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  Apollo Era Anecdotes and Antics?

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Author Topic:   Apollo Era Anecdotes and Antics?
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Posts: 2
From: Australia
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 11-09-2010 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moepower     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was reading Charlie Dumis' interview posted on Johnson Space Center's NASA oral histories and came across this anecdote about Sy Liebergot.
DUMIS: I had a bunch of empty Pepsi cans in my office, sitting around, and Milt [J. Milton] Heflin [Jr.] come over and strung those up to some kind of string and tied it to my chair, and then I was outside the door and they dialed the phone and I went over to get the phone and I had to move the chair and all those things came crashing down.

So I figured out who did it, so I collected more of those things and I went out and dumped them in his car, right in the floorboard of it, so he had to deal with them. It was enough to fill up the front floorboard of the car. That was about 11:00 o'clock in the morning or 10:30.

About noon, he had just got word his father died, so we had to go back out and get the cans. [Laughter] Sy took pictures of it.

...and then one day we finagled a key to Sy's car. I think Doyle [G.] McDonald asked him to let him drive it and had a key made, or let him go somewhere in his car and had a key made. I wished I had put them in the front seat of his car, but I always felt like Sy would just rake them out on the ground in the parking lot. He probably wouldn't have, but he might have. We just put them in his trunk.

But I mean, I'll tell you what. He had a Cadillac at the time, and Cadillac has those -- you pull the trunk lid down and there's a mechanism that catches it and automatically locks it. Well, when it did that, you heard those cans crunch. [Laughter] I mean, there was enough of them in there, it was full.

He didn't know anything about this till he went out to the airport with his wife one day to pick up his father-in-law, and he opens the trunk to put his father-in-law's luggage. ...."

INTERVIEWER: But he still never retaliated?

DUMIS: Oh, he never retaliated, no. Like I say, he was always good for that because he never retaliated.

RUSNAK: Was he just a good sport?

DUMIS: Oh, no, he wasn't that good a sport; he just didn't retaliate. It was probably a characteristic that it never occurred to him to do that, I guess. I don't think we picked on him unmercifully. He may have retaliated in his own way, but he never did anything like that. That was just kind of the stuff that we did back then. If they could find something, that's kind of like wearing a sweater with a loose thread hanging out of it. If people find a loose thread in your personality, they would pull that thread. I mean, it's just the way it was. Toughens you up...."

Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun in those Apollo days. I love hearing these anecdotes. Anyone know any more good stories?

Sy Liebergot

Posts: 458
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 11-09-2010 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While that soda can antic is not in my autobio, there are some other anecdotes that involve the "Doom," as we called him.

Sy Liebergot
"Apollo EECOM: Journey of a Lifetime"


Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 11-09-2010 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The great part about hearing those anecdotes (many, many more were with the recorders "off") was asking the other parties about them later, usually also offline, and seeing their reactions. You just knew that so much more went on that the rest of us will never know.


Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 11-09-2010 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And people still think that all of the NASA guys were 'steely eyed missile men' who didn't have any fun and all wore pocket protectors. This just proves them even more wrong.


Posts: 74
From: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 11-09-2010 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wickball   Click Here to Email wickball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hope you are doing well, Sy.

Sy Liebergot

Posts: 458
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 11-10-2010 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All's well here. Working on my 2011 speaking gigs and the upcoming 75th BD, next February. BTW, re the soda can pratical joke: my "retaliation" was never, to this day, acknowledging that it ever happened. Must have driven the jokesters crazy. Better ones in my book.

All times are CT (US)

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