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  Photo of the week 481 (January 11, 2014)

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Author Topic:   Photo of the week 481 (January 11, 2014)

Posts: 2646
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 01-11-2014 02:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

A special photo today for my friend Anne. Happy Birthday, Anne!


Posts: 1637
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-11-2014 03:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I remember correctly, it was claimed that this was the first clue that Shepard knew he had been selected to make the first Mercury flight, this before the official announcement.


Posts: 251
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 01-11-2014 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen this picture before and have always thought that it was a great story-telling picture all by itself. But is it the entire image? I never noticed this before, but where is Gus Grissom?

Joel Katzowitz

Posts: 372
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 01-11-2014 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe Gus took the picture!!! Ha.

The photo says so much about Shepard and the rest of the group. A true candid moment preserved for history. Love it!


Posts: 2646
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 01-11-2014 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photo was taken during a press meeting in February 1961 and Grissom was not present.


Posts: 1671
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 01-11-2014 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm going to go waaaay out on a limb here and try to describe the emotions I think I see. Front to back:
  • Cooper looks disappointed. It should have been me.
  • Slayton looks thoughtful. Why him and not me?
  • Glenn looks amused. You think you've won but I'm playing a longer game.
  • Shepard looks incredulous at winning the first big competition. (This is not in keeping with writing about his large ego.)
  • Carpenter looks neutral. Could he truly have been happy for Al?
  • Schirra looks anticipatory. I'll get you back for this, just wait and see.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 28558
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-11-2014 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary, a nice try though by the time this photo was taken, the seven knew that Shepard had been selected since the previous month (they were informed by Gilruth on Jan. 19 and would keep the secret until May 2, when it was made public).

This is a LIFE magazine photo, so I suspect Shepard was more likely hamming it up for Ralph Morse than tipping his hand on having been chosen for the first Mercury flight...


Posts: 24
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: Jun 2006

posted 01-11-2014 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RangeZero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regardless of the circumstances, it's a great image. Thanks for sharing it.


Posts: 162
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 01-11-2014 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blue_eyes   Click Here to Email blue_eyes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OH LORDY.... Best birthday photo-gift EVER!!!!!

Ed, my dear friend, THANK YOU. As long as I live, I will never ever forget this photo on this birthday! I will remember sitting through a TORNADO today — hunkered down, only to emerge afterwards and find THIS FACE of Shepard, gleefully grinning at me on the computer!! Hooray!!! How's that for winning combo?! It just doesn't get any better than this.

Of course, seeing that raw emotion in Shepard, the twinkle in Glenn's eye — this photo totally brings back those memories of meeting them when I was little... of sitting on Shepard's lap, gazing at and tracing his big teeth with my finger, hearing his voice so confident and positive as it convinced me that I could do anything noble in life. It's visceral to see them here... one can almost sense the fibers in their suits and the electricity in the air! Stunning and human, all at once. BIG WOW.

And that makes this the best birthday ever! It just makes me wonder though: who is the real space hero of the day today? Alan Shepard? John Glenn? ...or Ed Hengeveld?!


Posts: 3117
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-11-2014 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love that photo.

The Mercury 7 never shied away from striking a pose. My favourite M7 is the desert survival one at Stead AFB where (again) Shepard holds centre stage. I have seven individual cards inscribed by each astronaut to the M/sgt who was training them. This has inspired me to mount them with said photo.

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