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  National Air and Space Museum book signings (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   National Air and Space Museum book signings
JasonIUP
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From: PA
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posted 07-10-2009 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Michael Collins is signing his book, as is Buzz Aldrin and Alan Bean at the National Air and Space Museum next Sunday. There is a link provided in the Sightings section.

They're taking no more phone orders for Collins, but you can get up to two books signed per time through line. The guy on the the phone welcomed people to go through line more than once.

The books are $16, I think. If anyone is kind enough to get me any signed copies, e-mail me privately and we can arrange a price.

Michael Ritter
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From: Long Island, NY USA
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posted 07-12-2009 10:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Ritter   Click Here to Email Michael Ritter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When did they stop accepting phone orders for Collins? I called last week and they took my info, telling me they would contact me this upcoming week regarding placing an order. Just wondering now if this is a lost endeavour or not. I guess I still have a few days to decide if I want to make the 5 hour drive down to DC.

JasonIUP
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From: PA
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posted 07-13-2009 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They stopped taking Collins orders sometime last week, I think. I called Friday morning, and I was too late. I was told that Collins agreed to do 400 mail order books, and those are all ordered.

People wanting Aldrin books can still order some, though, before the book signings are over.

bthumble
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From: Houston, Texas USA
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posted 07-13-2009 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bthumble   Click Here to Email bthumble     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too missed out on the phone ordering. If anybody is willing to get Michael Collins signed book for me, please contact me offline and see if we can negotiate a price. Thanks.

AJ
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From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
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posted 07-13-2009 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seeing as how, in another topic, it's been discussed that Buzz Aldrin will sign other books he has authored, does anyone know if Mike Collins will be willing to sign older copies of some of his other books, such as First on the Moon or Liftoff? I know it would complicate matters, but if you only take two books at a time...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-13-2009 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The National Air and Space Museum's website is clear about other books -- for any of the astronauts:
To ensure that the astronauts are able to meet all customers, they will only sign the books being sold at the event.

Fra Mauro
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posted 07-13-2009 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm going to the event and I really hope that people follow the rules. It just makes it bad for the rest of us when people insist upon taking a photo or bringing ten other items along.

AJ
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posted 07-15-2009 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The National Air and Space Museum's website is clear about other books -- for any of the astronauts:
To ensure that the astronauts are able to meet all customers, they will only sign the books being sold at the event.

I understand that and am not unfamiliar with the NASM site, but my point is that at other signings it has been "officially" stated that Buzz Aldrin, for example, will only be signing his two new books. However, when people get to the signing he is more than happy to sign other copies of his books, no matter how old, so long as they are books he has authored. This has happened a few times it seems, so I was simply curious if it might happen again at NASM. I guess I'll find out when I get there.

capoetc
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posted 07-15-2009 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
I'm going to the event and I really hope that people follow the rules.
Oh, well...

bthumble
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From: Houston, Texas USA
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posted 07-17-2009 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bthumble   Click Here to Email bthumble     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thought I would ask one more time. I would like to obtain a signed copy of Michael Collins book, but unable to attend and missed the phone order. Please let me know if you are attending and would please get one for me. Please contact me offline if able to do so.

Thanks for your help!!

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 07-19-2009 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a madhouse at the NASM signings today. I think if you weren't there before 10:30, you're out of luck.

Contrary to what the museum's website implied, the astros were indeed signing copies of their books which were not purchased at the museum. If you waited to buy the books there, you had to wait in two lines - one to buy the books, another for getting them signed. Even if you preordered and prepaid for the books, you still have to wait in the first line to pick them up.

When I perused the situation at 11:30, the line just to purchase the books ran the entire length of the museum - two city blocks. The signing line went about half as far.

micropooz
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posted 07-19-2009 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bailed at noon. The book buying line had only moved about half the length of the museum in two hours, and as ilbasso said, the signature line was about equally long. Some of the museum staff came by and said that the astronauts were leaving at 2 pm. It didn't take much extrapolation to realize that I didn't have a chance to get up to the astronauts' table with books before they left at 2:00. The museum was not ready for this gigantic of a response today.

AJ
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posted 07-19-2009 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's why I am mad about what happened today: museum staff, nice as they were, gave us extremely poor and misleading info. I arrived before 11 a.m., got in the buying line (hindsight #1: wish I'd known I could have brought books). After being in line for probably an hour, a girl in a green dress told us they had no more Alan Bean books. Disappointing. Twenty minutes after that, a blonde girl told us they had *some* Bean books, but not many and we *might* get one. After being in the buying line for an insane two hours, we were told by the blonde girl that the line was being cut, we could stay in line for books, but could not get in the signing line.

We were also told that the signing ended promptly at 2 p.m. and would NOT be extended. We were, however, allowed to go up to the rope line and take photos, so a lot of people left the line and the nice girl I met (Heather; very cool) went to take photos. I was then so upset I walked out of the museum, cried, had lunch, went back inside.

Probably 40 minutes after I got out of line, an overhead announcement was made that the signing line was being cut and no new people could get in that line. Hmm, not thrilled about that. Had I known that the line really wasn't cut off when I was told it was, I might have stayed in line, but it was 1:00 p.m. when I got out of line, so I didn't think I'd still make it to the front of the signing line.

Moving on... I wandered around, took photos of stuff, and went to the outstanding Alan Bean "Painting Apollo" exhibit. I got out of that at 2:30 and guess what? The astronauts were still signing! At that point I was really mad at the museum staff. They were really poor at communicating with the public, mostly because we continually got bad information. I'm sure someone will come along and defend them and that's fine, but I honestly think they did not have this as well organized as they should have, especially since the info the staff gave out varied from staff member to staff member.

Oh and by the way, at 2:30 p.m. I bought a copy of "Painting Apollo". I'm especially impressed by that, considering they were sold out over two hours earlier.

Edit: Sorry for such a long post, but I was mad and had a lot to say!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-19-2009 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJ:
I'm sure someone will come along and defend them and that's fine, but I honestly think they did not have this as well organized as they should have, especially since the info the staff gave out varied from staff member to staff member.
I can see how the announcements could have been -- and obviously were to some -- confusing. They did make several announcements that the line was closed after they had already cut off the line. I guess people were still trying to get in.

When they did cut off the line, they told those in the signing line that no matter how long it took, everyone already in line would get their books signed (which is why the astronauts were signing beyond the original cutoff time of 2 p.m.).

With regards to signing other books and other items, I did see at least a few other books get signed, but I also saw them turn quite a few others away. One lady in particular tried to have Aldrin sign a book already signed by Armstrong -- she had apparently asked the staff for permission, was told no, and then proceeded to try to get it signed anyway (at which time she was told no again, even more forcefully). The particularly odd part about that situation was that before then, she had asked me who each astronaut was -- I got the impression she was not the book's owner.

Speaking of dealers, an older gentleman who apparently had gotten through the signing line early, reportedly tried selling signed copies of "Carrying the Fire" to those still standing in line -- for $100 each. Museum security escorted him out, and then he tried again on the sidewalk, only to be further made to leave.

But those were the few exceptions to an otherwise enjoyable morning. To all the collectSPACE readers and members I saw -- far too many to list, easily over 50 people -- it was great seeing each of you!

I had pre-ordered my books with no intention of standing in line to have them signed, but encouraged by being in good company, I had the museum pull my order and I waited with everyone else. I was glad I did -- though Aldrin was signing up a storm (his twitter update mentioned signing over 1,000 copies -- and I can believe it!) -- Collins and Bean were gracious with their time.

And then there were the other special guests -- Andy and Vicki Chaikin were there, as was former shuttle astronaut Don Thomas. I got a great photo of Lois Aldrin with her daughter and assistant posing with Columbia. And Pat Collins, Mike's wife, is always a pleasure be around.

So while I am sorry to hear that not everyone walked away with signed books and a smile, I hope their time in the museum was otherwise well spent and enjoyed.

jamato99
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posted 07-19-2009 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jamato99   Click Here to Email jamato99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My dad and I got to the museum at 10 a.m. and were shocked to see the lines running down the steps and down the block just to get in! I'd say the museum probably didn't expect near the crowd it got today, which is both a good and bad thing.

I called the museum earlier in the week to make sure it was OK to bring our own copies of the books to the signing rather than having to buy them at the museum. I was told we could, as long as they were the current books being signed. So we brought two copies of each book with us and that proved huge.

An enormous line had already formed by the time we got into the museum, probably around 10:15. We got in line at the far west end of the museum, past the Transportation Gallery for those who know the museum well. Chatter quickly started and we learned that the line we were in was only for those buying books. I investigated this further and confirmed there was a much shorter line for those already with books, so we got in that line, which was probably about 1/5 as long.

Once the signings got started, all went pretty smoothly. All three astronauts were in good spirits, and I even heard Bean tell people "thanks for coming." The staff rushed us along through the signing line, but we were able to take a good deal of pictures once we got up to the table. All three guys shook our hands and said a quick hello. I think they might have been a bit overwhelmed by the turnout, too.

We went to check out Bean's exhibit upstairs and when we came out, probably around 12:45, we noticed the lines were still huge and all three astronauts had taken a break from signing! I can't imagine that sat well with the hundreds still waiting in the lines.

It's hard to predict the turnout at an event like this and I think the staff did a decent job overall. I'm sorry if anyone had a bad experience today. Perhaps in the future, the museum could stagger the signings across several hours to allow the crowds to thin out a bit throughout the day.

capoetc
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posted 07-19-2009 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there today as well. Robert, I saw you there but there was no way I was going to get out of line to go over and say hi!

I got there around 9:30 am (doors opened at 10). Once I got through security, I went over to the line and it was already really long. I was in line by shortly after 10, and by the time I had bought my books and then gotten through the autograph line it was around 1:30 pm (so, 3 1/2 hours waiting).

It was VERY nice of Pat Collins to come out along the autograph waiting line and introduce herself to everyone. She was very gracious and a joy to talk to ... I mentioned how nice it was that she came out when I got up to Mike Collins' table, and we had a nice, albeit short, chat. Just before me in line, some dork tried to get Collins to sign a WSS litho. Ugh.

Overall, I had a good time. I had some nice conversations with other folks in line. I had a good chuckle over the guy who told his kids that "these are the guys who landed the shuttle on the moon".

My only regret is that I didn't know you could bring your own books -- that would have shortened the experience by easily over 2 hours. Oh, well ... still a good time.

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

AJ
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posted 07-19-2009 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I can see how the announcements could have been -- and obviously were to some -- confusing. They did make several announcements that the line was closed after they had already cut off the line. I guess people were still trying to get in.

When they did cut off the line, they told those in the signing line that no matter how long it took, everyone already in line would get their books signed (which is why the astronauts were signing beyond the original cutoff time of 2 p.m.).


I can understand making the announcements so that new visitors would not join the line, but there were still problems. after we were told the line was cut off, I later saw people in the signing line who were directly in front of us in the buying line at the time we were told the signing line was cut off. so obviously the line wasn't cut off at the time we were told it was.

I also find it even more interesting that people in the signing line were told they would get their books signed, no matter what. I think that's great and I'm glad that it was done that way, but it's completely contrary to what we were told in the buying line (that 2pm was it, no matter what) ...which gets back to my original point: the museum staff was not as organized as they probably should have been and a lot of people, not just myself, missed out due to that lack of ACCURATE information. A lot of people got out of line because they believed they had no chance of getting books signed, when in fact we probably could have.

thump
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posted 07-20-2009 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And speaking of the idiot that was selling the books through the line, and then outside, for a $100, this is a**hole also followed Alan Bean down the street to the hotel. Not sure what the conversation was, or what it was like when they got to the hotel, ut this is another example why most of these men have stopped, or vastly curtailed their signings...

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 07-20-2009 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife and I got back last night. I am sorry to hear that things didn’t go well for others in the line. I suspected that might be the case when I saw the size of it. My wife took a picture of the lines from the escalator in the Welcome center which I’ll post when I get the chance.

I was able to go to the opening of Alan Bean’s exhibition on Thursday which was great. Alan was very friendly to everyone (not a surprise), and I was thrilled to finally meet him. I was also thrilled to Meet Andrew Chaikin and Victoria Kohl as well. They are both great people.

For the Sunday signing, we got to the museum at around eight o’clock or so, and there were about 10-15 people there already. People flowed in steadily until about 9 when we actually lined up at the door. A couple of tour buses came through and unloaded which accounted for the lines extending to the sidewalk. When the museum opened, my wife and I adopted a “divide and conquer” strategy and she got a place in line while I bought the books. We were fortunate to be among the first 40 people in line so we saw the astronauts come in, and the crush of press that surrounded the fist signers. We were somewhat rushed in the line, but that was to be expected given the number of folks there and I didn’t feel it was unduly so. I will say that Buzz, Mike Collins and Alan Bean were very friendly and chatty given the constraints.

For me, I think things went well overall. I can’t speak to the quality of information given out by the staff. What I can say is that everyone of them was pleasant, patient and helpful, and I appreciated them very much. I was very pleased to meet all the astronauts, Andy and Victoria, and some fellow space enthusiasts in the line.

One side note was that I ran into Chris Kraft in the Smithsonian castle. He was standing next to me looking at the display they have there from Night at the Museum 2. I turned and said “Excuse me, sir, are you Chris Kraft?” And he said yes, and I said it was an honor to meet him and shook his hand. He asked me how I recognized him, and I told him I’d seen him on TV more than once. He and Mrs Kraft chatted briefly with my wife and I, and we went our separate ways. I feel incredibly lucky.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 07-20-2009 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by thump:
And speaking of the idiot that was selling the books through the line, and then outside, for a $100, this is a**hole also followed Alan Bean down the street to the hotel. Not sure what the conversation was, or what it was like when they got to the hotel, ut this is another example why most of these men have stopped, or vastly curtailed their signings...

That's really unfortunate. Alan Bean in particular was friendly and generous with his time.

collocation
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posted 07-20-2009 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for collocation   Click Here to Email collocation     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I volunteered at the welcome desk on Sunday afternoon and was not involved with the book signing. No doubt it was a challenging atmosphere. I had a first edition of Collins' book that was purchased at a library sale for $1.50 (the best source for space books). I went to the end of the line a few times and gave up. On my last attempt they announced the line was closed. As I was going back to the welcome desk a lady asked me if I wanted Collins' autograph. I said sure, but how was she going to pull it off. She told me that she was Mike Collins' daughter and noticed that I had a first addition book. She was having fun and was going to surprise her dad by standing in line to get his autograph. When I took a second look, she looked just like her dad. Sure enough five minutes later she returned to the welcome desk with the book autographed. In addition to this luck I did get a lottery ticket to the theater (I am going to play the Virginia lottery this week).

Apparently they were very strict about using the lottery ticket system. Directors at the Air & Space did not get in. Collins' by far was the best speaker. Aldrin was the only speaker using a teleprompter and it sounded like a political rally or a revival. Armstrong as always was the "engineer" and it was nice to see him pay his respects to Goddard. Kraft came off a bit caustic.

It is time for many of us it is time to face reality. I am 51 years old and will not see a man on Mars. Maybe the moon again, but not Mars in my lifetime. In addition to the clown that was selling autographs and stalking Alan Bean, there was a lady in the theatre with a moon landing newspaper who was talking to staff trying to get autographs. She was told several times no and they finally had to call a security officer. She finally sat down. But her actions were very entertaining. Overall a nice evening, I consider myself extremely lucky, they received 7,000 requests for tickets and almost one half of the theatre was filled by VIPs. It was also neat to the see several other astronauts in the crowd.

MarylandSpace
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posted 07-20-2009 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a great day at the museum, albeit a long day.

The lines were long, both for the book purchase and the book signing, but the reward was great. I got to the museum before 9 am (west entrance) and after the museum opened at 10 am got into the book selling line -- I ordered and returned books to Amazon as I was under the impression that the authors would only sign books purchased that day at NASM. I was wrong as you could bring the three books of the day into the booksigning.

Both lines extended from one end of the museum to the other end.

Thinking about it now, I spent from 9:00 am to 1:50 pm in lines--outside the museum and inside-- 4 hours and 50 minutes (but worth it) and another 45 minutes that evening. (on edit)

If the astronauts were able to sign 4 books per minute, 1,000 books would take 250 minutes (4+ hours without a break at this pace).

As I got to the head of the line at 1:50 pm, the NASM employee truly thought the signing was going to stop at 2:00 -- I just made it. Then came other announcements, "If you are already in line," etc.

It was probably a combination of the weekend day at the most visited museum in the world with some of the most famous people in the world and an anniversary of one of the most important milestones.

After the book signings -- one line was so much more efficient than three lines -- I spent some quality time at Alan Bean's art display. I actually toured it twice. My two favorites are "The Hammer and the Feather" and "In Flight" (Alan Shepard golfing). The originals are breathtaking.

I got to see three Wright planes -- The Wright Flyer, the Vin Fiz, and the 1909 Wright Military.

After an hours rest on the Mall, we returned to the NASM to get our tickets to the wonderful evening presentations and reflections.

I got to talk with many of my collectSPACE friends during the day. I hope everyone had a memorable day like I had.

Garry

(I'm glad I read about this event on collectSPACE.)

JasonIUP
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posted 07-20-2009 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks again to Kim and Sally for organizing such a wonderful event in San Diego -- after reading these posts, I'm glad I didn't bother going to the NASM for Collins.

andrewcli
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posted 07-20-2009 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcli   Click Here to Email andrewcli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a link to pictures taken at the event.

neke
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posted 07-20-2009 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neke   Click Here to Email neke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have posted here before about my younger son, who is very interested in Charlie Duke and Apollo 16. Well, my older son Jay, age 8, is a great admirer of Mike Collins and Apollo 11. I didn't think he would ever have the opportunity to meet his favorite astronaut and/or get an autograph, so when I read on this site about the book signings, I decided to take him.

Some pretty crummy news at work meant that I had a little more time free than I expected to. So the two of us went up a day early and spent most of the day on Saturday (my 34th birthday) at NASM, which we hadn't been to before. While there, we asked an employee in the book area of the museum store about the signing. He said he was planning to arrive at 7 am and expected there to be a substantial line already by that time. That surprised me, but it led me to reevaluate my plans to arrive at 9 am, and I was later glad I did. I have never been to any type of signing before and didn't know what to expect.

We were staying just a block from the museum and started walking over there just before 7 am. We could see before we got even half a block that there weren't more than 6 or 7 people already waiting, so we went and got a very quick breakfast and then headed over. We arrived at 7:15 or so and were maybe tenth in line. The line grew steadily.

As has been stated before, the flow of information from whoever was organizing the signing, to the employees and volunteers at the museum, to the public had definitely broken down somewhere along the line. In a couple calls to the museum and a couple conversations with employees, I got conflicting information, and no one seemed terribly certain of anything. I was told I had to buy the books there, but that I might be okay bringing the books with me if I had bought them at the museum store and had a receipt. It was also clearly implied to me that the line for buying books and the signing line would be one and the same, which turned out not to be the case. After arriving, a couple employees told us that they might open the doors early, which didn't happen, and one lady in line near me had been told on the phone that the doors would open and books would be sold at 8:30 AM (and boy, she didn't shut up about it from 8:30 to 10:00!). Finally, there were lines forming on both the mall side and the street side of the building; this made for something of a free-for-all when the doors on both sides opened and people streamed in from two directions. I definitely think the organization and communication could have been handled better without too much effort.

But anyway...

When the doors opened, we headed for the area where the signing would be held. I got in line to buy my books and sent my son to get our spot in the signing line (we were both close enough to the front of our respective lines that I could keep an eye on him from where I stood). After I got our books and joined him, the signing was only 30 or 40 minutes away. The one aspect of the signing that was well organized (and maybe this is typical, I don't know) was the actual signing line, which seemed to proceed steadily while still allowing a moment or two to speak with the astronauts.

Buzz Aldrin was up first, and after he heard that my son really enjoyed his recent song "Rocket Experience" (I had been talking to Lisa Cannon about it a moment before; my son must have wanted to hear it 15 times on our 5 hour drive to DC) he rapped a few lines just for my son, which Jay got a big kick out of. Buzz seemed to enjoy talking with the kids more than the adults. We got one book signed and I am looking forward to reading it.

Next in line was Mike Collins, the main reason we made the trip. Jay had hoped to get his well-loved "Flying to the Moon" book signed, but given the rules and the situation, I didn't think it would be right to put Mike Collins in the position of having to either refuse to sign it and disappoint a little kid, or sign it and set a bad precedent. So we didn't even ask, but I did get Jay his own copy of "Carrying the Fire" that he can keep until he is old enough to read it. My usually outgoing, talkative kid clammed right up when confronted with the sight of his favorite astronaut right across the table from him. I mentioned that Jay had read "Flying to the Moon" (it took him weeks to read -- he's a great reader, but it was a pretty tough read for him; I think it was probably written for kids a couple years older -- but he really enjoyed the book and was very proud of himself when he finished) and he asked Jay whether it was a good book. Jay managed to squeak out that yes, it was a good book, and he got a handshake.

Then it was on to Alan Bean, who was quite friendly and approachable. I didn't spend too long, though, because this was the end of the line so if I had stopped to chat, it would have been ME holding up the line, which I did not want to do. (The show of his artwork upstairs at the museum is WELL worth the time. I had seen pictures of his art before but it was great to see it in person. Even Jay enjoyed it...it was fun getting up close to try and spot pieces of patches and foil, etc., and then stepping back to look at each painting as a whole.)

And that was it: 11:20 AM and we were ready to go get lunch and sit down! I was glad I had gotten there early; we had a loooong wait, but we were never seriously in doubt that we would get the books and autographs we were hoping to, and we were glad to be finished early enough to head over to the Udvar-Hazy center before driving 5 hours home. All in all it was a thrill for both Jay and me to get the chance to meet these three astronauts and get our books signed. Neither of us had ever met any of the Apollo astronauts before and we are glad we got this opportunity. I do feel badly for those who tried to and were unable to either because of bad information or the sheer size of the crowd. And I also have to give the astronauts major credit; had it been me and I walked in and saw a line like that waiting for me, I think I'd either cry or leave or both! But they may be used to that.

Like the poster above, "I'm glad I read about this event on collectSPACE."

And now, since this post is not yet long enough, a few pictures (with immense thanks to the gentleman behind us in line, who was kind enough to take these and email them to me):

spaceman1953
Member

Posts: 933
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 07-21-2009 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to all for the accounts, the link to the pictures (did anybody get that SIGN in the last picture for a souvenir?) and Neke, hope things go better at work soon. You got a lifetime full of memories there as well as your son. I saw a piece with Buzz doing his rapping on TV a week or so ago...

AJ
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Posts: 509
From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-21-2009 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seeing as how I got to get up close to take photos, which in itself was pretty neat, I thought I'd share a link to what I think is a super funny photo I took of Bean and Collins.

xlsteve
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Posts: 368
From: Holbrook MA, USA
Registered: Jul 2008

posted 07-22-2009 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a link to a selection of my photos.

You can see how the line stretches the length of the building in one of them. I thought my wife got a particularly good one of Buzz.

birds-or-shells
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Posts: 25
From: Marlton, NJ
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 07-22-2009 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for birds-or-shells   Click Here to Email birds-or-shells     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wanted to share my experience with the Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Alan Bean signing event. My wife and eight year old daughter drove down on Saturday from New Jersey (~2 ½ hours) and spent most of the day at the American History Museum and Natural History Museum. We then went to the Air and Space Museum in the evening and went to the gift shop to get information about the signing event. I went to the second floor where they sell the books and spoke with a staff member who was very helpful and informative. He said that this would be a huge event and he planned on getting in line at 7 AM even though the museum did not open till 10 AM and the signing event was not until 11 AM. He strongly suggested I do the same – very good advice! After leaving the gift shop we had a quick bite to eat at a nearby McDonalds (most everything else was closed after 7 PM) and then returned to see Night at The Museum in the IMAX theatre. It is a really funny movie – and there is a scene of Neil Armstrong coming down the LEM ladder at which time he says “That’s One Small Step for a Mannequin, One Giant Leap for Mankind.” I’m sure my daughter will always remember seeing Night at the Museum at the museum at night. We got to our hotel late and then got up early and made it to the Air and Space Museum around 8 AM. We went to the Independence Avenue entrance (the opposite side of the big lawn) at which time there were about 50 people in line. We heard there was another line on the mall side – but that side was much hotter as they were in full sun – we had shade. At 10 AM they let us in and those on the mall side. This is where some problems came in – if you had a bag you had to have it go through the scanner – if you didn’t you go right in. At this point your place in line lost meaning as everyone tried to get through the screening and then run/walk quickly to the signing area.

When I got to the signing area there was a really big line (about 150 people in front of me) which I and everyone else got in. You then learned that this was the line for buying the books and there was a second line for those that already had their stuff to get signed. My wife and daughter got in the signing line and I waited a little over an hour to purchase my books. I then joined them to wait our turn for the signing which was about a half-hour. The line moved very quickly ( too quickly for me) and while in line you were told to open each book to a certain page and place the dust jacket at that page. When you got to the signing area you gave all your books to a staff member who then placed them on a table next to Buzz. His handler put each book in front of him to be signed and then passed each signed book to the handler for Mike Collins. After Mike Collins signed the book it was passed to the handler for Alan Bean. Once Alan signed the books they were all stacked up and handed back to you by a handler – and you needed to keep Alan’s book open so the gold pen ink could dry. The whole thing was completed in less than a minute or so and did not leave any time to get a posed picture or talk at all – all of which is understandable considering the size of the crowd.

While waiting in line my daughter and I were interviewed by a local talk radio station and a local TV station. After exiting the line we were interviewed by another TV station from Germany. We felt like celebrities! The basic question was what do you think the vision is for the NASA program?

After taking my signed books to the car I came back and was able to stand behind the signing line and take as many photos as I wanted. This was fun though frustrating as someone was always walking in front of me just when I had a smiling face on an astronaut.

After taking my photos we checked out the Alan Bean exhibit – incredible – and the many other exhibits. As the day went on the book signing line stretched the length of the museum. I felt bad for those in line as it seemed unlikely most of them would be able to buy their books in time to get in the signing line before the cut-off time. This brings up one complaint – they should have sold the books in the gift shop as well rather than just at this area since the gift shop has numerous registers and could have sold the books much efficiently. As it was all books that were in the gift shop were moved to the sales area for the signing event – and then returned at the end of the day.

As far as books being signed all I saw were the books being sold Look to the Stars & Magnificent Desolation for Buzz, Carrying the Fire for Mike, and First Artist on Another World for Alan. I brought along a copy of Liftoff hoping Mike would sign it but was told by hi shandler he would not. The only other book I saw being signed was hard-cover copy of Carrying the Fire which Mike did sign.

I’m sorry for the frustration experienced by the others but for my family and I it was a fun and exciting event. I owe much thanks to the staff member who suggested getting there so early.

------------------
Michael Gage
birds-or-shells@comcast.net

randyc
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Posts: 599
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 07-22-2009 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Mike Collins did decide not to sign the books that were pre-ordered because he was concerned that individuals would profit from it he, in essence, is exacerbating the problem. By not signing those books he's actually driving up the price of the books that he did sign. The old 'supply and demand' concept. I understand that no matter how many books he signs there will probably be more demand than supply, and thus the books would sell for more than the cost, but the simple fact is the fewer books that he signs the greater the demand and the higher the price (a Catch-22?). So he's actually helping those who were at the booksigning make a higher profit at the expense of those who couldn't attend (take a look at the bidding for the copy that's currently on ebay).

I remember that when I met Buzz Aldrin in 1982 and asked him to autograph a couple of photos that I had he refused, and one of the reasons was that he didn't like the fact that people had taken advantage of him during the years that he did sign (he pointed out that he stopped signing in 1979, the 10th anniversary of Apollo 11). Although I mentioned to him that he was 'penalizing' the collectors who were too young to get his signature before he stopped signing and that he was actually creating more of a demand (and higher prices) because of his policy he didn't care. To his credit he said that he wouldn't let me leave without a signed photo, so he gave me a signed WSS litho which I still have today as a memento of that encounter.

AJ
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Posts: 509
From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-22-2009 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I apologize for veering off topic, but what was the context in which you met Buzz? And what were the photos you wanted him to sign? I think you were pretty awesomely lucky that he gave you a signed WSS litho, because nowadays if you had such a litho and wanted it signed, it would cost you *at least* $350. I was not alive in the 60s (or the 70s, for that matter), so I wasn't around for the "free autograph" era, but I understand the realities of the situation now and I don't begrudge them for charging for autographs. As far as I can see, we're not obligated to anything from these men, whether it's free or we pay for it, so we're pretty lucky when they do sign anything. just my opinion!

Also, I think the Mike Collins issue has been (hopefully and apparently) cleared up on the Carrying the Fire eBay topic. Mike is a generous (but private and retired) guy, I don't see him not signing because of what people *might* do with the books.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 07-23-2009 12:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there and it was an excessively long wait. I should have bought the books in advance so I caused a little of my own problem. The staff was a bit overwhelmed and a few were short-tempered but I can understand that. It was too bad that there was little time to even say hello to them, Collins and Bean were cordial but Aldrin seemed to be just doing a job. However, in the end it was worth it! Thanks to my fiancee for waiting there with me! true love is having your lady go to a space event with you!

randyc
Member

Posts: 599
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 08-05-2009 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have some good news for collectSPACE members who pre-ordered 'Carrying The Fire' signed by Mike Collins from the Smithsonian. I just got off the telephone with the gift shop and confirmed that last week he did indeed sign books for those who pre-ordered them and that they are currently shipping out all of the books that were pre-ordered (which include the Bean and Aldrin signed books). I had spoken to the Smithsonian last week and knew that they shipped books to him but didn't want to post anything until I confirmed that they were signed and on the way to the collectors.

daveblog
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Posts: 129
From: Bergenfield, NJ USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 08-05-2009 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for daveblog   Click Here to Email daveblog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This morning I saw the charge on my credit card and at first wasn't sure what it was for. When I realized it was for the Smithsonian gift shop, I got very excited! I am very happy to be adding his signed book to my collection. This is one copy that will not be headed for ebay. I am very grateful for the Smithsonian and for Mr. Collins to make this happen for those of us who ordered over the phone and could not attend.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 08-05-2009 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yesterday I received a copy of "Painting Apollo" that I ordered from the NASM. It was the first time I have ordered from them and everything was great, until I opened the page where Alan Bean had signed. It seems the signature was not allowed to dry before the book was closed. When I opened the signature page, it stuck and even with care, when I separated the page there was a mirror image of Alan Bean's signature on the opposite page.

The original Bean signature is fine but I could do with out the mirror image. I would never wish to re-sell the book anyway, but it is really too bad. I have emailed the NASM to see if they will exchange it, but it was only yesterday and have yet to receive an answer. It is the first time I have dealt with the NASM so I hope something can be done. But I regret not going though Novaspace as I originally had planned.

Has anyone else had this problem?

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 08-05-2009 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy is like that as well, I just figure I received a two for one deal!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-05-2009 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My in-person signed copy has the same issue, and I did leave the book open for what I thought was a sufficient amount of time for the ink to dry (and Bean and his assistants were cautioning to do so). So, it may just be an an unavoidable situation based on the pen that was used and the type of paper.

Spacefest
Member

Posts: 1056
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 08-05-2009 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
So, it may just be an an unavoidable situation...
It's avoidable. I'll let Rob explain further.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 08-05-2009 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am just going to let it go and not take it further with the NASM. The original signature is clear. The mirror image adds charactor I guess. I would prefer not have the mirror image but I would not sell it either way. Its not the end of the world I guess. I had no control over this but it is a lesson I need to remember in the future when I get something signed in person. More drying time....

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 08-05-2009 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a similiar problem. It's too bad that there isn't a white cover page to get it signed. The gold pen isn't the best way to go.


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