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  Signing experience: Michael Collins

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Author Topic:   Signing experience: Michael Collins
Flying Dutchman
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From: Nieuw Vennep
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posted 01-24-2009 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike Collins doesn't sign anymore besides a autograph signing at Novaspace Galleries or so now and them.

Can anyone tell me if Mike ever signed for free and through the mail? When did he stop?

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-24-2009 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrote to Mike Collins in the mid 70s I think it was... when he worked at the NASM in Washington and he kindly returned a couple of signed items at a time when fees for signatures were unheard of.

randy
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posted 01-24-2009 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After reading and hearing (on DVD) the things he's said about autograph collectors, I wouldn't waste the time or money to ask him for an autograph.

DChudwin
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From: Lincolnshire IL USA
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posted 01-24-2009 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrote to Mike Collins in 1970 and received autographed Apollo 11 launch and recovery covers with his "M Collins" signature, as well as a signed Apollo 11 crew photo inscribed to me (the Aldrin and Armstrong signatures were autopens). He was a generous signer in the early 1970's and before then.

He also signed many copies of his outstanding book "Carrying the Fire."

After he left NASM he was incognito for many years until he began to work with Novaspace and fellow space artist Kim Poor. Collins has also signed some of pioneer space artist Paul Calle's prints (see publications thread), one of which I just purchased.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 01-25-2009 05:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...And in both written word (Carrying the Fire) and spoken word (In the Shadow of the Moon), he lets you know his true feelings about autograph collectors.

Flying Dutchman
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From: Nieuw Vennep
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posted 01-25-2009 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks so far... so if I am right Mike does not like collectors and stopped signing let's say mid seventies? So about 10 to 15 years as from mid 70's no Mike signings whatsoever. So the signing for Novaspace was one of a kind I presume.

Spacefest
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posted 01-25-2009 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, he did a signing with Novaspace in 2005, 2006, and 2008, and he is coming to Spacefest next month, but that will be the only autograph show he will EVER attend.

Mike's remarks about autograph collectors were directed at unscrupulous autograph "hounds" who indeed have a special place in hell.

mjanovec
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posted 01-26-2009 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think if we were all exposed to some of the types of people who relentlessly pursue celebrities for autographs, we would probably have a better understanding of why guys like Collins and Anders have such a disdain for certain autograph collectors.

Let's face it...there are some really bad apples in our midst who often give this hobby a terrible reputation. Luckily for us, most astronauts were willing to overlook this fact and continue to be generous with their time and autographs for several decades following their spaceflights.

Dirk
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posted 01-26-2009 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How much Collins normally ask when he signs for Novaspace? Are there signings planned with him in the future?

ilbasso
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posted 01-26-2009 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As early as 1971, Collins obviously assessed some level of value to his signature. I was a volunteer tour guide at the National Air and Space Museum in the summer of 1971, when Collins was director. At the end of the summer, each of us received as a takeway for the summer a personalized WSS litho inscribed "Thanks for your help this summer." I certainly felt that gift was worth more than they could have paid me! -- and I certainly couldn't blow it on movies and McDonald's, which I would have done with mere cash.

However, if I assume they could have paid me $1.75 per hour for 170 hours of my time that summer, and adjusting for inflation, and considering what Collins' signing fee is now, maybe I got ripped off!

Nah. I'm good.

mjanovec
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posted 01-26-2009 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dirk:
How much Collins normally ask when he signs for Novaspace? Are there signings planned with him in the future?
It seems like he does a mail-in signing with Novaspace every 1-2 years on average. The base fee is typically $295 for those signings (with more for completions and special items).

Spacefest will be the only convention-type paid signing that he has done... and based on Kim's messages, may be the only one he ever does... though hopefully his position on that will soften somewhat if he has a good time at the event. Base fees are $250 for the first two items, and $295 for subsequent items.

Surely, however, the big attraction with this event is the chance to meet Collins in person and have a one-on-one interaction with him... which seems to be an increasingly rare opportunity these days.

Flying Dutchman
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posted 01-27-2009 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info... It is a shame to conclude that some "collectors" and enthusiasts are spoiling it for quite a few real fans.

Can anyone tell me at what point in the seventies or eighties did he stop signing?

JasonIUP
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posted 01-29-2009 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mid-70s is not when Collins stopped signing. It's generally accepted that the year was 1990, just as 1994 is the accepted year for Armstrong. There are exceptions for each, but those are the accepted years.

Richard Easton
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From: Winnetka, IL USA
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posted 02-22-2009 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
I was a volunteer tour guide at the National Air and Space Museum in the summer of 1971, when Collins was director.
Do you mean 1976? I went to the NASM the day it opened on 7/1/76.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-22-2009 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Collins became the director of the National Air and Space Museum in 1971 and he served through 1978, when he was named Under Secretary for the Smithsonian Institution, a position he held for two years.

Of course you are correct Richard, that the museum that stands today did not open until 1976, but the museum existed before then, housed in the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building, as pictured here.

DChudwin
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posted 02-23-2009 12:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At Space Fest, Mike Collins was wonderful during his posted signing on Friday, and even added some prevously unscheduled signing time on Saturday. He charged $250 each for one or two items, and $295 for subsequent ones. Collins did not charge for adding mission "Apollo XI." There were long lines on Friday.

Collins took time to talk to each person, listened carefully to requests for autograph placement and choice of pens, and agreed to stand for photographs (although he appeared to be slightly uncomfortable with all the flashes). His outgoing wife Pat ably assisted him.

I was pleasantly surprised, and I believe his friendly demeanor at Space Fest should dispell the false ideas about his feelings toward space collectors.

spaceychick
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posted 02-23-2009 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceychick   Click Here to Email spaceychick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was very impressed by Mr. Collins! After reading the earlier posts on this subject, I was quite frankly a little intimidated to approach him at Spacefest. I couldn't have been more pleased! He was polite, smiling, happily posed for a picture, chit-chatted as we were waiting in line, and added the "Apollo 11" insciption for no extra charge. The price may have been a lot for me, but I truly enjoyed the experience.

I also enjoyed seeing him by his paintings and quietly reading the paper behind the Novaspace table on Saturday.

JasonIUP
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posted 02-25-2009 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I, too, want to say how great Collins was. I think he was worth every penny considering how rare his stuff is on the open market. Look at the Space auctions; they're not flooded with NovaSpace's items.

Hopefully, he'll do more shows.

astro-nut
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posted 02-25-2009 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Collins was a very good pleasure to meet along with his wife. His autograph was worth the price and he added Apollo 11 to another photo of mine for no charge. I only wish that other astronauts can be as pleasant as well. Mike Collins is a class act 100%!! Thank you.

Mark Zimmer
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posted 02-25-2009 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Zimmer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Collins was terrific and very friendly, encouraging photos and making sure they had turned out OK. He was also solicitous about the hour we had spent standing in line, and was apologetic though it certainly wasn't his fault. I'd much prefer standing an hour and waiting and then getting a couple minutes of time with him than treating him like an assembly line.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 02-26-2009 03:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike Collins has gone on record as indicating a certain distain for "autograph collectors".

I wonder if his experiences of last weekend have changed his opinions in any way? In so much as demonstrating to him there is a difference between autograph hunters and dedicated, respectful enthusiasts for whom his signature is more than just a trophy or a "cash cow".

The fact he signed on the Saturday would suggest so... Either that or he is the consummate professional. I sure hope it is the former.

ilbasso
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posted 02-26-2009 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not trying to sound elitist, but I think there is a distinction between people who accost you in restaurants, shoving something in your face to sign and then flipping it for a quick buck on eBay, and enthusiasts who pay to attend a space-themed conference that also includes lectures from some of the top space scientists today, while also paying "fair market" value for the signatures they seek. It would certainly be hard for those of us who attended Spacefest and paid for autographs to turn them around for substantial profit...so I assume the motivation was different, that this was more than just an autograph show for most of us.

I asked Keir Dullea what he thought of the event. He said he was having 'a much higher caliber of conversations' with attendees than he typically does at sci-fi-only conventions.

I think it speaks volumes about Kim Poor and the quality of his relationships with the astros and scientists. They know that he is the 'real deal' and that he won't rope them into a circus.

leslie
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posted 02-26-2009 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leslie   Click Here to Email leslie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like to offer an insight into the so called public perception of Mike Collins.

In truth, Mike is a true professional and a gentleman in every respect. He stopped signing via the mail a long time ago. One day he received a request stating that a family member had died and that a signed photo would be a source of comfort. Mike duly signed. Some time later he received a similar request from a father who had a sick child, Mike duly obliged. This happened again and at that stage Mike realised the source of request was one and the same. At that stage he decided to stop signing.

Mike does not dislike collectors. If this was the case he would not have done the Novaspace signings.

What he does dislike is all the hoopla and, to be frank, the less than courteous approaches he receives from just a few stupid collectors.

I worked closely with him recently and he displayed consummate professionalism and cooperation sometimes in the face of what is best described as over enthusiastic approaches. He was patient, courteous and fulfilled every request made.

Compare that fact to some in the room.

Mike was generally surprised that people went to the trouble to come and see him and did his best to ensure the visit would be memorable. As with all things in life, the few often spoil for the majority and these few collectors should think before they approach a signing desk.

I tried to assure Mike that "these" guys were probably just over enthusiastic and I think he accepted that.

In summary, do I think he really enjoyed the experience? As two days work, probably not however, he enjoyed meeting the true collector and was genuinely surprised that so many people queued to meet him and at the quality of items put before him. The fact that he came to Spacefest which, let's be honest, was a surprise to most people, tells me that he is not at all disdainful of collectors.

Cynics may mention the money. Sure, and if that was the case, how often has anyone ever seen Mike Collins on the lecture circuit!

I offer my thanks to the man for making the event a memorable experience to most collectors.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 02-26-2009 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by leslie:
I worked closely with him recently and he displayed consummate professionalism and cooperation sometimes in the face of what is best described as over enthusiastic approaches.
I just wonder if you could elaborate on the types of behaviors you saw as generally over-enthusiastic? Not to call attention to a particular person, but I think it might be helpful for myself and others to know, and not make that sort of mistake.

leslie
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posted 02-27-2009 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leslie   Click Here to Email leslie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xlsteve:
but I think it might be helpful for myself and others to know, and not make that sort of mistake
Your's is a valid question and I prefer not to go into detail as I would not wish to offend any person.

Suffice it to say that over-familiarity when meeting anyone for the first time can be somewhat grating not to mention asking a question about career earnings!!!

You may get the drift... if you met a person for the first time and were subjected to personal questions you may feel that to be intrusive.

Rob Sumowski
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posted 02-27-2009 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well-said, Leslie.

xlsteve
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posted 02-27-2009 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by leslie:
You may get the drift... if you met a person for the first time and were subjected to personal questions you may feel that to be intrusive.

Got it, so basically employing common courtesy.

Mark Zimmer
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posted 02-27-2009 04:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Zimmer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, I think I was standing behind that guy (or one of those guys, if more than one asked about his earnings). Couldn't believe it, but Mr Collins was just as nice as pie about answering him.

machbusterman
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posted 03-02-2009 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With much thanks to some great friends that I met here on cS I managed to get the following litho signed by Mike Collins at the show.

I am so over the moon with the wonderful job General Collins made of signing this for me.

leslie
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From: Surrey, England
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posted 03-03-2009 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leslie   Click Here to Email leslie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Zimmer:
Yeah, I think I was standing behind that guy (or one of those guys, if more than one asked about his earnings). Couldn't believe it, but Mr Collins was just as nice as pie about answering him.
That is a perfect example of what I mean.

No, that question was only asked once so it was one and the same guy.

I blanched when I heard that question and when the guy left Mike just drew a deep breath... simple common courtesy is the key.

I have to say the majority of people who took the time to queue were normal, polite
and enthusiastic which Mike really appreciated.

AstroAutos
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posted 08-18-2009 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know if there's a chance Mike Collins may do another signing for Novaspace anytime in the near enough future?

I missed him last time.

chs_scienceguy
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posted 10-06-2009 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chs_scienceguy   Click Here to Email chs_scienceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I met Mr. Collins and his wife for the first and only time at the Spacefest 2009 in San Diego last February. I had heard of his opinion of autograph collectors and was more than a bit apprehensive. The experience could not have been better. He was kind, gracious and generous with his time and in posing for pictures with me. His wife was tremendous! She was doing everything possible to make the experience pleasant - in spite of the huge crowds and long lines! I have nothing but kudos and compliments to Mr Collins and his wife! This was a huge honor for me, one I will never forget!

Dougin SoCA
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posted 03-14-2011 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dougin SoCA   Click Here to Email Dougin SoCA     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since I'm not having much success trading my extra signed Buzz Aldrin WSS color 8x10 photo for a similar Michael Collins photo, I was wondering if there are any places that Mr. Collins still could sign an item in person. If so, where ,when, and approximately how much would the entry fee be, and his personal signing fee.

Sorry, I'm pretty new to this forum and haven't collecting any NASA items in over 15 years. Thank you.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Sam Que
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posted 03-14-2011 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sam Que   Click Here to Email Sam Que     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have you thought about the Astronaut Central (Novaspace) Michael Collins signing in April?

Mr. Apollo 17
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posted 11-25-2012 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am looking for an address to send Michael Colins a letter to. I will not be asking for an autograph, I just will be sending a fan letter. I am 13 years old and therefore cannot buy any astronaut address list. I find all of my addresses myself but the only one I found for Collins was no longer accurate. Thank you!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-25-2012 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a general policy (to protect others' privacy and for other concerns), we do not permit asking for addresses on collectSPACE. The only addresses we publish are those shared by the astronauts themselves, here.

With specific regards to Mike Collins, he has requested not to receive mail, of any type, regardless if it is for an autograph or not. He has retired and only interacts with his fans when he desires through public appearances and the occasional commercial signing.

All times are CT (US)

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