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Author Topic:   Since I was a kid...
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Posts: 8
From: La Grange, KY USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 05-15-2003 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for inghamb   Click Here to Email inghamb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space has always been in my blood. My mother was a "missle inspector" for Consolidated Vultree, the creator of the first "ICBM" and later to become the Apollo Saturn prototype. I remember as a kid, being woken up in the early hours of the morning for every space launch. I've kept every astronaut application, publication, graphic and letter response i've ever gotten. Seeing a place like this, where people still remember so much the heros of my youth is fantastic. I'm not so much a "collector" as an "heirloom" passer i guess. I love to think of my grandchildren looking someday into grandpa's office or trunk and asking "grampa, who's John Glenn?" heheheh Just rambling.


Posts: 2176
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 05-15-2003 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the reasons I collect is so that when my grandchildren look up and see either a lunar colony and/or the completed ISS and they ask how it all started, I'll be able not only to tell them but show them as well!


Posts: 225
From: Syracuse, New York, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 05-16-2003 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Carrie   Click Here to Email Carrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember always watching Shuttle launches as a kid in the 80's, either at school or at home (do they even televise the whole launch anymore)? One of my grandmothers lived near Daytona and could see Shuttle launches even from where she was, and I held out hope that one would go while we were there for April vacation. A couple times, they were scheduled, but were scrubbed, and I never did get the chance, so one year, my parents took me to KSC as a consolation. Wow, was that ever cool...I wonder if they let you see as much today? While there, we watched the movie they show about Shuttle launches, and the memories I have of my mother nervously shouting "I thought we were going to blast off!!" are priceless

I got into Star Trek and Star Wars pretty heavily in the intervening years, and have now rekindled my interest in the space program. I'm going to meet a (former) astronaut for the first time two weeks from tonight, when Rick Searfoss comes to my hometown...I'm so excited! So, I have space memories since I was a kid too...well, I'm still a kid, just a 30-year-old one!

I'd love to hear more stories...keep them coming! Carrie

Ideals are like the stars...we may never reach them, but we can set our course by them.


Posts: 1156
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 05-17-2003 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you'll bear with me, I'd like to share a portion of the letter that I sent to John Glenn asking him to sign my copy of his book:

"One morning in April, 1959, my father called me into our family's dining room. 'I've got bad news for you, Donnie,' he said, holding up the front page of that morning's Chicago Tribune. 'They've chosen our country's first spacemen.'

"Dad knew that, like many seven-year-old boys of that day, I had big ambitions--war hero, scuba diver, President of the United States--but none was more dear to my heart than to be the first man to set foot on the moon. He picked up the telephone. 'Listen,' he said, 'if you want, I'll call the President right now and see if I can talk him into taking you.'

"I had to ponder the moment seriously. President Eisenhower already knew about me, because I had written him a letter some time before that, complete with a diagram of a rocket ship (as I recall now, it had no room for fuel, but did come equipped with stairs--which I misspelled 'stars'--to get the pilot from ground level up to the windshield) and illustrated instructions of how to shoot down a flying saucer ('make sure to lead them'). Ike had been so impressed and delighted with my letter that he had instructed one of his aides to write me back, including a card with a genuine facsimile of the President's signature. Heck, we were practically buddies. Between that and my confidence in my father's powers of persuasion, I knew that if Dad dialed those last few numbers, I was as good as in. After some moments of deep contemplation, I made a life-changing decision. 'No, Dad,' I said. 'I think I better stay here.'

"That's how close you and I came to being colleagues..."

The rest of the letter told about how, decades later, my daughter had bought me his book after observing how spellbound I had been while watching his shuttle launch on TV (and how, I'm sure, I wouldn't shut up about it). I signed it "Don Sturm, (Almost) Mercury 8 Astronaut."

The former senator graciously signed, personalized, and dated the book and returned it within the month. Although I am aware that Mr. Glenn is known for being a good signer, it remains perhaps my favorite item in my rather modest collection.

I don't know if he even read the letter, but I would like to think that maybe, for just a moment, I brought a smile to the hero's face.

My father--who turns 76 the day after tomorrow (Happy Birthday, Dad!!)--did remember the incident.

Anyway, I think that tells something about why I collect. Although I appreciate things in ways that I couldn't have as a child in the '50s and '60s, the whole subject does have a tendency to make me feel young and curious again, and to believe that our destiny is unbounded.

Thanks for listening! I'd like to hear your stories, too.


Ed beck

Posts: 227
From: Florida
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-17-2003 10:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ed beck   Click Here to Email Ed beck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I loved your account of how you were almost one of the "Mercury 8."
But now you've done it!
Now all of our autograph hounds are going to be beating down the door to your mail box asking you for your autograph in order to complete their
Mercury Astronaut collections!

Hope your hand is up to the challenge.
I also see that this was your 4th post, so let me welcome you to Collectspace.
Your gonna fit right in.


"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalms 19:1 NIV


Posts: 1156
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 05-18-2003 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Ed. That means a lot to me.


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