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Author Topic:   Sending a reminder?
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posted 05-22-2005 05:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttlefan   Click Here to Email Shuttlefan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good morning everybody!
You all know that: You sent a request by mail to an astronaut and after a reasonable period of time (how long ever `reasonable´ may be) nothing happens. You spent the money for a SASE or included cash for postage, you spent your stuff, maybe valuable or already signed by others. I know, they don´t owe us anything but is it useful to send a friendly reminder like "Did you get it all?" or "Maybe you put it aside to a remote place of your desk but principally will you be willing to sign?" or just "Could I please have it back at least?". I would not send such to someone from which I heard meanwhile that he/she stopped signing through the mail just recently. What are your experiences with such second-chance-letters? Did you have a delayed success or did you get replies like "Don´t annoy me with that furthermore". Is it worth a try or should I just give in like I risked it, now I´ve lost it?


Posts: 2576
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-22-2005 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good Morning Chris-

I would send a polite note saying what I sent and when. If you recently learned that they don't do signings by mail anymore I'd mention that you just learned that and ask for the piece to be returned.

You have to allow that they may have misplaced it or that it was lost in the mail. (Did you send it registered?) I have a frend who has quite a number of Apollo astronauts autographs on a model of the Saturn V. She never lets it out of her site now-only signings in person.

Bottom line be polite and tell the truth. I wish you good luck.


[This message has been edited by KSCartist (edited May 22, 2005).]


Posts: 941
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 06-02-2005 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I pi***d off an Apollo astronaut "back in the day"....when the "pressure" (in my mind) was off and we were well on our way to going back to the Moon over and over.....I wrote to an astronaut and asked for some favors, which he did more than willingly.

Then I asked for some more.

And apparently some more.

He wrote back and said I must be selling the stuff (which I surely was NOT) and he would not be doing anything ever for ME again ! NEVER !

I felt we had established a pretty good relationship through the mail, so I wrote him again and said I had every scrap of paper I ever got from NASA or any astronaut.....he wrote back and apologized, saying that the pressure of his training for his upcoming flight must have made him write that to me.....

I felt EVEN worse after getting THAT note back from him.....

So, in my mind, it's kinda, sorta like applying for a send your stuff and you takes your chances.....there is a fine line, as my dear brother Brian says, between applying for a job and STALKING !

(a paraphrase).

I might followup with an autograph request ONCE, but not a second time.

I lost a cover I had sent to Betty Grissom.....don't know if she was annoyed by the request, did not want to sign my cover, kept it, trashed it, or lost in the mail or whatever. I spent YEARS replacing the cover.....but I never tried to write to her again, figuring that I was pressing my luck.

Cheers !

Gene Bella
South Bend


Posts: 2318
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 06-03-2005 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To be honest, I would never send a "reminder" to follow up an autograph request.

Just as Gene said here: you send an application, and hope for the winning bid. Period.

In most cases, the amount of money put at risk is not really that important: A cover or a photo or two, material value perhaps 10 bucks, postage and return postage, perhaps another 7 bucks if you packaged wisely. That is not an amount to lose your sleep about. It's about the amount you spend on a small lottery, and usually the chances to win are much higher here. Still, some you win, some you lose.

Would I want to send anything more valuable, like a multi-signed item, a particularly valuable cover, etc., I'd rather ask the astronaut beforehand. If then you got a response, you got a deal. Your mail is no longer unsolicited. If you don't hear from him at all, then you know what to make of it. You wait until you have the opportunity to attend a personal appearance.

In any case - what would you consider a reasonable period of time to wait for a response? Four weeks? Certainly not. In many cases, it may be three months and that is not long at all. Some astronauts sign once a year. Others clean their desk only when they change office or move their home. My record is 12 years: Hank Hartsfield, otherwise a welcoming and quick responder, had apparently misplaced my photo from STS-61A that I had sent in 1985. When he left NASA, it reappeared. In 1997. That much for a reasonable waiting period.

If you want, give us the name of the astronaut in question and how much time you are waiting already, and a few folks here can certainly share their experiences over the years. Are you sure you used a current address?

Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

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