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  Happy Birthday, Alan Shepard

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Author Topic:   Happy Birthday, Alan Shepard
ilbasso
Member

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

posted 11-18-2008 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Old Man would've been 85 today.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-18-2008 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and to think Guenter gave him a cane in 1971 because he was the oldest astronaut (at that time) to fly.

Best wishes to the Icy CDR's family.

Tim

blue_eyes
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Posts: 161
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-18-2008 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blue_eyes   Click Here to Email blue_eyes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh gosh, I'm gonna cry. How could I forget it was today?!!

I sat on his lap for an entire afternoon (I was four years old), and drew him a crayon drawing while he told me all about what it was like to go up into space! I don't know what was more enchanting to me--those blue eyes and giant teeth just inches from my face, or the fact that he was just SO believable, SO convincing in making me believe that I could really do anything I wanted to.

Well, here's to you, Mr. Shepard--HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You helped make a little girl dream really big in life. And I wish you were still here, so that you could have gotten a (hopefully) new-and-improved crayon drawing in the mail as a birthday present.

dss65
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Posts: 821
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-18-2008 08:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for giving us this prompting to remember a true hero and a real character today. He inspired an awful lot of us. The memories have certainly brought a smile to my face. A big ol' toothy Al Shepard smile, as a matter of fact.

------------------
Don

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

posted 11-18-2008 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
...and to think Guenter gave him a cane in 1971 because he was the oldest astronaut (at that time) to fly.
Here's the picture from the White Room - Shepard has given Guenter a helmet labeled "Col. Guenter Klink" (including a swastika!). Guenter is giving Shep a cane labeled "Lunar Explorer Support Equipment."

dss65
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Posts: 821
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 11-19-2008 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A great photo. In fact, it's the one I got Guenter to sign in Burbank.

Proof, I think, that people from a different era had a little bit thicker skin than some today....

------------------
Don

ilbasso
Member

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

posted 11-19-2008 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Somewhere recently (maybe on this board?) I saw some photos from inside Guenter's house, and the helmet was on display in his TV room.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-21-2008 06:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, people did have thicker skin back then but Guenter still got some flak over it from NASA higher ups. He talks about it in his book how he got some phone calls after that and basically told them that he had no idea Al was going to do that (Want to talk to the guy who did it? Well he is halfway to the moon right now). So Al apparently didn't necessarily do it entirely for the funny bit on the pad (although that was part of it), but rather so Guenter could squirm later on as he dealt with the fallout from it.

That was part of Al's charm though.

MoonCrater1
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posted 11-23-2008 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronaut Alan Shepard is shown here on the USS Lake Champlain on 5 May 1961 following his mission aboard Friendship 7. He will always be a true hero who should be emulated in his life and his work.

All times are CT (US)

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