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  AHOF weekend review 2005

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Author Topic:   AHOF weekend review 2005

Posts: 961
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 05-01-2005 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a great time as always at the AHOF weekend.

On Thursday, I visited the Space Walk of Fame Museum in Titusville, saw some neat artifacts, and had a great talk with a volunteer. Later, I went to the Mercury 7 Memorial at the town park, and then to the Titusville High School site where "half a rocket" was on display--the other half is being restored and was mentioned in an earlier thread.

On Friday, Skylab astronaut Bill Pogue graciously autographed a photo of him and I taken at the astronaut encounter in 2001--great start to the day. After "suiting up" for the reception and dinner, I went to the AHOF. I saw Guenther Wendt sitting on a bench, made eye contact, said hello, and sat down for a nice chat with him. He was sharing his views on economics and politics. At the reception, I felt like I was in a history timewarp. I got a chance to talk with Scott Carpenter (my favorite astronaut) and shared with him how great he was with the students at the booksigning last year. He gave a very humble reply. Dr. Winston Scott was truly a nice guy. We talked again later at the dinner. Neat. Charlie Duke, Owen Garriott, Bob Crippen, Fred Haise, Al Worden, Walt Cunningham, Jim Lovell, John Young. . . I was on overload. . . what do you say in a room of living history?

On to the dinner, 45 minutes later at the Saturn V Center. . . Dinner: Filet, crabcake, and poached salmon. . . reasonable access to talk with, have photo ops, and politely ask for autographs from our heroes. It was great to meet Hoot Gibson and Dr. Sedden. Awesome to get Bruce McCandless' autograph on the famous photo to share with my students. And then the rocket launch at 8:30 (can't put it into words). The sound system for the entertainment was weak.

Saturday: Although his booksigning was cancelled, I ran into Dr. Mitchell and he was able to sign both books by him I had brought to KSC. Was able to get my STS-8 flown cover signed by Dan Brandenstein. What a smile. What a happy person. Brian Duffy apparently had two flat tires and was unable to attend and sign. Off to the Saturn V center to have Jim Lovell sign my copy of Lost Moon. Very efficient. You could have purchased hard back or softcover Apollo 13 on site. Nobody left disappointed. An hour and a half later the induction ceremony started. To see prior inductees on stage. To have the introductions of the current awardees. A great afternoon.

Dr. Joe Allen, one of this years inductees, had a smile on his face all weekend. He was having the time of his life. I was very happy for him.

And then off to the airport to catch an early flight. No time to attend the geekfest. However, I did get to talk with many of my CS and YahooAstronauts friends during the weekend and made new friendships.

It was a wonderful couple of days. At least this time, I flew instead of driving down from Maryland for the weekend.

Thanks to Rob P. and Al H. for facilitating so much of the information to make my trip so enjoyable again.

The lawn got mowed today and it is back to work in eight hours. . .



Posts: 961
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 05-02-2005 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back at work!

John K. Rochester

Posts: 1273
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-02-2005 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Saturday I mowed my lawn... ( Wishing I had been in Florida for the induction ) I envy all of you folks who had such a great weekend!!

Robert Pearlman

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

posted 05-02-2005 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was great seeing you Garry and thanks for the terrific report.

Its been said many times before but it bares repeating: one of, if not the best reason to attend these events is a chance to meet with friends and this past weekend was no exception. I only feel bad that I didn't have more of a chance to catch up with quite a few of the 30+ readers whom I saw, if only briefly.

A great thanks to Larry McGlynn who graciously allowed me join his guests at his company's table during the gala. Sharing dinner conversation with the likes of Cece Bibby and Dick Gordon, not to mention Bryan McKay and Andy Lagomarsino was a treat.

Of course, its the astronauts who bring us together and all were gracious were their time. Of the inductees, I had met Bruce McCandless and Joe Allen before and both were kind to remember our past encounters. This was my first time meeting Gordon Fullerton and I was immediately impressed.

As covered and shown elsewhere on the board, the launch during the gala was truly fanatastic. This was my fourth launch (two ELV; two STS) and the first to really deliver the delayed arrival of the rocket's roar. Even though I knew what was coming, it was still a surprise when that wall of sound rushed across the water and hit the crowd assembled outside the Saturn V Center.

The launch also permitted for a very funny encounter with Levar Burton. As we were filing back into the center after the Titan was no longer visible, Burton asked what had been at top of rocket. "A weather satellite?" Someone from behind me yelled out "NRO", to which Burton responded "NR-what?". So I replied, "Classified."

Burton got this startled look on face and then quickly and jokingly said, "I'm not saying anything more." And then a series of jokes began among the people surrounding about not seeing a launch, that it was just a balloon, etc.

The ceremony the following day was just as memorable. I had a great time catching up with Leon Ford, seeing Dana Holland and earlier in the day catching up with Al Hallonquist, Bill and Vicki O'Donnell, and Ken Havekotte among many others.

Levar Burton was a great emcee, injecting humor and real admiration for the gentlemen he was introducing on stage. The tributes delivered by Vance Brand, John Young and Fred Haise to the three inductees were great, full of humor and great insight, as were the acceptance speeches by Allen, McCandless and Fullerton. All three took time to speak of each other, which gave this class a real sense of camraderie. Had the Apollo program continued, these three would have made for a great crew together.

During the induction ceremony, The History Channel announced a new partnership with the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which will include producing a sequel to last year's "Failure Is Not An Option". More on that under a separate posting soon.

Of course, none of this weekend would be possible without the amazing efforts of Linn and Diane at the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, as well as Dan, Brian, Debbie and many, many others at KSCVC. Thank you for yet another very memorable, exceptionally fun event!

John K. Rochester

Posts: 1273
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-02-2005 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Astronaut Hall of Fame Inducts Spacewalkers, Pilot
By Robert Z. Pearlman

posted: 02 May 2005
09:19 am ET

Robert Z?.........I never knew that before, Robert!

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