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  Reflections: Spacefest 2009 (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Reflections: Spacefest 2009
MarylandSpace
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posted 02-20-2009 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish everyone a memorable experience... whether it be obtaining autographs, having your picture taken with that special astronaut, or talking with legends of history.

Be safe and soak in the experience of a lifetime. It doesn't get much better.

Hats off to Kim and Al (a mad props beanie if I recall correctly) and others for putting together the weekend.

Carpe Diem,
Garry (MarylandSpace)

albatron
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From: Stuart, Florida, USA
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posted 02-20-2009 12:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Garry - wish you could make it.

Al Crews and I arrived together yesterday (Wed) afternoon, to perfect weather. The venue is really nice and it's been fun meeting up with those who arrived early. Breakfast with Al Crews & Jim McDivitt was fun seeing them catch up.

I'll be on the autograph floor all day coordinating things, and at the various events. Make sure you come say hello!

By the way, the true hats off are to Kim, Sally, Rob, Randy, Lisa and the rest of the staff.

The physical work by Rob and Lisa and the others is tremendous. Please tip your hats to them in person.

mjanovec
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posted 02-20-2009 12:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any reports on the Moonwalker Invitational? Which astro is the best golfer (other than the dearly departed moon golfer Shepard)? Surely there was some good competition among the participants, even if the balls didn't fly "miles and miles."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2009 01:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I arrived in San Diego this evening, having shared a plane with Hank Hartsfield (and 146 other passengers).

Arriving at the hotel, I had a chance to chat briefly with Mike Collins as we waited for the bellhops to take us to our rooms.

I look forward to seeing who I bump into tomorrow!

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 02-20-2009 01:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Thursday started with breakfast in the Trellises cafe...Gene Cernan at the table behind me and Charlie Duke at the table to my right! The excitement is palpable. I have spent the evening organizing my treasures for the mad signing dash tomorrow, hoping to make the most efficient use of time (mine and everyone else's).

andrewcli
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From: La Jolla, CA, USA
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posted 02-20-2009 01:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be right behind you tomorrow morning!
Andrew

bmajure
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posted 02-20-2009 06:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bmajure   Click Here to Email bmajure     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hope everyone is enjoying themselves at Spacefest... Just wanted to let everyone know that we [mcmahanphoto.com] will have a spot at Spacefest 2009 this weekend in San Diego and are showing/selling 30x30 prints for many of the astronauts there. We are also selling smaller prints of other astronauts, other NASA images, and other popular historic images from our archive. Fun stuff! At least stop by and say hello to Robert!

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 02-21-2009 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Absolutely incredible day today. I only managed to make it to one presentation, but I got to meet six moonwalkers, so I consider it a fair trade! Lines were generally short and the astros spent a lot of time swapping stories.

See my parallel posting in the Signing experience: Buzz Aldrin - Buzz is now charging $200 additional for Apollo 11 multi-signed items - even if the other crew member has not signed it yet but if it looks like another crew signature COULD be added at some point!

All of the astros were super. Mike Collins was very friendly and personable, but I heard rumors that he was VERY uncomfortable being there. You would never have known it from talking to him - just a real classy fellow. Had great conversations with most of the other Apollo-era folks. Dick Gordon was full of energy. He said that some health problems of the past couple of years are behind him now and he is feeling great. McDivitt had wonderful stories as always.

The reception at the Air and Space Museum was excellent. We had the opportunity for more extended conversations with the astronauts in a slightly less frenetic atmosphere.

I went to Alan Stern's talk today on the New Horizons mission. Now that all my items are signed, I hope to spend more time tomorrow listening to the presentations.

Hats off to Kim and Sally Poor and their team for hosting an absolutely first-class show!

andrewcli
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From: La Jolla, CA, USA
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posted 02-21-2009 12:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got back from the VIP reception at the SDASM. Pretty tired but it was a fun experience today.

The best story for me was Dick Gordon, he knew me and we had never met!

When I heard that he was not going to attend the ASF show last November, I wrote an email to him, expressing my sadness, that I was coming to the Cape to get 4 autographs and one on them was his. I then asked if I can send him my poster to sign and said that I hope he would consider coming to San Diego for Spacefest so that I can personally thank him. Didn't get a response, but 2 weeks later, it was announced that he was coming to SpaceFest.

So this morning I was the first to get his autograph and I introduced myself to him and he said, "I know who you are Andrew. It's because of you that I am here! I have your email with me too." I just smiled at him and laughed. At the reception, I saw him and his wife and we talked and he started telling his wife what was in my email. Truly a class act!

Andrew

jamato99
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posted 02-21-2009 08:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jamato99   Click Here to Email jamato99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to hear Collins and others were in good spirits. Keep the stories coming!

Jamie

stsmithva
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posted 02-21-2009 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Jamie said, keep the stories coming. I look forward to hearing about today's events.

Steve

mjanovec
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posted 02-21-2009 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears the second Spacefest has been great so far...wish I could be there! Keep those reports coming...

JasonIUP
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posted 02-21-2009 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended yesterday. I finally met Kim Poor, whom remembered me instantly from being a long-time customer. What an informed, friendly person he is.

Collins was very friendly; I expected a little less. He let everyone stand next to him for a picture after he signed, and was eager to sign stuff in the right spot with the right inscription.

I enjoyed the show, got everything signed that I wanted except the baseball, and got pictures with some moonwalkers I didn't have. I didn't like Buzz's attitude or fees, but it was worth the money for the two crew completions. Collins was exceptional, and the other moonwalkers were their usual, friendly, accommodating selves.

machbusterman
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posted 02-21-2009 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also heard that Rusty Schweickart had increased his prices from the listed $45 to $95... done with the stroke of a black magic marker.

I think its safe to say that I'm done with astronuat shows.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-21-2009 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spent yesterday walking around the show. I didn't have anything signed; instead, I leisurely walked from one booth to the next chatting with whomever I saw. And let me tell you, it was great!

First and foremost, we have the best community of people here on collectSPACE that you will ever have the fortune of meeting, bar-none. Having the chance to see so many of them in-person was for me, the leading reason to come to Spacefest. I easily saw and spoke with at least several dozen of our readers and members just yesterday.

I also made new friends, having the chance to chat and meet with people who share the same interest in space history but are not collectors, or who are just beginning. I spent a good couple of hours at last night's reception chatting with two guys who by the end of evening felt more like long-time friends then people I had just met.

And then there are speakers and astronauts. No matter how many times before I met them, there are always stories to tell, jokes to trade, and just a general sense of camaraderie that accompanies chatting with guys like Charlie Duke, Dick Gordon (and his lovely wife Linda), Charlie Walker, and Mike Collins (whom I only had met one time before, 10 years ago).

I could go on, and I will later (I want to get to today's events, including the premiere of Mark Gray's "Live From The Moon").

kosmo
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posted 02-21-2009 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a quick note, I could only be at the show for Friday (flew into San Diego late Thursday and flew out of LA on the red eye late Friday) but I must say, great job to NOVASPACE! It was a real thrill to finally get to meet Michael Collins and Jim McDivitt. Aren't Americas astronauts all looking great! It was great fun to stand off to the side, get some pictures, listen to stories and watch the astronauts banter with each other (have a great picture of Gene Cernan "laying one on" Richard Gordon's wife) It was nice talking with Robert again (sorry I couldn't be around for your talk) and meeting some new people. Had a great talk with Scotty, one of the "bednauts". Very nice show!! Time to catch up on some sleep.

ilbasso
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posted 02-21-2009 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert is right, the people here are amazing. I never had to wait more than 15 minutes in any line, and the astronauts were so friendly and engaging in conversations that they frequently distracted me from taking pictures of getting my items signed! I will never forget the experience of getting to talk to, in one morning, half of the men who have walked on the Moon. All of them greeted me by name when I came up to their tables - thanks of course to the name tags, but what a personal touch! The money for autographs is beside the point. They were talking to people who came up to their tables, whether you had something to sign or not. They are incredible people.

The cS'rs are great, too. I very much enjoyed meeting Andrew Li and Fred Karst, both of whom have very much been in my network of "helpful" people from this community.

Perhaps my most thrilling moment with a signing was giving Dave Scott an Apollo 15 LM descent/ascent chart that he had apparently never seen before. He said, "Wow! Where did you get that???" He pulled out his glasses and spent several minutes reading it over and pointing things out to me. He told me that I had some great items in my collection!

Some snippets of conversation:

After I thanked Cernan for coming: "Thank me? Thank you! I can't believe the dedication of you folks who travel here from halfway around the world to meet us and then pay us to sign something. We're happy that so many people are still so enthusiastic about space."

Charlie Walker: "The Apollo astronauts are the Columbuses and Magellans of our age. People won't really start realizing that until they're gone, and then it will be too late."

Ed Mitchell, when I asked him what it was like sharing the LM with Alan Shepard: "Shepard got into the program so late that he knew nothing about the LM systems. He was dependent on me to teach him everything he needed to know about how it all worked. The other astronauts asked him why he chose to fly with me instead of one of the earlier group of astronauts, and his answer was, 'Because I wanted to come back alive.' That was the greatest compliment anyone could get!"

McDivitt, when I said I was looking forward to retelling some of the stories he told me, "Don't ruin my reputation!!"

Vance Brand, talking about the 2TV-1 mission: "Boredom wasn't a problem; I was with good guys. The problem was that they had rigged a 1-G toilet for us, and it overflowed about halfway through the 8-day mission."

Gene Cernan: "It was crazy when they canceled Apollos 18 to 20 and everyone was scrambling to get on the last flight to the Moon. There were two camps, one fighting for Gordon, Brand, and Engle to fly the mission, and one for my crew. The decision was made in Washington that Jack Schmitt was going to fly, period. They didn't want to swap him into another crew, so my crew got the go-ahead. I think Gordon's crew was more qualified - if I had been the one making the decisions, I would have selected them to fly the mission."

Peter Smith, Principal Investigator for Mars Phoenix: "People ask me what would have happened if one of Phoenix's 12 thrusters failed before landing. I tell them that the other 11 thrusters would have flown us directly to the crash site."

Alan Bean, when I asked him if he had ever considered painting Skylab scenes: "No, and there are two reasons why not. The first is that it would take too long to learn how to depict the hardware realistically. I could paint an Apollo moon scene in 3 months or so. It would take me maybe 8 months or more to get a Skylab scene right, since there was so much hardware. That leads into the second reason. I believe that when people look back on these times in the future, they will forget Skylab, Gemini, ASTP, Shuttle, even Mercury, but they will remember Apollo for the first Moon landings. People will always remember Neil Armstrong, but they won't remember the first person to step on the Moon when we eventually go back again. We all know Columbus, but how many of us can name off the top of our heads the next guy who sailed to America? Since Apollo is the most historically significant event of our age, I feel it's important for me to be spending my remaining time telling the story through my paintings of what it was like to really be there, to be part of that experience."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-22-2009 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saturday at Spacefest was a day filled with memories that will last long past this weekend.

The day began on a somber note, with the report of payload specialist Robert Wood's untimely passing. Though I had hoped to attend Mark Gray's "Live from the Moon" premiere, I felt it was important to share the news with Charlie Walker, who was at Spacefest and with whom Wood had trained as backup.

With the time I had set aside for the film now open, I took the opportunity to add a signature to my copy of Who's Who In Space from someone whose biography actually appears in the 1986 book, which is rare given the number who have signed it already. Al Crews, who autographed near his entry with the other Manned Orbiting Laboratory pilots, was a pleasure to meet and together with his handler, collectSPACE member Doug Henry, we had a delightful conversation that ranged from the definition of an astronaut to the PBS NOVA documentary, Astrospies.

I also had Jim McDivitt add his signature to the cover of my copy of the Grumman Lunar Module "Gray's Anatomy" booklet, which is now signed by every living Apollo CDR and LMP who flew in a LM, save two.

I took a break from the autographs to chat again with Andy Boston, president of Winco International, who provides NASA with their mission lapel pins and who had a booth at the show offering some really great pins and medals (including a yet to be released, brand new NASA flown-metal medal, details to follow later this week). We compared notes about the history of Constellation program pins, in preparation for my talk on Sunday.

When it came time for the luncheon, I made my way to the outdoor dining area, where I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Fred and Jackie Karst, Ray Holt, Scott Gast and Steve (sorry I missed your last name) as well (of course), Mike and Pat Collins. We agreed that what was said at the table, will stay at the table, but I will share that it was one of the most enjoyable lunches I have had in a long time, complete with lively conversation (on both contemporary and historical subjects) and a real sense of mutual admiration.

The rest of the day I spent walking through the exhibit hall and attending a UACC class on autograph authentication, which offered a chance to hear what others recommend in regards to autopen detection.

Saturday ended with the banquet, which began with a cocktail hour. I thought I was being original by wearing a mission patch-studded tie, but as the photos that were taken will attest, Leon Ford, Jay Rubin and at least three others had the same idea. No worries though, as it only emphasized that we were in great company.

For dinner I was seated with Scott and Patty Carpenter. Scott regaled us with stories from his days in Australia working at the tracking station, as two of our table guests were from down under. Radio host Mark Larson (who recently hosted both the Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 crew events in San Diego and Santa Clara), welcomed everyone, and brought Francis French to the stage to make a special (and outright hilarious) presentation to Dick Gordon.

After dinner was served, Andy Chaikin introduced Jerry Doyle, who gave a spirited if not somewhat politically-skewed address.

Andy also made another presentation involving (to my complete surprise) myself, which you can read about here.

Even as the banquet came to a close, the encounters continued. Michael Cassutt, the author of Who's Who in Space, had never signed my copy, so I returned to my hotel room to retrieve it for his signature. On the way, I bumped into Alan Bean and we had a quiet chance to catch up as we both walked back to our respective rooms.

Returning to the banquet hall, I struck up a conversation with New Horizons' principal investigator Alan Stern and planetary scientist Dan Durda, along with Mike Cassutt. Paul and Chris Calle were there, as was the Bad Astronomer himself, Phil Plait. Andy Chaikin and his wife Vicki joined the group, too.

Some of them headed for a nearby bar, as I decided to retire for the evening to update the site and get ready for tomorrow's talk. Just before going inside, I spent a few minutes with Al Hallonquist, who, along with Kim and Sally Poor and the entire Novaspace staff, made this Spacefest one to remember.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 02-22-2009 03:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ilbasso,

Thank you for sharing your anecdotes from the show. They are what make these shows so special and they really gave me a sense of what I have been missing. I am not sure now whether to thank you or cry!!!

Regards,
Rick

KSCartist
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posted 02-22-2009 05:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Man I wish I had been there! Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. It's a bit of salve on the wound for those of us who couldn't attend.

I know it's way early but where and when is Spacefest 2010?

Tim

Henk Boshuijer
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posted 02-22-2009 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish I could be there... It must be a wonderfull experience.

I really enjoy reading all these stories. It would be great to see some pictures aswell.

Henk Boshuijer

ilbasso
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posted 02-22-2009 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another one:

Keir Dullea, leaning over and yelling at the balky credit card reader that had frozen up: "Hello HAL, do you read me?"

andrewcli
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posted 02-22-2009 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are a couple of more stories that I would like to share:

Paul Calle, it was a real pleasure meeting him and his son Chris. I was at their talk and I listened to Paul speak of his experiences with the astronauts and how he was drawing them. I then closed my eyes imagining I was there too. I think one of the touching points was when he was talking about the Apollo 1 crew, it choked him up. He also spoke about Armstrong and his relationship to Charles Lindbergh and said that when Armstrong said, "Tranquility base, the eagle has landed," Armstrong was also referring to Charles Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle.

Charlie Duke, I had lunch with him. One story was when his family went to MCC to watch the live broadcast of the Apollo 16's EVA in the VIP room. He said he has a twin brother, who is an MD, and said that everybody went into the VIP room except his brother. He went into Mission Control. When everybody saw him they had to do a double take - looking at Charlie on the screen and then looking at his brother. Then someone at the table said this could have fueled the conspiracy theory.

James McDivitt at the dinner table. He found out there were MDs at his table and asked, what made you guys so interested in the space program? The MD, David Chudwin, said that he grew up in Chicago and that McDivitt as well as the other astronauts were an inspiration to him. Gen. McDivitt then looked at me and I jokingly answered that I saw him on a Brady bunch episode! He just laugh at that and said for a while he was getting residuals for that appearance even though it was $1.25 during the last few times.

Andrew

GACspaceguy
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posted 02-22-2009 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, a quick post. With more to come when we get to a computer and not this BlackBerry. We had dinner at the table of Alan Bean last night, turns out that he went to great lengths to make sure he was the first person to eat spaghetti and meat balls on the moon. It is he's favorite meal and he took two servings with him. One serving he brought back from the LM and now is displayed in a shadow box in his studio. Spacefest rocks!

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 02-22-2009 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another Paul Calle story: "People wondered how it was possible that my 'First step' painting was so accurate, almost like I was there, even before the photos came back. Well, I tell people that I WAS there on the Moon, waiting for them to land! The real reason Neil had to fly around for the extra time was that he had to find the spot where I was standing and waiting for him."

Our Fearless Leader Mr. Pearlman gave a great and lively talk this morning/ afternoon. There were several dozen cS members in attendance who wasted no opportunity to heckle him. Kim Poor was obviously saving the best for last in scheduling the talks, as Rob would have been an impossible act to follow!

ejectr
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posted 02-22-2009 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone take part in the golf match?

BC
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posted 02-22-2009 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First of all, my sincerest thanks and greatest compliments to Kim, Sally, Linda, Randy, and the entire Novaspace crew. You did it again! This was another of those incredible memorable weekends. Thanks so very much!

I agree with the other posts, the astronauts were in prime form and took all the time we asked for for conversation and signings. The photos they let us take were worth the price of admission! I'm not one who gets all starry-eyed with actors, but having Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood there from my favorite movie of all time was truly great. Adding LeVar Burton on Saturday was a real prize for this Star Trek fan.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Pat Collins with Mike on the other side of her at the banquet. What a completely professional couple! We were all so grateful that they were there. Pat is an incredible conversationalist. I promised her what we talked about at the table stayed at the table. Pat, if you're reading, I kept my promise!

I was honored to sit at Alan Bean's table for the poolside luncheon. Each time I meet him I am completely taken by his kindness and decency. What a wonderful human being!

Vance and Bev Brand would be the best next door neighbors. What a truly great and friendly couple! And what can be said about Paul Calle, except what a friendly and kind man with incredible stories that he is more than willing to share along with his wonderful art.

I could go on and on, but the most important thing I could post here would be: make sure you attend the next Spacefest! Don't let these wonderful opportunities get away!

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 02-22-2009 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dick and Linda Gordon, with a gag gift that Dick was presented at dinner: "Dick - The Long and the Short: The Shocking Secret Life Story of Dick Gordon, by Col. Alfred M. Worden USAF, Decorated Space Hero and American Legend"

andrewcli
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posted 02-22-2009 11:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanted to thank everybody who put this event together. It was tremendous!!! Kim, Sally, Rob, Lisa, Randy, Francis and the SDASM deserve a big thank you!!!

I also had fun making new friends, both the astronauts and enthusiasts.

I also hope that everybody enjoyed coming to San Diego, it was a great weekend and the weather was superb!

Everybody have a safe trip back home.

Andrew

DChudwin
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posted 02-23-2009 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just got back from two thrilling days at Space Fest. Sally and Kim Poor and the entire Novaspace crew deserve kudos for a wonderful experience.

Where do I begin? First, this was more than just an autograph show. There were important and fascinating educational talks by space leaders such as Cassini’s Carolyn Porco and Mars Phoenix’s Peter Smith, among many others. There was the world premiere of a moving and unique movie “Live from the Moon” about the Apollo televison broadcasts featuring rare and restored footage. There was a large art exhibit from top line space artists. Vendors had all manner of books, T shirts, and collectibles.

The guests included not just astronauts. Space artists Paul and Chris Calle talked about how they designed space stamps and how Paul was an eyewitness to Apollo 11, allowed in the breakfast and suit-up areas July 16, 1969 to record in art his impressions of Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin. Leading space scientists such as Alan Stern of New Horizons, planet hunter Geoff Marcy, and Alfred McEwen of Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter gave presentations. Space historians were abundant, including Francis French, Colin Burgess, Michael Cassutt, Ed Buckbee and Andrew Chaikin. There were book signings, talks, and exhibits.

The meeting venue was spacious and comfortable, although the layout of the hotel was confusing. The service and food at the Saturday lunch and banquet was excellent. The San Diego Air and Space Museum was a spectacular setting for the Friday night reception.

As others have noted, the attending astronauts were friendly, warm and very generous with their time. At the reception on Friday I enjoyed a very long conversation with Charlie Walker and Hank Hartsfield about the early days of the shuttle. I also had fun meeting Mike Collins and his enthusiastic wife Pat, as well as listening to Charlie Duke answer questions for a long time from a small group of space enthusiasts.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of being at Dave Scott’s lunch table. He was happy to answer dozens of questions about his experiences. When asked about Neil Armstrong, his commander on GT-8, Scott expressed his admiration for Neil both as a pilot and a person. Scott emphatically stated that Neil is not reclusive, and is in fact gregarious with those he knows and in small groups. Scott said that Neil has to pick and choose his public activities because he receives so many requests. About the GT-8 emergency, Scott gives credit to Armstrong for analyzing the problem and being able to reach up to turn switches when the two of them were on the verge of blacking out from the fast rotation rate from a stuck thruster. With respect to Apollo, Scott emphasized the importance of the LLRV “flying bedstead” in training the commanders how to land the LM on the surface.

Dave Scott was candid, open and friendly.

The banquet was a great success. I sat with Jim McDivitt, who is also a native Chicagoan.

He was the first astronaut I ever saw — back in 1965 he and Ed White returned to Chicago and I attended a reception for the astronauts with high school students. He has a great laugh and an excellent wit. We at the table talked space and later some politics. He was proud of his role as the Apollo Spacecraft Program Manager from Apollo 12 through Apollo 16, noting that he was more than a “stick and rudder guy.” With each flight he had hard decisions to make.

With regard to his Gemini flight, he explained the difficulty in closing the hatch on GT-4 after Ed White’s space walk and that a similar occurrence in a ground test helped him know what to do to engage a mechanism. McDivitt also stated that this was the first time the Apollo 9 crew was together since the early 1970’s. Despite some bronchitis, he appeared to be having a great time. IMO Jim McDivitt was one of the smartest yet personable of the Apollo astronauts, who also had a very successful business career. It was a great pleasure to talk to one of my personal heroes.

At the banquet Dick Gordon was honored with a hilarious book presentation that left everyone in stitches. Robert Pearlman was deservedly honored for 10 years of collect space. The main speaker, conservative radio talk host Jerry Doyle, gave a passionate speech about the future of the country, but brought down the house with a hilarious dig at Buzz Aldrin as he concluded.

My only negative comments about Space Fest are about some of the pricing for autographs. Rusty Schweickart at the last minute increased his fee from $45 to $90 to more closely match that of Jim McDivitt. While it was his right to do so, the abrupt change threw some people off.

As others have noted, Buzz Aldrin added all kinds of extra fees to his already outrageous $350 base fee. He wanted $50 just to add “Apollo 11” (even though all the other astronauts included missions for free). He also added $100 to items signed by anyone else, even if the signatures had not yet been added! In my opinion, Buzz Aldrin has become greedy. He can charge whatever he wishes, but I’ll never purchase an autograph from him again.

But these were minor annoyances in light of the overwhelming success of the meeting.

It was a unique opportunity for space enthusiasts to get up close and personal with astronaut heroes, space scientists, space artists, space writers and historians.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-23-2009 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had an extremely enjoyable time at this event, from three different viewpoints.

From a museum point of view, it was wonderful to have the evening reception at my workplace. Thanks to everyone who said such nice things about the museum and the exhibitions, including the new da Vinci exhibition, and also the display methods we use for the Apollo 9 Command Module. Coming so soon after the Apollo 8 event, to have the entire Apollo 9 crew, with the Apollo 9 spacecraft, in the anniversary year was a very special evening. Between the two evenings we have now had most of the surviving Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts (including the entire Apollo 11 crew) at the museum for events that anyone could attend. Thanks to everyone who also came by the museum table outside the signing hall, to learn more about what we do.

I posted a couple of photos from the evening event here.

From an event attendee point of view, I enjoyed seeing many old friends and making some new ones. Of the signing guests I had not met before, I have to say... Richard Hatch was wonderful. He kept us engaged with some fascinating stories for a number of hours at different times during the weekend. A real pleasure - an actor who seemed very eager to share ideas and experiences. We had a lot of fun.

Mark's new documentary was simply - stunning. Wonderful work, and highly recommended viewing.

I was able to complete my shelf of Mike Cassutt books, because of the many titles he brought with him for sale - I look forward to reading them.

Robert Pearlman's talk was extremely informative - not simply for the collectibles side of it (which I know little about) but for an extremely informative overview of current NASA manned spaceflight plans, complete with the latest mission animations. Much better, in fact, than many of the well-seasoned professional presenters at the conference! And the only presentation I saw with an astronaut in the audience (always a good sign)...

From a speaker point of view - Colin and I were very grateful for how many of you came to our first-ever jointly-given talk. And how many of you bought copies of our books over the weekend (plus Colin's other books, that the Springer stall had on sale). Even in the very last hours, when Novaspace had packed away the books ready for the return to Arizona, we had people seeking us out and asking us to unpack one of each (which we were happy to do). It was wonderful for us.

And for the people who had already read the books and came by to tell us what they thought of them - it is about the most heartwarming and gratifying feedback a writer can possibly hear. It makes all of those years of work on the book worthwhile. From both of us, THANK YOU so much.

We signed some extra stock copies for Novaspace, and Kim and Sally Poor will be selling them via their website, they told us, should anyone be interested. Thanks!

Rick Mulheirn
Member

Posts: 2458
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 02-23-2009 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was particularly pleased see that smashing photo of Dick and Linda Gordon.

After his recent health problems Dick looks "as fit as a flea".

I only hope he can make it to the UK again in the not too distant future.

Regards,

Rick

StarDome
New Member

Posts: 0
From: Cambridge UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 02-23-2009 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can someone please post a few pages of pictures of the event somewhere for us to see?

Cheers
Andy

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 02-23-2009 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One more time... anyone go golfing?

Rob Joyner
Member

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

posted 02-23-2009 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm another who was at Spacefest on Friday only because I had arranged my schedule to be back home in time to get down to KSC for the then scheduled shuttle launch early Sunday morning. But because I was there to get only a couple of autographs I still had a very pleasant and leisurely stay.

After the doors opened at 9AM Friday it was interesting to see the entire line move in unison to Collins' table! If he didn't feel like really being at the show Collins certainly put that aside while there because he was as friendly and accomodating as anyone could be. He was glad to pose for photos with collectors and very attentive concerning autograph placement and pens used on items to be signed. I heard a rumor Friday afternoon Collins was to be there Saturday too. Can anyone confirm if that happened? Now that Collins has attended a show and seen what great fun it is perhaps he'll change his mind and do some more.

It was a pleasure to finally meet Jim McDivitt too. We shook hands and I told him he's one of those astronauts I thought I'd never get a chance to meet in person. McDivitt was impressed that I spent the money on a cross-country trip to meet him and Collins specifically. He chuckled when I explained that it's only money! McDivitt then told me all of his autograph income goes to charity.

After walking around the room and checking out everything while allowing Collins' and McDivitt's silver ink signatures to dry on my poster I bought three photos for Dullea and Lockwood to sign. I met them both at the Burbank show a few years back but was limited to what I could get signed so it was great getting a few more things from them. I asked Dullea if he and/or Lockwood had any input in the 2001 screenplay and he said that the script had already been completed by Clarke and Kubrick when they were hired for the film, but that during filming Kubrick rewrote the famous pod scene when HAL is reading Bowman and Poole's lips. Dullea explained that Kubrick would rewrite the scene and then film the shot having he and Lockwood adlib it. Dullea said he thought Kubrick did this at least four times before settling on the take that is in the film. Hard to believe 2001 is 41 years old this year! Heck! 2010, the sequel, is 25 years old now!

Then, having all the autographs I came to get, I spent some time just saying hello and getting a few photos of all of the astronauts there I had met before.
I also had the time to chat with many cSers/and any spouses. I'll mention Robert, our 'celebrity leader', first now that he's a verified convention speaker! There's also Al, Kim, Andrew, Fred, Lisa, Mike, Colin, Wayne, Cindy...(Sorry! I know I'm missing at least a few because I'm horrible with names!) I also had a long talk with artist Frank Hettick. His work is wonderful!

The day before I spent some time at the Air & Space Museum taking in the Apollo 9 capsule. And not knowing when I'd ever be back on the west coast again I spent the latter part of Friday afternoon at the zoo before having to return the rental car. That was the first time I ever saw a panda in person. I was lucky enough to see one of them literally plop down in a bed of stalk and have a very loud and crackling snack of bamboo! What a great two days!

Hat's off to Kim, Sally and all of the fine folks at Novaspace for an absolutely wonderful time!

jamato99
Member

Posts: 142
From: Leesburg, VA USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 02-23-2009 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jamato99   Click Here to Email jamato99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Joyner:
McDivitt then told me all of his autograph income goes to charity.

OK, so there's at least one out there. I know Gene Kranz did the same thing at the 2007 UACC show in Florida. Perhaps they can start a trend here...

E2M Lem Man
Member

Posts: 793
From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 02-23-2009 09:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was surprised how many cS'ers were at Spacefest and came up to me to say hello and ask me about the Downey ALF/Columbia space center.

I want to thank so many people but first we have to thank Kim and Sally Poor who did a wonderful affair - Veronica Zabala and her wonderful kids who were the volunteers! It will always be one of my great memories. All of us that worked the event even had a good time. It was a terrific event, and I hope that next time they do Spacefest it can be at the Downey site where so much space history was literally made.

Paul and Chris Calle were wonderful to meet and talk to. I loved their idea of "Power" shirts! My lady told Paul how she thought "first step" looked more like photography than a painting - it is that realistic. The artists and vendors were all a pleasure to talk to.

The reception at the San Diego Air and Space Museum had the best staff (and food) I have ever had at these types of events. Kudos to the management and staff (and Francis).

The astronauts were mostly great to meet, except for Rusty's change of price - which made him and his projects seem less significant.

Bruce McCandless and his lovely wife were a pleasure to work with and listen too. One morning Bruce and I saw this large gathering as the show began, and I said I wished I was a fly on Al Bean's shoulder, as he spoke with Lousma, Scott, Gordon, McDivitt and Schweickart. He said "no you don't"! Why? "because all they are talking about is flying and women".

Dick Gordon looked better than he has in years and every morning as he arrived the fans piped him into the auditorium with a "good morning Captain Gordon, Sir"!

Jim McDivitt and I spoke about his flights and his work at Rockwell-Downey after Apollo (go Michigan!).

Dave Scott and I talked about the fact that we filmed the E2M "Spider" episode twelve years ago this week at KSC, during his anniversary of Apollo 9.

Mike Cassutt, Andy Chaikin and his wonderful wife Vikki talked about books we want to do in the next few years of 50th anniversaries!

Mark Gray's "Live from the Moon" will be a spectacular DVD. I was assisting in the big room - but the applause was deafening down stairs.

I was humbled as Phil Plait and Dan Durda told me their respect for what we are accomplishing in Downey. I was surprised they knew me as I respect and admire their works.

Last but not least was Robert Pearlman's wonderful talk about the collectibles of tomorrow, as he made sure EVERYONE in the room had lots of goodies to take home! Pencils filled with lunar simulant, lithos and pictures and Orion paper models.

Thanks to everyone!
James Busby
Aerospace Legacy Foundation (.net),
Downey, Ca

Machodoc
Member

Posts: 203
From: VA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 02-23-2009 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Machodoc   Click Here to Email Machodoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were it not for the demands of grad school (history at George Washington) I would have been there in a heartbeat. Very glad to see the Dick Gordon is in fine fettle again, and would have loved to meet Mike Collins and Jim McDivitt.

Jerry Doyle, huh? He can be entertaining but his appearance at San Antonio left a bit of grumbling in his wake.

Was very happy to see that our Fearless Leader Rob got some well deserved kudos and I'm always happy to add to them.

Heck, I still got a lot of warm and fuzzies left over from the November ASF event, but those would have been well added to by being able to attend Spacefest!

Steve

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 02-23-2009 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And this was I think one of the real highlights of the event - a chance to get a photo with the Apollo 9 crew in front of Gumdrop, 1 week shy of the 40th anniversary of their flight!

wszczuka
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posted 02-23-2009 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wszczuka   Click Here to Email wszczuka     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must first apologize for my ridiculously small number of postings here given the great joy I've received from this site. (My internet activity cooled significantly after my wife and I had kids.)

Living in San Diego I felt pretty lucky to see Spacefest was going to be here. I have all the autographs I want (except Neil), but this opportunity to meet and speak to the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo astronauts was like living a dream. Everyone I met was incredibly gracious. It was wonderful to finally meet Kim & Sally and be able to thank them for running a First Class business.

I got to help Charlie Duke as he signed autographs and he was warm, funny, genuine and full of great insight. During down periods with Gen. Duke I also got to chat with Ed Buckbee (in an adjacent booth) who shared that he had recently gone through Wernher von Braun's notes and discovered von Braun had recommended using a Gemini capsule for our first trip to the moon. In the other booth next to us was Col. Steve Pisanos, who told some great WWII stories, including a few about testing/flying the first US jet, the P-80.

My father worked for McDonnell/McDonnell Douglas during most of his career. In his mid 20s (before I was born) my family lived in Houston and he was responsible for a lot of the maintenance of the Gemini Module Simulator and also led the design of the Incremental Velocity Indicator (IVI) piece of the simulator. I made it a point to walk around and tell Dave Scott, Jim McDivitt, Richard Gordon and Gene Cernan about my dad and how that work helped feed my excitement of out first three space programs. Each of these men spoke highly of that work, which was a great thrill. Dave Scott & Gene Cernan went into specific details regarding how valuable the IVI in the simulator was.

I was also delighted to finally meet Andrew Chaikin. "A Man on the Moon" really holds a special place in my heart and it was a wonderful experience to relay that to Andrew and have it followed with a few anecdotes about writing the book.

This was a great event for me and I can't thank all those involved enough for making it happen.

-Bill S.


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