still is NOT bitter.

It would be awfully hard to see your chances of going to the moon slip away like that.

mark plas
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posted 11-23-2002 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
thanks RMH for the respose!!

well cernan was lucky to have stafford

Tom
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posted 11-23-2002 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any news on General Staffords book signing in New York?
Thanks.

Paul
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posted 11-26-2002 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul   Click Here to Email Paul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Noah,
Despite all of the posts submitted on
this site concerning the signing policies of
former astros, whether we agree or not, I
simply do not understand why someone like
Gen. Stafford couldn't or wouldn't take the
5 seconds to sign your sons' photo!
Just imagine when he gets older and
could proudly claim that he got Tom Stafford's autograph in person because the
General was willing to give him (your son)
a few precious moments that he would carry
for the rest of his life!
Before all the "defenders" jump at me,
let me just say this- I understand the
situation the astros are in and I am in no
way implying that because they choose not to
sign that they are scoundrels! They're still
heroes to me, whether they sign or not, but
why couldn't they reach a compromise, such as
agreeing to sign 1 item per individual as
long as that person has purchased a book to
be signed also?!
In the past, I have been to several
astro booksignings where the astronaut would
have the people in charge tell the attendees
that he, or she, would willingly sign a few
other items after they had signed all of the
books!
And,of course, there is the matter of the
"people in charge" and how they may or may
not allow any "extra" autographing to take
place, perhaps at the behest of the astro,
perhaps not!
I feel not the least bit greedy in saying
that if you purchase an astronauts book, then
you are entitled to at least one "freebie",
whether it's at a signing at the NASM, Barnes
& Noble, Chapter 11 or "Joe's Barbeque and
Book Store"!!
In closing, I'd like to say, once again,
that if Dr. Armstrong writes an autobiography
at anytime in the near future, I will be glad
to wait in line for however long it takes to
get his signature in the book (assuming he
does a booksigning tour)and to take a
precious 5 seconds to shake his hand!
"We pass this way but once..."
Sorry Noah, I didn't mean to get carried
away, but maybe your son will get another
chance someday, with Stafford or another astronaut, to experience a memorable 5 seconds with a true hero!

Paul

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2002 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, Paul: why wasn't it sufficient to have Stafford sign the book? If all you want is an autograph, why not on an item that is not only collectible, but educational too?

(Before everyone pounces on me about the meaning of being a collector, I think we need to separate two key goals here: 1) obtain an autograph from an astronaut or 2) obtain a collectible from the astronaut. If the objective is the earlier, than the General was more than willing to oblige -- in his book.)

WAWalsh
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posted 11-26-2002 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tend to agree with Paul with respect to children. 10 to 12 years ago, I got in line for a book signing for Hank Aaron's autobiography in the Barnes & Noble in the concourse under the WTC. The store ended up lacking enough books and sold out all of the copies that it had. I was still in the store waiting for the chance to meet Mr. Aaron, when I witnessed a father introduce his 10 year old son to Hank Aaron. The boy had a ball with him and ask Mr. Aaron to sign the ball. Even though the store had run out of books so no other alternative existed, Hank Aaron declined because his agent had a policy against autographs beyond his book and, therefore, he could not sign. Now, I understand to a degree waving off an adult's request and I recognize that many sellers use kids to get autographs and then flip them to make a huge profit. Neither situation applied. Aaron's decision not to sign for a boy when no book was available immediately struck me as wrong and caused me to leave without saying hello to him. The young man, by now, may understand all of the reasons behind such a policy, but at the time I am sure the only thing that occurred to him was that a hero was refusing to take out 10 seconds and sign a baseball.
If or when Gen. Stafford or any other astronauts comes to the area, I will probably bring along two of my children (ages 9 and 5). Both have very, very small collections which are just starting and these collections simply help to reenforce their joint interest in space (both, at the moment, want to grow up and be astronauts). We will listen to the stories of missions past with rapt attention and wait in line for the book signing. I will make sure they each shake the hand of the astronaut there. If they have the courage to request an autograph, I simply hope that the astronaut there recognizes the genuine interest, says nuts to policy and provides it because that autograph will add to the thrust that generates dreams and makes them a reality (as for me, I will get my book inscribed).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2002 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, I'll ask again: how does an autograph on a photograph do more to inspire children than in a book? Instead of lining up the child for disappointment (especially if the no-memorabilia policy is known in advance) wouldn't it be wiser to buy the book in advance, encourage the child to read it (or if too young, read to him/her) and then have the astronaut sign it?

Paul
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posted 11-26-2002 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul   Click Here to Email Paul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Robert,
I understand where you're coming from and
believe me, Gen. Stafford and the powers that
be did a good service in having the booksigning.
Perhaps my problem is that I consider
collecting autographs (whether in a book or
on a litho) as something entirely different
from collecting "collectibles"! But that's
another story!
Let me say this, if I wrote a book and
lots of people bought it (and therefore
caused me even modest financial gain!), I'd
be more than happy to not only sign the book,
but to sign other things, as well, within
reason, of course!
Sorry Robert, but sometimes it just
frustrates me about this whole issue,
especially when youngsters are concerned!
And I'm certainly not talking about the kids
that are used by some adults to enhance their
collections!
As one of our members always says--
"remember, it's only a hobby!"

Paul

John K. Rochester
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posted 11-26-2002 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
.. we are between a rock and a hard place here.. but I would hazard a guess that if Noah sent the photo to General Stafford, and explained that he was at the book signing, bought the book, had it signed, and his son had been turned away when requesting the photo signature .. since the General was now in his own element away from the crowds, I believe that you would get back a signed photo! Sure, it's not the same as getting it in person.. but the thrill of him receiving it might parallel the thrill of a firsthand signature.. and then , of course there is always the possibility of another rejection ( although, I dont believe that that would be the case) ........that's my 2 sheckels

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2002 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your chance of success with John's approach would probably be greatly enhanced if you included a donation ($40) to the Thomas P. Stafford Air and Space Museum. That said, I believe all of Stafford's autograph requests are forwarded to AVD/TheSpaceSource.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited November 26, 2002).]

uzzi69
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posted 11-26-2002 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for uzzi69   Click Here to Email uzzi69     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that it is frustrating to finally meet one of your heros, and be turned down for an autograph. But sometimes we have to look past the situation at hand and see the broader picture...
Children have been employed to acquire autographs for dealers or collectors, on more than one occasion. This type of arrangement is used more on sports stars than astronauts, but it's still a possibility. I hate it as much as the next collector, but when I don't score an autograph, I try to see things from their point of view. To me the meeting itself is more important.
One story I will relate is meeting a childhood hero of mine... Pete Rose. I knew I was getting the autograph ( because I paid for it ! )....but was really looking forward to finally meeting the man, the myth, the legend..... Mr. Charlie Hustle.
As we got closer we could see that he was in conversation with someone...possibly the promoter. As he signed items he ignored everyone, and didn't even look up from signing. Questions were ignored, and no one was given as much as a few moments of his time. Perhaps the promoter was trying to hurry everyone through...I don't know. Sure I got my autograph, but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. A handshake, or a question answered would have been preferred over the signature, in my opinion.
I'm not condoning their no auto policies, I do try to understand where they're coming from, though.

Regards, Bill uzzi69

[This message has been edited by uzzi69 (edited November 26, 2002).]

WAWalsh
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posted 11-27-2002 01:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I can think of several reasons why someone might prefer a photograph over a book. 1) the visual impression is substantially stronger (a photo of the Gemini 6 and 7 missions with the signature right there v. a book on the shelf). 2) the photo is easier to display in a room. 3) the photo is easier to display in a manner that people can hold without damage. 4) the photo is easier to protect from the impact of relatively young hands. 5) probably in large part due to the first point, an autographed photo is considered the better item to have.

As for how does a photograph educate and inspire more than a book, the answer is in the same way a picture is worth 1000 words. Despite their interest, my kids are not going to pick up a space book every day, although the lessons they learn from some of the discussions we have on past missions continue well past the story (what my son, when 4, called true stories). The four photos at the door to the bedroom (at the moment Ed White's EVA, a shuttle EVA, Apollo 17's Full Earth and a photo of the Moon), plus the four Bradford plate hanging on the wall opposite the door, however, provide a constant visual reenforcement of the thrill and excitement of space.

mark plas
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posted 11-27-2002 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would prefer a pic of me with the general over 10 autographs of him.
It maybe isn t worth that much in money then the autographs but the pic will be priceless to me.
Mark

WAWalsh
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posted 11-27-2002 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, for the time William and Anna met Alan Bean, I took one of those as well. It is on the flip side of the personalized photo for each.

mark plas
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posted 11-27-2002 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark plas   Click Here to Email mark plas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
are your kids named after the astronaut couple bill and anna fisher?

WAWalsh
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posted 11-30-2002 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No. I fear poor William was saddled with the same first name as his father, grandfather and great grandfather (different middle names). Anna actually does have a personalized autograph from Dr. Anna Fisher.

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