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  Signed photo of Columbia crew stolen from eatery

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Author Topic:   Signed photo of Columbia crew stolen from eatery
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-13-2004 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Houston Chronicle:
quote:
Of all the things to steal from Frenchie's restaurant in Clear Lake, someone had to take perhaps the item with the most sentimental value to its owner and the NASA community.

Owner Frankie Camera said a thief stole an autographed photo of the shuttle Columbia crew they had given the restaurant days before departing on their ill-fated mission.


http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/space/2567000

--

If you haven't had the chance to dine yet at Frenchie's, it is a great Italian restaurant nearby to JSC with astronaut signed photos lining their walls. Assuming the thief has designs on selling the stolen STS-107 signed photo, we should all be on the watch for any new offers for the rare autographs. If you have a serious lead, Frenchie's can be reached at 281-486-7144.

pokey
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From: Houston, TX, USA
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posted 05-13-2004 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unless it had something distinctive about it I really don't have much hope on singling it out. Chances are it was sigs on a NASA glossy. As a Houstonian, I will be on the lookout for things I won't post here. :-(

Scott
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-13-2004 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's really sad. Some people have no conscience.

Scott
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posted 05-13-2004 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just talked to Frankie Camera, owner of Frenchie's restaurant. I asked him if the picture had any distinguishing inscription and he said yes it did. He told me it was OK for me to post the information here. As he recalls, the inscription reads:

"To Frankie - from the STS-107 crew"

He is currently attempting to obtain a photo of it from the Houston Chronicle, as they photographed it in his restaurant following the tragedy.

ASCAN1984
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From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
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posted 05-13-2004 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is so discusting. What a terrible act. I will pray tonight that the photograph appears/turns up and frenchies gets it back imediately. What a wonderful gift the was given. I know how i would feel if i had something like that. If the theif is reading this i hope that you realise what pain you have caused and you do the right thing.

Gareth

Philip
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posted 05-13-2004 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good thing it is an 'inscribed' photograph !
That makes it recognizable at least ...

Scott
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posted 05-13-2004 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An image of the missing signed crew photo (center) on the Houston Chronicle website (Associated Press photo)

[Edited by collectSPACE Admin (January 09, 2007).]

Philip
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posted 05-13-2004 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
O.K. Scott ... it looks like it is a LITHO

apollo11lem5@aol.com
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posted 05-13-2004 02:07 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a shame. I sure hope the photo is recovered. Whenever I "display" a valuable photo like that I always go to Staples and have a 99 cent laserjet color photocopy made on heavy cardstock. Once it is framed ,it looks exactly like the original and if stolen I have only lost an easily replaced photocopy and cheap frame. I hope all turns out well for Frenchy. ...Donald Brady

denem
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posted 05-13-2004 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for denem   Click Here to Email denem     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
well, the thief will never be able to sell it as long as it has the inscription on it. surely one of us would recognize it immediately if the thief put it on auction. i think it will re-surface unless the thief just wants to add it to his/her collection indefinitely.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
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posted 05-13-2004 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The thief could remove the inscription by cutting the border, or just the top edge, of the litho off - so I would suggest being on the lookout for anything suspiciously cropped in that way, too.

FF

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-13-2004 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a sad feeling this was nothing more than an opportunist thing by some misguided soul who simply wanted to own a piece of American history, like art thieves who just want to own the danged thing and hide their treasures under their bed. I don't think it will emerge on the market for probably another generation, as the thief will surely know that it is traceable through the inscription, and he won't be able to display it at home. Not too many people know that the crews routinely sent out hundreds of these for each flight (albeit less in later years).

fabfivefreddy
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posted 05-16-2004 11:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is always a chance it will show up. I have seen people caught trying to sell stolen items on ebay and other auctions.
Thanks to Robert for alerting us all.
This is another reason to photocopy your collection-it can be proven that an item was stolen because all the sigs will match perfectly and provide the proof you need.
You can also mark your collection in secret ways that only you know about to aid in theft recovery. I sure hope this item turns up!
Tahir

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2004 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$1000 reward offered for photo's return
By: JENNIFER THOMAS, Citizen Staff
quote:
A $1,000 reward has been offered for the safe return of the autographed picture of the last Columbia crew that was stolen from Frenchie's Restaurant last week.

"It's really upsetting to me - my God - I'm very attached to this thing," said Frankie Camera, co-owner and operator of the popular Italian restaurant in the heart of Clear Lake.

Camera said it's not the loss of the material possession that saddens him, it's the loss of what he calls "part of your heart."

Harris County Constable Bill Bailey is offering the reward for both the return of the picture, and for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief.

The picture of the seven astronauts who died on Feb. 1 of 2003 was signed "To Frankie," and stood out among the hundreds of sentimental pictures that line the walls of the restaurant. It was for this reason that its absence was noticed so quickly.

Camera said the picture was likely stolen on Saturday night, May 8. "I wish they had stolen my wallet and not my picture," he said.

Anyone with information should contact Constable Bill Bailey's office at 281-479-2525 or 281-488-4040.

Or if the thief is reading this, "Just bring it back," said Camera. "No questions asked."


Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-05-2007 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A simple handwritten sign now hangs in Frenchie's over the spot on the wall where the STS-107 crew-signed lithograph used to be until it was stolen in 2004: it happily reports that the inscribed photo was returned in November 2006.

mjanovec
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posted 01-05-2007 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to hear there was a happy ending. Any idea how the photo was recovered? Or did the thief just return it out of guilt?

[Edited by mjanovec (January 05, 2007).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-05-2007 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to inquire about the details when I was there, but I will. It's as good a excuse to have their excellent chicken crepes again...

randy
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posted 01-05-2007 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I, too, am glad the picture was returned. I had a similar experience when one of my medallions was stolen. I didn't think I would ever see it again. Fortunately, the thief had a guilty conscience and returned it several days later.

Randy

Novaspace
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From: Tucson, AZ USA
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posted 01-06-2007 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those who don't know, Frenchy's has been in Clear Lake since the Apollo days (maybe before?), and being Italian food, was a favorite hangout for Alan Bean ("Y'know I'z the first guy ta eat spaghetti on the MUNE!")
Kim Poor

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

posted 01-09-2007 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had lunch at Frenchie's today, where a group of ESA and U.S. astronauts were dining as well... but I digress, and inquired about the returned photo.

On the morning of November 22, 2006, when they arrived to bake bread, they found it inside an unmarked envelope that had been slipped under their door while they were closed. As they had said that they would accept its return "no questions asked," they aren't asking any questions. They are just very grateful to have it back with them...

dss65
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From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
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posted 01-09-2007 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Contrary to what some modern folks might say, a little guilt can be a good thing. Score one for the good side of humanity....

------------------
Don

mjanovec
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posted 01-09-2007 11:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I had lunch at Frenchie's today, where a group of ESA and U.S. astronauts were dining as well... but I digress, and inquired about the returned photo.

And how were the chicken crepes?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-10-2007 12:10 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 mjanovec:
And how were the chicken crepes?
Opted for the lasagna, though my lunch guest had the crepes. Both are excellent and I would highly recommend the restaurant to any fan of astronauts and great Italian cuisine...

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-10-2007 03:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back in September '04 I went to Frenchies before giving a talk on the Fallen Astronauts at the then-new Theodore C. Freeman Library in Clear Lake. My guests that day were Jeannie Bassett, her daughter Karen and son-in-law Philip; Ted Freeman's sister Anne and her husband Bill, and Ted's daughter Faith.

The owner chatted to us and after finding out who the ladies said he was honoured to have them in his restaurant. After our meal (I had the Alan Bean spaghetti), he proudly showed us the photos on his wall. I have to admit I felt sad to se that many of the photos and signatures were really badly faded through being displayed in ordinary glass frames on the walls. But heck - the place just drips with history, hospitality and great food.

Colin

Moonwalker1954
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posted 01-10-2007 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it kind of odd that a restaurant called "Frenchie's" is specialized in Italian cuisine!

I'm glad for the happy ending, though.

Pierre-Yves

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