posted March 21, 2011 07:13 PM
Run, do not walk to this auction! Okay, type as fast as your little fingers will go and your mouse will click. I am probably the grand-daddy of astronaut experiences through ASF next to brother Leon.
If you really want to get to know what an astronaut is really like, take one or several of these astronaut experiences. It will be the time of your life. It has always been great for me and my family.
I would say let me hit the highlights of my experiences, but they have all been highlights. Let me just tell you about a few things I have been able to do through the ASF auction.
Dinner with Jim and Marilyn Lovell at their restaurant in Lake Forest. Simply fabulous. Houston, we don't have a problem with that one. I'd do it again, and just might.
Living under the sea for two days and becoming an aquanaut! The highlight of which was having dinner under the sea with Mercury astronaut and Sealab II Commander Scott Carpenter. Priceless is an overworked term but if it ever applied this was it. I had to learn how to swim to do this experience, if that tells you anything about the motivation.
Scuba diving with my buddy Al Worden. Racing Nascar cars with my buddy Al Worden. Whacking a little white ball with my buddy's Al Worden and Charlie Duke. Before our golf setting I stopped at the pro shop to buy some golf balls, because you know it takes a lot of balls to play golf the way that I do as Charlie and Al will attest.
Diving in Cabo with the second man to step on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin. Truly a magical experience. Buzz has got to be the most talented scuba diver that I have ever been around.
Diving with Charlie Duke in Grand Cayman. Stingray city was a fabulous experience. On another dive we were down at 100 feet. To our right was the great abyss, nothing but dark blue. Who among us can say that they have done an EVA with the 10th man to set foot on the Moon and looked down to see 4,000 feet of nothing? If you don't think that is a rush, you better have the paramedics check for a pulse.
Jumping out of an airplane at 18,000 feet with Hoot Gibson. Gosh, the adrenaline meter was pegged on that day. I can honestly say that the first time Hoot Gibson jumped out of an airplane I was there with him all the way to the ground. I liked the skydive so much, I later did it with former astronaut Jeff Hoffman. It was even better the second time around!
Flying in John Blaha's Cessna. Oh what a feeling. John was such a fabulous host. I signed up to do it again!
Attending the re-release of "The Right Stuff" at the Egyptian Theater in Hollwood as Gordon Cooper's personal guest! Really cool to experience the red carpet, smooze with Chuck Yeager, and be a guest of Gordo's! I miss you Gordo!
Lunch with John and Annie Glenn at Ohio State University. Wow, I'm still speachless. Dinner with Wally and Jo Schirra at the Del Coronado in San Diego. Magical.
Through the ASF my family and I had personal experiences with 4 of the 7 mercury Astronauts. The only reason that we missed out on Alan, Gus, and Deke is that they left our world too soon.
I've shared as many of these experiences as I possibly could with my grand children, and I am certain that in years to come they will be in a truly small club.
I've had many more ASF experiences, but unless you want some late night reading material I better stop now.
There are times in your life when you think, I just can't do this. There are times in your life when you what you should be saying is how can I not do this? That time is now.
To the winners of the ASF auction experiences, I salute you! You will have the time of your life. Let's get together afterwards and swap stories. First drink is on me.
To the people who are on the fence as to whether they bid or not, I am here to tell you that the window of interactions with living history will not be here forever.
If you have any questions, let me know.
jerry matulka (grand-daddy of astronaut experiences)