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  Ken Mattingly in Alabama

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Author Topic:   Ken Mattingly in Alabama
Rob Sumowski
Member

Posts: 464
From: Macon, Georgia
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 02-20-2005 02:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Friends:

I am just now returning to Macon after quite a night in Montgomery, Alabama. Ken Mattingly was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame tonight.

The night started with a one-hour social, where a few of us quietly approached Ken and asked when might be a good time for him to have us request his signature. He was generally positive and suggested we wait until the end of the evening- after the social, the dinner, and the ceremony. About five of us did just that- though it definitely wasn't very easy to sit on our hands that long.

The dinner was good and was followed by the induction, where Ken gave a really upbeat but frank address on spaceflight then vs. spaceflight in the future. He noted that it is unlikely spaceflight will progress to its potential until engineers find the best way to make it cost-effective. He noted that this day isn't here, but stated it will come eventually.

Afterward, Gilbert Huey, Jimmy Brown, and I approached Ken along with a couple of other fellows, and he was happy to sign just about everything we asked him to. He was quiet but kind and accommodating...a first-class guy. I walked out with six 16x20s signed about as well as I could have hoped.

Well that's all from here...it's been a long day, it was a heck of a night, and Ken Mattingly typified the gracious astronaut he's always been known to be. And he didn't want a dime. He was the consumate gentleman.

Rob

Jurg Bolli
Member

Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 02-21-2005 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
what a lucky bunch of guys!

Mike Isbell
Member

Posts: 342
From: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 02-21-2005 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Isbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
James Voss, of STS-44,53,69,101 and ISS Expedition 2, was also present. I thought that Adm. Mattingly's presentation highlighted how many resourses ( in his case Auburn University being one amoung many along his career path ) and support one must have and be able to turn to in order to perform any worthwhile endeavor. He also said that he was looking forward to seeing the Shuttle return to flight this Spring.

[This message has been edited by Mike Isbell (edited March 04, 2005).]

Gilbert
Member

Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-23-2005 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rob, your report pretty much says it all. I am glad we got to meet Adm. Mattingly. His speech was the highlight of the event. He seemed sincerely appreciative of the many opportunities his Auburn University education afforded him. Getting to hang out with Rob, Jimmy, Mike, and the others at our table was a delight. I wish more events like this one would come our way.

Gilbert
Member

Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-23-2005 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike,
By the way, just how many astronauts have signed your book Space Shuttle: The First 20 Years? I watched as Adm. Mattingly searched for a space big enough to sign his name. I've never seen so many signatures in one book. Incredible!

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-24-2005 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Slightly o-t, Bryan McKay has two copies that are circulating; my copy has "only" 34 sigs, of which 13 have contributed to the book.

Rob Joyner
Member

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-24-2005 11:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Rob,
Sound's like you had a great time in Montgomery! Wish I could've been there.
Any pix?
Did Mattingly happen to mention or did anyone ask why he doesn't frequent KSC?
I'm not sure, but has he been there since his induction into the AHOF in 97?

Rob Sumowski
Member

Posts: 464
From: Macon, Georgia
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 02-25-2005 12:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Rob J:

Gilbert took some pictures. Maybe he can post a few of them here or at Sightings. We didn't really talk as much to Adm. Mattingly as we would have liked. He was a guest of honor, so we tried to stay out of the way and let him enjoy his evening, and it seemed like he really had a good time seeing his old Auburn buddies. That Auburn crowd really seemed tight with each other- and that's coming from a Georgia Bulldog.

So unfortunately we didn't get to the topic of KSC (or where all of the darned photos that we all sent him two years ago are). It was one of those "Play it by ear" situations-We could have just as easily come up empty.

I guess that's the big risk when you drive several hours to an event- this one could have gone either way as far as the opportunity to obtain his signature. I guess we just got lucky this time. He really was nice to us.

Take care, Rob- Good to hear from you-

Rob

Rob Sumowski
Member

Posts: 464
From: Macon, Georgia
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 02-25-2005 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh yeah- one more thing:

The ONLY reason we knew about this event was Collectspace's Sightings area. I would NEVER have thought to inquire about the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame induction on my own. Heck, I didn't know there even was such a thing. Score another one for Collectspace. I've been a member for over five years now- since just after the very beginning. Without question, this website has changed the face of collecting and how we share our hobby and history with each other.

Another thing about this website...everyone I've ever met from cS is quite successful and extremely bright (myself excluded, of course).

All kidding aside, it's true- the mean IQ of the members of this group must be scary. I think that's why the conversation is always so good when a group of us assembles somewhere...I like that...it's nice to be around folks who know things about the world. You name the topic and any ten of us seem to be able to fill an evening with high quality and thoughtful (if opinionated)conversation. Noah, Al, Larry McG, Brother Don Brady, Bill & Vickie & Gary, Russ, Robert, Gerhard, Rob J., Maryland Garry, Dave from Canada, even our little Georgia contingent at times- you guys certainly know what I mean by this.

Y'all are quite an educated bunch. (Of course, that and two bucks will buy us a cup of coffee...)

; )

Rob

Rob Joyner
Member

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-26-2005 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Rob S.,
To go or not to go. That is the question. I thought about going, as you know, but chose not to. Excuse me while I kick myself some more!
*
*
Okay, I'm back. Oh, well....can't win 'em all! Again, I'm so glad you guys had such a great time. I concur with your praise of cS. If not for Robert's hard work I would not have known Cernan & Schmitt were appearing at KSC's Astronaut Encounter a few years back. I got autographs from both.
Looking forward to the photos when Gilbert has them available.
And thanks for including me in your 'IQ group', though I assure you if I were ever on Jeopardy! or Millionaire and was asked questions about math, literature or politics and many, many other things, it would be a short or futile show indeed!!!

Mike Isbell
Member

Posts: 342
From: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-04-2005 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Isbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gilbert,
Col. Voss and Adm. Mattingly were the 41st and 42nd astronauts to sign Space Shuttle the first 20 years. It has since been signed by Dr. Linda Godwin and by Dr. Michael Foale. 6 Payload Specialists have also signed the book.

Gilbert
Member

Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 04-05-2005 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amazing. What a nice collector's item.

xdef66
New Member

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From:
Registered:

posted 04-05-2005 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xdef66   Click Here to Email xdef66     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like it was a great time. Also I wanted to shout "WAR EAGLE" out to all that Auburn alumni.

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