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  Astronauts charging for photos with them (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Astronauts charging for photos with them
scrpien
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From: Arizona
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 06-05-2012 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for scrpien   Click Here to Email scrpien     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was at Spacefest with my grandchildren who are six and ten years old. I have tried to pique their interest in America's manned space program by telling them about the greatness of America and how that greatness put men on the moon. I tell them about the astronauts and what heroes they were/are and about the sacrifices they have made for this country.

I know the drill when it comes to these events. Money buys access and more money buys more access. However, when it comes to kids who attend these events, the astronauts have always seemed very open to meeting, and taking pictures with, the kids without requiring monetary compensation for this privilege. The astronauts seem to relish these opportunities to interact with the astronauts of tomorrow. For the most part, these guys are American treasures. That's why the incident I am about to describe is so very disappointing.

The grandkids and I were in the astronaut autograph area. I had an item to show Dave Scott (Apollo 15) so the three of us approached him at his booth. I had previously talked to the kids about Scott so I know that the ten year old at least, was aware that he was a moonwalker. After speaking with Scott about my item, I asked him if he would take a picture with the grandkids. Scott advised 'No. No picture without an autograph purchase. After all, I have to take care of the Scott house.' I told him that I already had his autograph and I didn't need another one. So we walked away. Scott showed a complete lack of class. I have never seen any of the other astronauts refuse to take a picture with kids any where at any time before, during, or after the autograph portion of these types of events.

My grandchildren subsequently approached Aldrin at his autograph booth. Buzz could not have been nicer or more gracious about taking pictures with both kids and even throwing in a free t-shirt for each of them. Thanks Buzz! They will never forget that.

Bean and Haise were the same way at last years event when both of them graciously agreed to pose for photos with my granddaughter when we approached them in the hotel lobby.

Requiring payment of $200 in order to take a picture with a six and ten year old is disgraceful. It is beneath the dignity of the title 'astronaut'. There are some things in life that should be more important than money. One of them is your integrity as seen through the eyes of two impressionable kids who might have thought you almost walked on water because of your position. Way to inspire the youngsters! Make them think you are all about the money! You never come out looking good when you are mean to kids or dogs. Although I respect Scott for what he did as an astronaut, I have lost respect for him as a fellow human being. And his age is no excuse.

Being an astronaut is about so much more than making money. It is about decency, honesty, compassion, bravery, respect, and common sense. An astronaut should try to inspire today's youth to reach for the stars, not their wallets.

Unfortunately, Scott has lost touch with some of these qualities. Scott's moonwalking achievement (financed by the American taxpayer) made him an American hero. Using his 'autograph fee' to refuse a picture with two little kids makes him nothing better than a carnival barker.

englau
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From: tampa, florida, usa
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posted 06-05-2012 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for englau   Click Here to Email englau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, it is an event in which atendees pay for autographs, so I could understand wanting to charge for photos. I'm just surprised he hadnt worked out a merchant system for photographs. Like, 50$ for a photo - free with purchase of autograph.

Something like that.

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 06-05-2012 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As sad as I was to hear that story about Dave Scott, I'm as or more delighted to hear about Aldrin's treating your grandkids so well. Giving them free t-shirts, too! That's outstanding.

I'm happy they'll have pleasant memories of meeting Buzz. I'm sorry their encounter with Scott was so disappointing, but I hope they left the event excited about meeting the astronauts.

And good for you for taking them there!!!

mjanovec
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posted 06-05-2012 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could understand charging an adult a nominal fee for a photo, especially if the astronaut really isn't into taking pictures. But to ask $200 to take a photo with two small children is a poor decision, in my opinion.

Those kids will grow up with nothing but a bad memory about meeting Dave Scott. Luckily, they have great memories of meeting several other friendly astronauts.

JasonIUP
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posted 06-05-2012 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Luckily, far more people know something about Buzz Aldrin than Dave Scott. As a moonwalker, the only thing that really stands out about him is that he's one of the more expensive signers at a show.

For as much negativity as Buzz gets for his fees, I'm he was nice for free.

cycleroadie
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From: Apalachin, NY USA
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posted 06-06-2012 06:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that is plain awful, especially for the kids. I understand the whole fee for autographs, I mean a lot of people try to sell them later anyway, etc. But a picture? Any picture for that matter, I don't care if it is a kid (but boo on him for not taking it with kids, period) or an adult, why charge to crack a smile and have a picture taken, especially at an event like Spacefest.

I guess business was down and he was trying to drum up some.

And I'll second that Cudos to Buzz, he does take some criticism for different things, but good for him to treat the kids so well.

ea757grrl
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posted 06-06-2012 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll pass on the opportunity to say anything about Dave Scott - to me, what happened speaks for itself - and instead use the moment to praise Al Bean, Fred Haise and in particular Buzz Aldrin. May the fun of those encounters, and the graciousness of those gentlemen, be what your grandchildren remember when they think about astronauts.

schnappsicle
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From: Houston, TX, USA
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posted 06-06-2012 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a similar awkward experience with Scott this year, which I've talked about in fine detail in another post. He seemed far more cordial and easy going in my previous meeting with him at last year's Spacefest. It was almost as if he didn't really want to be there this year. I'm not sure what's up with that. It may have had something to do with Worden's very critical comments about him in his book. It also wouldn't surprise me if we find out he has some kind of disease or tumor or something. This kind of behavior just isn't like him, at least not the Dave Scott I've known in the past.

Another thing to consider is that we've become very spoiled with astronauts bending over backwards to accomodate our every wish. I was at a horror show in Dallas a month ago where most of the actors required an additional fee for photos. As far as I know, no astronaut has ever asked for or required such a fee until the Dave Scott incident. Personally, I hope it never gets to that point. I think the price we pay our astronaut heros for autographs is all-inclusive. Also, the astronauts are much older now than when they flew to the moon. I'm sure it's not easy for them to travel across the country (in Scott's case, halfway around the world) just to sign a few autographs for their adoring fans. It might be time for us to do some bending and accept them for who and what they are - humans with faults, just like the rest of us. It might also be time for them to offer autographs through the mail or on their websites.

I'm definitely not trying to defend Scott here. I just think it's important to maybe look at things from his perspective. I realize that's impossible for a 10 year old, but as adults, we should be a little more understanding.

garymilgrom
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posted 06-06-2012 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll go further and defend Scott's actions. How many times has he been asked for a photo - 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 times? At one point he's going to say no. Maybe he is under some stress or medical condition we don't know about, but it's really his prerogative to charge what he wants for his time or his signature.

I wish this had not happened, but as these guys age and get asked again and again for the same courtesies, some of these courtesies are going to become "paid only" or eventually disappear.

cycleroadie
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posted 06-06-2012 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also believe that Spacefest, like other "celebrity shows" pays the astronauts a fee just for them being there. I could be wrong on this, and I am sure someone will let me know if I am.

But I do know that other shows where baseball players, etc. appear, they are paid a fee by the event and then charge an autograph fee to the fans also. To me that should cover a photo with two kids.

Greggy_D
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posted 06-06-2012 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by schnappsicle:
As far as I know, no astronaut has ever asked for or required such a fee until the Dave Scott incident.
Actually at the ASF show this past November, Hank Hartsfield had a small sign that read something to the effect of "Pictures $10 without autograph purchase". That was definitely the first time I ever recall seeing such a fee.

mjanovec
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posted 06-06-2012 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buzz had a similar photo fee at some of the ASF shows in the past. I believe it was in the $15-25 range (or free, with autograph purchase).

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
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posted 06-06-2012 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
I'll go further and defend Scott's actions. How many times has he been asked for a photo - 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 times?
I'm glad someone else said this first, it was exactly what I was thinking when I read the initial post. My perspective on the subject is different from some, as I know someone who worked for a well-known Hollywood actor for many years. The stories she told me about autograph seekers and people looking for photos totally changed my perspective on privacy in general.

I talked briefly with Al Worden last fall at an event and he mentioned people using kids to get autographs in the past for adults who turned around and sold them. I replied that I knew a guy well-connected to the baseball greats and that was an issue there as well. Al said he'd heard that, too and that's probably why some charge a small fortune every time or don't sign at all anymore.

Talking with Al, I didn't press the man for a photo or any extra signatures (he signed my book, that was good enough), I considered myself lucky to have him sitting next to me before the event started and to have some 'one on one' time with him before his presentation started. I'll always have that and didn't need anything more, nobody will be able to take that experience from me.

scrpien
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posted 06-06-2012 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for scrpien   Click Here to Email scrpien     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This has been a really good discussion. Thanks for the input/support on this issue. In response to some, I am not quite sure how I would be able to sell a photo of Scott with my two grandchildren for a profit? Who would I sell that to? Their parents?

Also anyone who uses their kids as a front to dupe an astronaut into fulfilling a request is a lowlife. I am just your average collector. I do not resell. I collect items which will be passed on either to my heirs or maybe a museum somewhere if one is interested in what I have.

I refer to my original post because any astronaut who is going to charge a ten and six year old for a photo opp is a disgrace to his position. It is a shame that some of the astronauts have become so jaded that they would think that people who approach them with kids are out to scam some type of autograph or photo. This really only hurts the average collector like myself.

Also, my grandkids had a great time at Spacefest. Meeting these guys was for the most part a memory they will cherish for their lifetime.

ColinBurgess
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posted 06-06-2012 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spent a lot of time in the astronaut signing hall at Spacefest IV and this was the first I've heard about this situation. I know I talked with Dave Scott on several occasions and he was both friendly and interested in the discussions we had on the selection of the Group 3 astronauts. That said, I also witnessed several of the astronauts going right out of their way to happily accommodate young people with friendly chats and photographs, which was really heartwarming and a great credit to these men. I saw a couple of little kids presenting drawings they had done to the astronauts and they made these mini-artists feel very special with their smiles and praise for their work.

On the last day, Sunday, I saw Charlie Duke happily chatting with a couple of young kids wearing spacesuits in the hotel lobby, down on his hands and knees so he could talk with them instead of down to them. He, like the other astronauts, was incredibly gracious and obliging.

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
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posted 06-06-2012 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
The stories she told me about autograph seekers and people looking for photos totally changed my perspective on privacy in general.
I don't disagree that some people regularly invade the privacy of celebrities in order for photos and autographs.

In this situation, however, Dave Scott was making a public appearance where it was expected that his admirers could approach him and talk to him. I respect his right to take photos with whom he chooses, though I feel it was a poor decision not to take a photo with those young children.

HistorianMom
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posted 06-06-2012 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HistorianMom   Click Here to Email HistorianMom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am saddened by this, although I have heard this about Scott before. Nonetheless, I do think there is a difference between an autograph and a photo with an astronaut. An autograph is a commodity. A photograph has, for our family at least, come at the end of a few minutes of interaction, where there's a human connection, and you politely ask, "Colonel Scott, it's been such a pleasure meeting you. Would you mind if I got a picture of you and my son?" If he said, "Well, I charge 200 for photo ops," it would really feel like we were nothing but commodities to him, which is probably the case. If that had happened to me, I wish I would have had the guts and money to say, "Well, forget the photo, but here's the money, anyway, in return for all the inspiration you've been to me up until now."

kosmo
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posted 06-07-2012 04:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not surprised by this at all! Scott did the exact same thing at Spacefest I to my family. I explained to my children that Scott has a history of being just about money.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 06-07-2012 05:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
I respect his right to take photos with whom he chooses, though I feel it was a poor decision not to take a photo with those young children.

Well said, Mark. It's his "right" but is surely lacking in empathy, or grace - especially if he's pleading penury. I also remember the "don't go behind the table" rule when taking photos at a previous show. Weird.

schnappsicle
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From: Houston, TX, USA
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posted 06-07-2012 06:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Buzz had a similar photo fee at some of the ASF shows in the past. I believe it was in the $15-25 range (or free, with autograph purchase).

I've never attended an ASF event, so I don't have any first hand knowledge of anything that happened there. However, my brother did attend one for me about 3 years ago. I sent him there to get a Lovell autograph. He lives just a few hours away from KSC. He was able to get plenty of pictures with Buzz Aldrin even though he never got an autograph from him.

Personally, I have no problem with the astronauts charging what they want for their services, even photographs. The only problem I have with scrpien's original comment is that the fee sign on top of Scott's table mentioned nothing about charging anything for photographs. Since it wasn't expressly advertized, one can only assume that the photos are "free", especially since Scott's table wasn't nearly as busy as it had been in past years (at least not on Friday). Had there been a line of people waiting for his autograph, I could almost understand Scott's position. Still, I can't in all good consciousness agree with it. Not the way he handled it.

Tykeanaut
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posted 06-07-2012 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you cannot have the good grace to allow a free photograph, don't turn up.

p51
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posted 06-07-2012 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
If you cannot have the good grace to allow a free photograph, don't turn up.
I'd say that if you cannot foresee that you'll likely have to pay for any kind of interaction with an astronaut, knowing that they often charge for everything, don't turn up.

Daugherty54
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posted 06-07-2012 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty54   Click Here to Email Daugherty54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got upset with Buzz Aldrin a couple Spacefests ago but after consideration, he can do whatever he wants. If I don't like it I can keep my cash in my pocket.

The bottom line is, for the most part what we admire about these folks are their accomplishments. When someone is as good as Charlie Duke about the interactions with fans and kids it just increases your admiration. They may act like jerks at times but I suspect I have a few shortcomings myself.

For a fan like myself to get top walk among these guys and speak with them... well it doesn't get much better than that for me. Thanks Kim and especially thanks to the Apollo guys for coming.

JasonB
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posted 06-07-2012 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sports stars routinely charge $50, $75, $100 or more, on top of their autograph fees, to pose for a picture with someone. These are people who made millions of dollars, unlike most astronauts. Not that that makes a difference to someone being able to do what they want, but it should give you an idea that in most cases you're not dealing with multimillionaires here and maybe you should try and see things from their point of view.

Scott doesn't "owe" anyone anything. You're literally the one millionth person to ask for a photo with him in his life. If he didn't feel like taking a picture he didn't have to. Also he wasn't charging $200 for a picture. He was charging $200 for an autograph and then he would pose for a photo.

If most people have been getting free pictures with the astronauts without even buying an autograph at an autograph show you should consider yourself very lucky because if Scott or anyone else gets the impression that people will think they're jerks simply because they refuse a free photo at a designated autograph show, I can virtually guarantee they'll end the practice very quickly. No one wants to be labeled a jerk simply because they don't do whatever everyone in the world wants then to do at any given moment.

I must say I find it very strange that Neil Armstrong's refusal to sign for many years is endlessly defended on here, yet Scott makes himself available and simply refuses one photo and is labeled a jerk by most of the posts on here. It's strange because I know that if you substituted Armstrong's name for Scott in the same situation, everyone would be defending his right to not pose for a photo.

HistorianMom
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posted 06-07-2012 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HistorianMom   Click Here to Email HistorianMom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First of all, let me say that I had several interactions with Colonel Scott at Spacefest III, and he was good-humored and gracious, and he did allow my son to pose with him for a photo, even without an autograph. And I don't really have an issue with the astronauts charging for pictures. After all, there are places such as Autographica where you have to pay to pose with the astronauts. I gladly dropped almost two hundred bucks for the group photo with us and the astronauts at Spacefest III. I don't have a problem with astronauts such as Armstrong, Collins, or Young who don't do shows at all.

But it does seem to me that when they do come to a show, which people are spending a lot of money and sometimes coming from considerable distances to attend, that they should be willing to be courteous and friendly to those in attendance.

I think the folks at Spacefest are generally very courteous about not intruding on astronaut private time. For instance, last year Captain and Mrs. Lovell came down for coffee at Starbucks most mornings. People kept a respectful distance and didn't badger them at all that I saw (I wasn't there every minute, obviously). There is a kind of culture of expectation and general courtesy at a show.

Obviously you don't hold up a line of paying customers to ask for a free photo op. But if it's a quiet time, and the astronaut appears willing to chat a few moments, and it leads to a photo, then most of the astronauts oblige. If someone is going to "buck the culture" by having a "no photo without a paid autograph" policy, then people ought to at least be warned to avoid embarrassment and bad feelings on both sides.

Mr. Apollo 17
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posted 06-07-2012 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JasonB:
...maybe you should try and see things from their point of view.
Saying to two kids that he can't take two seconds out of his day to take a picture with them because "he has to take care of the Scott house" should be frowned upon. I'm a kid and I know that it would make me feel bad.

People have said that Mr. Armstrong is very generous to people when meeting them at events taking free pictures with them and sometimes free autographs. If you read "First Man" the authorized bio of Armstrong, you would understand why he is defended. He has always been shy and he really doesn't feel like autographs should be how he is remembered. He should be remembered as the first man on the moon and that should be carried on by him telling his stories to people.

All I'm trying to say is that Armstrong is a very kind person and is generous to people personally because he is shy in front of crowds. Scott just cares about money and it seems like he does not have a heart like Glenn, Aldrin (who gets a very undeserved bad rap in my opinion), Bean, Duke, Cernan, and Armstrong to care and want to carry on a good legacy and inspire.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-07-2012 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Apollo 17:
All I'm trying to say is that Armstrong is a very kind person and is generous to people personally because he is shy in front of crowds. Scott just cares about money and it seems like he does not have a heart...
These are two sweeping generalizations that are based on isolated anecdotes and therefore by definition do not reflect reality.

I've been at events where Armstrong has turned away having his picture taken and I've been at events where Scott has freely interacted with his audience. So what does that mean?

Trying to assign motive to either individual's actions because of something you read in a book or have been told is true is a sure fire way of mischaracterizing the person and situation.

Both gentlemen, like all people, have their own reasons for doing things and not all of them are made public (nor should they be expected or required to reveal them).

Mr. Apollo 17
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posted 06-07-2012 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr. Apollo 17   Click Here to Email Mr. Apollo 17     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I see what you are saying. Reading "First Man" because it was an authorized bio I thought it might have more truth than other books. I guess my opinions are mine and I was just trying to tell Jason that Armstrong is not Scott and that is a fact. They have two way different personalities.

Jason was making generalizations and comparing "apples to oranges". Many people have had better experiences with Armstrong than Scott and that is a fact.

englau
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posted 06-07-2012 11:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for englau   Click Here to Email englau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think what we can take from this is everyone has goood days and bad days.
There are days in which each of those men have declined an autograph or photo and there are days in which each of them has been Mr. Personality and the Host with the most.

Although they are put on pedestals and revered by many, at the end of the day these men are exactly that. Men. They aren't perfect and they have inconsistencies in personality and mood as we all do every once in a while.

The only difference is that there is not a website of people scrutinizing us out there.

DChudwin
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posted 06-08-2012 03:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I observed Dave Scott on several occasions during Spacefest IV outside the autograph hall and found to him to be friendly and engaged. During the reception on Friday he took time to talk to young students from the Aiglon school in Switzerland who had come to Spacefest. I talked to him briefly before the breakfast on Sunday and we discussed his freshman year at the University of Michigan (my alma mater) where he was on the swim team, and the reception there for the Apollo 15 crew after their flight. So any insinuation that there was something wrong with him with respect to his physical or mental health appears to me to be unfounded.

I do agree that it is classless to charge a picture fee when children are involved. If one comes to a show like Spacefest there is an understanding that you are making yourself available during the public functions. It's not like interrupting someone at a restaurant or in a washroom. As noted above, most of the astronauts I observed were great with children-- especially Buzz Aldrin, Fred Haise and Charlie Duke.

JasonB
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posted 06-08-2012 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think people should step back and realize that they are not owed anything from these astronauts, and just because some of them are beyond friendly and kind with their time, it doesn't mean everyone has to be ALL THE TIME.

I just attended Dave Scott's lecture a few weeks ago in Ohio and he came across as friendly and engaging in the talk. He even answered audience questions for about half an hour. They had signs posted saying no photos or autographs would be given (it didn't stop people from bumrushing the stage when he got done talking).

I would have loved to get my photo with him or an autograph but me wanting something, and me expecting it are two totally different things. Just because you want something (for free by the way), doesn't mean you should always get it.

I wish Armstrong would sign all my stuff, but it doesn't mean that I think he "owes it to me" or that he has to and is a jerk if he doesn't. I can even totally disagree (which I do) with his autograph policy but that doesn't mean he's a jerk. It just means he made a decision I don't agree with.

These guys face the same problem all the time. If they sign for 20 people, they are (supposedly) a jerk if they don't sign for the 21st. Everyone wants something from them ALL THE TIME. At least Scott makes himself available. If you want a photo pay the $200 and get an autograph with it. If someone complained about this at a sports show, everyone would look at them like they were mentally handicapped, yet the astronauts are expected to do it all the time.

I would expect this practice to be cut down quite a bit in the near future. I honestly cant believe it still goes on. Be thankful that you got the free photos you did.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 585
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 06-08-2012 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back when I was really into sports autographs, a friend and I drove several hours to a show where one particularly famous baseball player (out of respect, I'll leave his name off this story) was signing. I'd long wanted to meet this man because he was a personal hero. Well, it was a disappointment. We got there and waited on line, finally got to him, and he was churning out autographs, not even looking up at the people who were waiting to meet him. It also wasn't help by the assistants, who were asking him the same questions he'd probably been asked millions of times. I was hoping to have just a second to thank the man for all he'd meant to me, but he didn't even look up when he handed my baseball back to me. I had my autograph, which is what I'd paid my $50 for, but I felt cheated somehow.

I was crushed, and wrote this player a letter expressing my disappointment. He wrote me back about a week later, a brief note about ten times more polite than I deserved. There had been an illness in his family (in fact, said relative had died less than a week after my encounter with him) and that had weighed on his mind. He said something like, "I hope you will understand that even those of us in the public eye have these kinds of circumstances in our lives," or something like that. Coupled with what I later found out about this player, that he's very famously shy and reserved and that his minimal interaction is a way he copes with these kinds of things, I really felt like a world-class schmuck. (I still have the letter he wrote me, not for its collector's value but because it's always there to keep me humble.) That experience as much as anything is why, aside from the stray event every now and again, most all autographs I have acquired since were signed books bought through arranged signings or from the secondary market.

I'm not defending what Scott did - as I said earlier, to me it speaks for itself and I'll leave it at that - but I bring that story up to make the point that although they may have traveled in space and dealt with the spotlight, they have good moments and bad moments same as all of us. It was a lesson I learned the hard way. (There's also the conundrum about meeting your heroes...do you want to actually do it, or do you fear having the heroic image shattered?)

As a more practical point, if Scott wants to charge for photos, that's his prerogative. The one thing I would hope, however, would be that those who chose to do so would make it clear up front. If I were still doing autograph shows, as long as I knew up front what was going on, I'd be cool with it and could make my plans accordingly.

HistorianMom
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Posts: 96
From: Columbia, Missouri USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 06-08-2012 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HistorianMom   Click Here to Email HistorianMom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that the astronauts can and should do whatever they want in regard to photos and autographs.

There are a lot of different shows/events with a lot of different cultures. There is Autographica, with fees for everything, including photos. There is something like the Scott appearance in Dayton with no photos/autographs. There is ASF, no autographs but plenty of photo ops.

I went to an event at the Comosphere recently where there was a professional photographer at the reception after the event, and they took pictures; two 5x7s with us and the astronauts were included in the price of the reception.

The reason I chose Spacefest III over an ASF event last year (we could only afford one) was because everyone raved about how approachable and friendly the astronauts were. If other astronauts follow Scott's lead and begin to charge for photos, it will change the crude of the show. It would make me think twice about paying a month's salary to attend and get Lovell and Aldrin's autographs (the two we ended up not being able to afford last time).

Fra Mauro
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Posts: 1075
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 06-08-2012 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It just makes for an unpleasant experience at an event where it's supposed to be fun. It's not like Scott was asked to take a photo while he was eating dinner with his family. Like with athletes, astronauts should be glad people still remember them.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2365
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-08-2012 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by schnappsicle:
I I was at a horror show in Dallas a month ago where most of the actors required an additional fee for photos.

I was at a sci-fi signing where one person charged a fee to take their picture - whether or not you were in the picture. It's one of the reasons I got out of ST collecting.

Dougin SoCA
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Posts: 111
From: Aliso Viejo, Ca, USA
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 06-08-2012 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dougin SoCA   Click Here to Email Dougin SoCA     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fra Mauro:
It's not like Scott was asked to take a photo while he was eating dinner with his family. Like with athletes, astronauts should be glad people still remember them.
I think the reason most charge now days is because a large percentage of their signed items are just resold for a good profit. I really don't see any of them not wanting to accommodate a genuine fan/collector, but how to they distinguish between the profiteer and the guy who wants to keep it for life.

Also, taking to time to travel to events, greeting and signing for long hours, time away from their families and day-t-o-day activities, and whatever peripheral demands on their time is something I don't think many of us would choose to do when we are in out retirement years. Celebrity autographs signing for a charge is the norm now days in every venue. When dealer/sellers started to make a lot of money on signed items, it changed the way many signers looked at things.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 06-08-2012 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JasonB:
It's strange because I know that if you substituted Armstrong's name for Scott in the same situation, everyone would be defending his right to not pose for a photo.

Problem is, Scott didn't refuse to take the photo. He required $200 to take the photo. There's a difference. Armstrong has never asked a fee to take a photo with someone that I'm aware of.

Also, if Scott didn't want to take the photo, a simple refusal like "Thank you for your interest, but I prefer not to take photos without an autograph purchase" would have been preferable to the admonition that he needs to "take care of the Scott house." I think it's safe to say that everyone at the show has to provide food for their families, but that doesn't stop most people from being kind and accomodating to each other.

Perhaps the best solution to this is to have the astronauts advertise a photo fee (or photo policy) at their booths, if they are unwilling to pose for free photos. That way their stance is known up front and there is less chance for hurt feelings.

Fra Mauro
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Posts: 1075
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 06-08-2012 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't mind at all a fee for an autograph and I have paid for them. Why shouldn't they make some money if the collectors are? But when they choose to go to an event, there is a little P.R. involved. It reminds me of a story I heard years ago when Willie Mays was doing a signing. After paying for an autograph, he got up to Mays and asked him to please write, "To (I forget the name)."

Mays told him that would be extra.

Gilbert
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Posts: 977
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 06-08-2012 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by scrpien:
Scott advised 'No. No picture without an autograph purchase."
If I read the post correctly Scott did not say $200 for a photo. He said purchase a $200 autograph and you can get a photo. Big difference.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 06-08-2012 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regardless, the outcome is the same...you have to fork over $200 if you want a photo.

Yes, you might be able to sell the autograph later to recover some of the costs...if you're willing to go that route. But you likely won't get anything near $200 for it.


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