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  Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Show 2013 (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Show 2013
JasonB
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posted 11-09-2013 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's too bad McCandless canceled but had a great time. All the astronauts were very accommodating as usual. Even met Robert for the first time.

Cernan was only $250, cheaper than advertised, and Tom Jones was selling signed copies of Skywalking for only $16 so I had to get one.

Was busy when show opened but was pretty dead after lunch except for Eileen Collins and Cernan. Even Haise was sitting around with nothing to do. A great show to attend. Looking forward to seeing Tom Stafford tomorrow!

JasonB
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posted 11-10-2013 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great to see Tom Stafford today. Don't know what was going on with the fees as they had all kinds of different and quite expensive ones posted but only charged me the base fee despite that the poster I had already had Young and Cernan, and I got extra writing on that and my glove.

Stafford seemed nice enough and I got a photo with him but he seemed very frail. He had a long line and took quite awhile. I was probably 25 people back and it took an hour and a half to get up there. Still it was great meeting him!

alanh_7
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Posts: 1001
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-10-2013 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got home early this evening after taking a flight out of Melbourne via Atlanta to Toronto.

I had a chance to reflect on the show.

Astronaut attendance was down this year as everyone knows. There were last minute cancellations by Ed Gibson, Bruce McCandless and Buzz Aldrin.

Attendance was way down compared to previous years I have attended reflective of the lack of astronaut participation I suppose.

While the attendance may have been disappointing most of those that were there did not allow that to ruin their weekend. I can tell you that overall I had a very good time.

I met up with Mel and the gang who usually attend these shows. Guys, I cannot thank you enough for including me in your group. I had a great time as always and even though I have not been there in a couple of years I appreciate that you made me feel welcome.

Mel, I am really appreciate of you giving me a ride to the space center and allowing me to tag along. I had a great time. Sorry I did not get a chance to see you guys before I left this morning. I hope to see all of you in the near future. You guys made the weekend for me.

The people we meet at the shows is what makes it work. If it were just about the astronaut autographs I would just go get the signatures. It's about rekindling friendships and starting new ones. Uniting with a group of people with the same interests in spaceflight that I have. So on that level the show was great success for me.

The Thursday night Jeopardy was fun. A group of us had an excellent conversation with Charlie Duke later about a great many things, not just spaceflight.

I had a platinum ticket and was not attending the Atlantis tour with Tom Jones. However I came to see Atlantis in the next group and the tour was still going on. No one seemed to mind that I listened in. Tom Jones is polished and a very interesting guide and speaker. We attended his lecture on Saturday, which was excellent, as was Fred Haise and Mary Cleve. We also stopped by the see John Blaha at the Astronaut Encounter on Friday, which was also excellent.

Anyone who has not seen Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is really missing something. They have done an outstanding job with the display. I saw Discovery last year and it was good. But the Atlantis display is outstanding in every way. It really shows the how spectacular the spacecraft is.

The cocktail party is always my favorite part of the weekend. I had great conversations with Fred Haise about fishing and some of his flying experiences.

Jack Lousma was his normal friendly self. We talked about all sorts of things, including his relationship with George Abby, and his run for Senate in Michigan against Carl Levin.

Every time I do one of these shows there is always a particular astronaut who stands out in my mind. One year it was Charlie Bolden, another Dave Scott, etc.

This year it was Greg H "Box" Johnson. He was the life of the party. A few of us had met him at the bar earlier in the evening and he confided he was an autograph show "virgin" and really did not know what to do.

Box Johnson is a really fun guy once he gets going. The highlight of the weekend for me was when were talking in the bar after the cocktail party and we joined a group sitting with Gene Cernen.

The two exchanged barbs, taking the Navy/Air Force and Apollo/Shuttle rivalry to new heights. All with humor of course. The conversation and their exchange of experiences was not the stuff you will read in biographies but it was very real and often funny.

From Greg's experience flying F-15E Strikes Eagles, during the Gulf War to both their experiences with Chuck Yeager to exchanging barbs in the Navy/Air Force fashion, it was just one of those fun spontaneous exchanges that happens at these events and I will never forget it. There was no doubt, all the joking and barbs aside, the two greatly respect each other.

If anyone missed meeting Box Johnson at the show you missed a great guest. He is down to earth and was really in awe of the Apollo guys, yet reluctant to accept just how outstanding his own achievements are. He interacted with guests And really was the life of the party.

Greg retired from NASA after STS-134 and is now director of CASIS. But I suspect his greatest feat is having the distinction as the only person I have ever seen leave Gene Cernan speechless after one of his many humorous comments.

I hope we see him at future shows. Great guy.

I had never met Eileen Collins before. She is class act. She is very engaging and also modest of her own achievements. She really takes the time to talk to each person she meets and she is interested, engaging in conversation, not just about her but she seems genuinely interested in finding out about the people she meets.

I am curious to know when Tom Stafford arrived. The reason I ask is because I ran into him at the Melbourne airport this morning. He was getting off the airplane I was getting on. I had a chance to say hello That was at 11 a.m. (no I did not ask him to sign anything ).

As I said the guests attending these shows is what makes them work. There is no doubt they are going to have to make some changes if the show is to continue and grow. I would have liked to see more shuttle astronauts.

With Atlantis so well displayed it seems ideal location to include more shuttle and ISS astronauts. Their stories deserve to be told and the best way of doing that it to meet them in person. Just an opinion.

While attendance was way down over other years I went, I still had a great time and had a chance to meet several astronauts: Mary Cleve, Eileen Collins, Dan Brandenstein Tom Jones and Greg H. Johnson, whom I have never met before.

It will be interesting to see how the ASF moves forward with this event in the future but if the setting was right I would consider going again.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2595
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-11-2013 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have admired Eileen Collins for years. In 1990, I wrote to her asking for a signed photo for my daughter, she did. In 1999 she became the first woman to command a space flight STS-93 occurred very close to the 30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 aboard Columbia.

This inspired me to paint "One Small Step... for a Woman." The original hangs in the City Hall in Elmira, NY, Collins hometown. On Saturday, Eileen stopped by our booth and purchased two prints and then asked me to sign them for her children. It made my weekend.

A special thank you to Robert for helping to make this weekend possible and for the photos.

MCroft04
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From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 11-11-2013 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
The conversation and their exchange of experiences was not the stuff you will read in biographies but it was very real and often funny.
Yes, Greg was a great addition to the show. One of his comments to Gene included the phrase "you're looking at him!"

alanh_7
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Posts: 1001
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-11-2013 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree Mel. It left Gene Cernen speechless for the first time in his life I think. Just caught him totally off guard.

apollo9guy
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From: Palm Bay, FL
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 11-12-2013 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for apollo9guy   Click Here to Email apollo9guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent show considering nothing super special like last year with Atlantis and Apollo 17. Great to meet so many people that have the same interest as my wife and I. Looking forward to the next get together!

Lev M
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Posts: 92
From: Canada
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 11-12-2013 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lev M   Click Here to Email Lev M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very well said Alan.

It was nice to meet you and other collectors and space enthusiasts. I hope to repeat this experience again.

alanh_7
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Posts: 1001
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-13-2013 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You too Lev, a real pleasure. I am dying to know what one of the astronauts said to you in Russian but I know you are sworn to secrecy.

I hope to see you at another show.

Lev M
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Posts: 92
From: Canada
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 11-13-2013 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lev M   Click Here to Email Lev M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was real joy to meet with Greg. He demonstrated he can speak Russian a little, but I was really surprised he is able to write Russian. I got this from him:

Russian part of the message means "How are you doing, Lev!"

lspooz
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Posts: 127
From: Greensboro NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 11-16-2013 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ASF 2013 Rocked!!

Meeting a wide range of astronauts and space-program supporters made a great vacation weekend – while some veterans of ASF complained about fewer astronauts this year, meeting so many folks I've only heard about for decades was better than dugout seats and backstage passes.

Some personal highlights: Friday dinner seated with Dr Mary Cleave (impressively active in a wide range of scientific disciplines and tells some great stories). Catching some great banter between Greg Johnson and Gene Cernan. Making Dee O'Hara laugh with her inscription for my pediatric patients and son ('Shots build character!') Stunning Atlantis display and buildup.

Similarly, it was great to meet so many space enthusiasts and I look forward to keeping up with and learning from y'all.

The many last-minute cancellations and the growing experience of the new ASF directors will mean that the 2014 show can only be better.

Please make sure to post the date of next year's show as soon as it's set.

alanh_7
Member

Posts: 1001
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-17-2013 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the turnout was much lower than previous years. But I did not hear of anyone who had attended previous shows say they were not having a great time.

The smaller turn out actually was an advantage in some ways because the potential was there to have more time talking with the astronauts and other guests. In fact I had a great time and I think attendees from previous shows would agree.

It was great to see astronauts I have never met and others I had. And also meet up with people I met from previous shows. All in all it was a smaller show but still a very good one.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 586
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 11-17-2013 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll avoid being redundant by repeating the others' comments, so will just to say that it was another fun time and "Box" Johnson was indeed one of the big hits of the event. Spacefest would do well to consider inviting him. He's very personable, a great storyteller - and in his new role as Executive Director of CASIS, there would be an interesting opportunity for him to participate on a panel on the future role and potential of the ISS.

alanh_7
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Posts: 1001
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-18-2013 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Next year's dates are Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2, 2014. But I wonder with the close proximity to Halloween if that will not be a factor preventing some parents who may have younger children from attending. Just a thought.

Chariot412
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Posts: 103
From: Lockport, NY, 14094
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 11-22-2013 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Missed the show this year, but ASF always has great centerpieces on the tables at the gala dinner. What were they this time around?

mode1charlie
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Posts: 586
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 12-07-2013 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone happen to remember what Gen. Stafford's signing fee was? I failed to note it down and need to document it for the items in my collection.

Thanks in advance.

JasonB
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posted 12-08-2013 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tom Stafford was $275. They had a ton of fees posted for everything but only charged me the base fee fortunately. I assume they did that with everyone.

mode1charlie
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Posts: 586
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 12-08-2013 04:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Jason!

To the person who asked earlier about what the centerpieces were at the gala dinner: in keeping with the evening's theme of "A Tribute to the Right Stuff" with more emphasis on Mercury/Gemini rather than Apollo, the ones I saw were Gemini Titan II rockets.


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