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  But for the Grace of God (Bill Pogue) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   But for the Grace of God (Bill Pogue)
jvertrees
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From: Crestwood, MO
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posted 08-15-2010 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Skylab astronaut Bill Pogue's autobiography, "But for the Grace of God: An Autobiography of an Aviator and Astronaut" is nearing its release.

For the most part the text is finished. Currently he and the publisher are working on inserting the photos into the text, attaching appropriate captions to the photos and formatting the product.

I've read the book several times in an editing type mode and the book is a very good autobiography. It covers his full professional life not just the NASA years and I think stands very strong with many of the others out there.

Bill has totally pulled out the stops on getting good photos and graphics into the book. Some are photos many have seen but many are new ones from his days in the Air Force and his Thunderbird tour.

The way the photos are added in the text and not in a single photo section really adds to the story since they come up at the appropriate time. There are a lot of photos but not so many that they become distracting or make the book an illustrated version.

This is a preliminary of the front cover of Bill's book. The final version may change.

capoetc
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From: Plano TX (USA)
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posted 08-15-2010 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to Colonel Pogue's book. Is it true that the book is going to be limited to 1000 copies, or is that just the first printing?

jvertrees
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From: Crestwood, MO
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posted 08-16-2010 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Currently Col. Pogue is working with a publisher in Northern Arkansas for a private printing run of 1,000 signed and numbered copies. There will be a posting on collectSPACE when they are available and where to get them. This run will be a high quality trade paperback 6"x9". I don't believe a final price has been established but all the figures I've heard will be very close to full retail price for an unsigned copy. There is a special title/signature page being created marking this edition as a special printing.

I do not believe there are any current plans of limiting the book to only 1,000 copies. Communications I've had with Col. Pogue about his book suggest he does want a future wider publication. He did want to get something special out there mostly so his large and extended family can have his story in a first hand account. He has done all the writing himself and is a gifted writer with a strong since of history and good humor. I believe there is still a hunt for a general publisher once the product is final.

As a USAF pilot yourself I'm sure you will enjoy the chapters on his time as a Korean War Combat Pilot, his time with the RAF on an exchange tour in Farnborough, England attending the Empire Test Pilots’ School and his two years as a USAF Thunderbird. He was among the first Thunderbirds; this special unit was only created a few years before he was selected to try out for the team.

jvertrees
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From: Crestwood, MO
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posted 12-13-2010 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally some new news. The Bill Pogue autobiography special printing is scheduled to be printed the first week in January 2011.

Don Boggs of Boggs Space Books will have a period of time where he will be the exclusive seller of the 1,000 signed and numbered copies. Those of you who know Don's business know many of his signed new releases come with no to very little additional cost. This book promises to be the same.

Currently Bill is not working with a general publisher. He hopes to have one sometime in 2011. His long time agent (Barbara Bova) for his other books died of cancer in September of 2009 and also his wife Jean to a long term illness in December of 2009. The personal setbacks ended the not yet finalized deals in the works at the time.

To finish the writing and editing stage of the project he decided to first release this private edition, all hand signed with one of his Skylab flown pens and ink so his expanding and extended family can have his story and we collectSPACE followers will have a chance to grab our own personal copy.

Below is an extended text of a blurb Walt Boyne has written for Bill's book. What will end up on the book cover will be greatly cut down due to space but Bill said he would like me to share the full text with you. Alan Bean, Ed Buckbee, Michael Collins and of course Ed Gibson and Jerry Carr of Skylab 4, SLM-3 have also weighed in for this special printing. I will share any additional text as I can.

It is not enough that Bill Pogue is a superb pilot, combat veteran, scientist, teacher and record-setting astronaut -- he is also a master story teller. His autobiography "But for the Grace of God" is one of the two best memoirs ever written by an astronaut, and should be required reading for every pilot or astronaut aspirant.

In his book, Pogue packages his adventure filled life into easy-to-read inspiring tales that move swiftly from page to page, and are filled with his reverence for his family, God, nature and mankind. Whether engaging the enemy in combat, flying metal-bending aerobatics with the Thunderbirds, or setting all records for distance and endurance in the wonderful Skylab -- a true space station of its time -- Pogue speaks clearly with a compelling authority but a modest tone.

This is a keeper, a book that all parents should provide their children as a guide to how good life can be when it is lived to its fullest.

Walter J. Boyne
Author/Historian,
Former Director, National Air & Space Museum
Enshrinee, National Aviation Hall of Fame

gliderpilotuk
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posted 12-14-2010 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it still paperback only or will there be a preferable h/b signed edition?

jvertrees
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posted 12-21-2010 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is an additional blurb that will appear on the back cover of "But For The Grace of God".

Very nice praise coming from the man often considered to have penned the best astronaut memoir.

Bill Pogue has had an amazing career: Oklahoma farm boy, Korean war fighter pilot, elite Thunderbird slot and wingman, mathematical whiz, eighty-four days of science as a Skylab astronaut, and much more. Competently and directly, he guides the reader through a half-century of technological advance, always in the forefront, but modestly so. A super read, a gem of a book.

Mike Collins, Command Module Pilot, Apollo 11

Boggs SpaceBooks
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posted 12-21-2010 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Boggs SpaceBooks   Click Here to Email Boggs SpaceBooks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boggs SpaceBooks is pleased to announce that we are now taking pre-orders by email only for signed copies of "But for the Grace of God; An Autobiography of an Aviator and an Astronaut" by noted test pilot, Apollo 7, 11 and 14 support crew member, Skylab IV pilot William R. Pogue.

Numbered and signed edition (limited to only 1,000 copies) and signed with a Fisher Pen Flown on Skylab! Pre-order by email.

For decades, Bill Pogue has been an unsung hero in the astronaut corps. Korea war aviator, test pilot, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds solo and slot pilot, Air Force Academy Professor, Apollo 7, 11 and 14 support crew member, Skylab IV pilot, Boeing Space Station Freedom consultant and more, Pogue has seen it all and escaped death on several occasions.

Now his story is told in an extensive account of a unique life and in a unusually modest fashion. Many never told before behind the scenes stories.

Soar with Eagles Publishing | Rogers, AR | 2011 | 1st edition limited to 1,000 signed copies | SB | illustrated w/diagrams and photos | Signed with Fisher pen part #SEB12100051-208, Serial #1259 flown on the U.S. Skylab space station from May 14, 1973 to February 8, 1974 for 110 million miles in space during 4,100 orbits by author Bill Pogue, 6x9 inches, 334pp

Pricing is still to be determined but will be under retail.

jvertrees
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From: Crestwood, MO
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posted 12-22-2010 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
Is it still paperback only or will there be a preferable h/b signed edition?
This special printing will be a High Quality trade paperback, size 6"x9". The books are a high quality using good paper and high photo reproduction methods, printed in the USA. The book has the photos filtered throughout the text rather than in a single photo section so they pop up when they are related to the story. Also many photos have extended captions that tell some additional info not in the main text.

A HB would be more desirable but Bill is interested in keeping this printing to the lowest cost he can while retaining a high quality. Seeing the price structure on this it is doubtful he will do anything other than recover his out of pocket costs. His primary interest is getting something written in his words on his life experiences for his family. I've read the text several times at different stages of editing and I think the book is extremely well written and holds strong reader interest. Easily one of the better written space memoirs and I believe I've read them all so far.

Although the final price isn't set yet all of the prices I've heard are quite low. I think it will be an excellent chance to pick up an excellent M.G.A. autobiography at an extremely good price.

As posted above the "Go To" place to pick up copies is Boggs SpaceBooks.

jvertrees
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posted 01-07-2011 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don and Tamara Boggs have updated their site to include the price for Bill Pogue's very limited special collectors printing of his autobiography “But for the Grace of God”.

$29.95 plus shipping, available exclusively from Boggs Space Books. You can’t even get one directly from Bill Pogue at this point. Boggs Space Books is the go to location to secure your personal copy.

Soar with Eagles | Rogers, AR | 2011 | 1st edition limited to 1,000 SIGNED copies | SB | illustrated w/diagrams and photos | New | SIGNED with Fisher pen part # SEB12100051-208, Serial # 1259 FLOWN on the U.S. Skylab space station from May 14, 1973 to February 8, 1974 for 110 million miles in space during 4,100 orbits by author Bill Pogue, 6x9 inches, 334pp

Truly a collector's item! $29.95 plus shipping. orders@boggsspace.com

freshspot
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posted 01-10-2011 02:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have pre-ordered a copy. Thanks Donald & Tamara Boggs for jumping in. I am looking forward to reading the book.

jvertrees
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From: Crestwood, MO
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posted 01-10-2011 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having read Bill's book several times and I believe all the other first person astronaut autobiographies and memoirs I do personally believe this book is among the strongest astronaut memoirs out there. It flows nicely and covers a lot of ground without getting bogged down anywhere. It is well told, has good humor, and contains no self absorption or conceit.

He also covers interesting periods like his pilot training, his days in the Korean War and two years as an elite pilot in the USAF Thunderbirds that will interest the pilots out there. I even like his early years stories, they help frame for the reader who he is.

Every word was written by Pogue personally, he took many editing suggestions from myself and several others but wrote every word of every page himself over several years which included some of his most difficult days. It is truly an extraordinary book.

MCroft04
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posted 01-11-2011 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received an email from Boggs to buy my pre-order of Bill's book this evening. Great to get one of the first 1000 copies, and signed. What a great deal!

gliderpilotuk
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posted 01-12-2011 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm looking forward to reading this immensely.

PeterO
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posted 01-12-2011 07:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm eagerly awaiting my copy, so much so that I even sprang for Priority shipping, which for this frugal Yankee is a big deal.

Pogue is the only astronaut I've actually met. He was the Astronaut Encounter speaker when I visited KSC in December 2002. He gave an exciting and witty presentation, and was especially concerned about reaching out to the youngsters in the rather sparse audience. He enjoyed shaking hands and saying hello afterwards. No autographs though, since those were reserved for the paying guests at the subsequent astronaut luncheon.

Now I'll finally have an autograph to go with my photos.

ilbasso
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posted 01-19-2011 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received mine in the mail yesterday - looks great!

fredtrav
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posted 01-19-2011 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got mine yesterday as well. Started reading it as well. Only a couple of pages but so far so good.

AJ
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posted 01-19-2011 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy of the book arrived today and I've already begun reading it. So far, it's excellent and there are some delightful photos throughout the book.

Boggs SpaceBooks
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posted 01-19-2011 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Boggs SpaceBooks   Click Here to Email Boggs SpaceBooks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We're through the first rush of orders of the book. Two things may be of interest to collectors:
  1. This was the largest pre-order and first week follow-up of any signed book we have carried. Hansen's First Man was #2 in initial popularity.

  2. Since this is a numbered edition, there may be interest in knowing that Bill reserved the first 50 copies for family and close friends.

MCroft04
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posted 01-20-2011 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received my copy today, signed with a pen flown on Skylab. Can I assume that the ink was also flown? And yes I have already began reading it although I just started another book.

ea757grrl
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posted 01-21-2011 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy arrived the other day, and it's a really neat book. Any time Boggs SpaceBooks offers a signed book, it's a real treat, and this one is no exception. Pogue writes about his life and adventures with sensitivity and candor, and I'm finding it a satisfying read. Thanks to all involved for making it happen!

Boggs SpaceBooks
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posted 01-21-2011 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Boggs SpaceBooks   Click Here to Email Boggs SpaceBooks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
Can I assume that the ink was also flown?
Yes, the books are signed with one of the pens which flew on Skylab with Pogue and Bill is using the original ink which flew inside the pen! He had several of these from the mission and while some have run dry and we had some minor concern whether this one would last for the 1,000 books, it did indeed.

I think this is a fair tribute to the manufacturer, Fisher, that the pen is still usable 38 years after its manufacture.

liebeek
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posted 01-21-2011 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for liebeek   Click Here to Email liebeek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ordered a copy and am a big fan of Bill Pogue. Looking forward to it and if ever there is another signed book I'm in. Thanks for the offer here.

garymilgrom
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posted 01-21-2011 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy arrived in Atlanta yesterday - thanks to Boggs Spacebooks!

space4u
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posted 01-21-2011 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space4u   Click Here to Email space4u     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received my copy this week. Excellent packaging by Boggs Spacebooks per usual which was important as it was snowing a lot and mailman never thought to bring the box up to the door or garage. Book inside very wet box was perfect!

MCroft04
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posted 01-21-2011 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Boggs SpaceBooks:
Yes, the books are signed with one of the pens which flew on Skylab with Pogue and Bill is using the original ink which flew inside the pen!
Thanks! In Louisiana they call that "lagniappe." What a special surprise for an already great deal! I'm already enjoying the book.

Fezman92
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posted 01-21-2011 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Once I get some money in (a few days) I will get myself a copy.

jvertrees
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posted 01-22-2011 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Boggs SpaceBooks:
Yes, the books are signed with one of the pens which flew on Skylab with Pogue and Bill is using the original ink which flew inside the pen!
I would also like to add that Bill did go through an extensive personal search to get one of the Skylab Flown pens still with an original filler.

He already donated all of his personal pens to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation for scholarship auctions. A flown pen with a new filler wasn't acceptable to him nor was a filler flown on later shuttle missions. He eventually tracked one down but was told the filler is "dead". A quick swab of the roller ball freed the 38 year old built up goo and the pen was off and writing smoothly. The pen did last for the full 1,000 book run with ink to spare.

The pen used was not up for only Skylab 4 but was launched with the lab and came down on Skylab 4. One of the duties for the last crew was to scavenge everything they could from the lab and bring it home.

Just another one of those little pieces of space trivia that can fill a brain cell that would otherwise house "useful" information.

Keep adding your experiences about receiving and reviews of "But for the Grace of God."

Fezman92
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posted 01-22-2011 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the story on how he got the pen. Interesting tidbit.

garymilgrom
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posted 01-23-2011 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a very good book. What makes it so good are two things - the writing style and the way the author concentrates on everything in his life except his time in orbit.

The writing style is extremely concise - "I did this, which resulted in that, and later I went there". This is well suited to explaining complex events, whether they be threshing hay, recovering a spinning plane or planning one's life. The writing has an immediacy that makes it seem like Bill is talking directly to the reader - there are no hints of a ghost writer cleaning up things behind the scene. At first the writing seems simple but it soon emerges as a clear and direct way to communicate stories and ideas.

And those stories shine because they talk about everything in this astronaut's life. Whether it's a kid in the depression, studying hard in school, bombing bridges in Korea, endless family moves, flying new aircraft or simply following the feeling in your gut we are given the full story of a military career leading to spaceflight. Enthusiasts will be happy that Bill's training for and time spent flying Skylab are not ignored, but they are treated as one part of his life and the book is better for this.

FFrench
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posted 01-25-2011 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished reading this today. Like the recent Bob White book, this guy has lived one hell of a life. He doesn't join NASA until page 197, and he's splashed down from Skylab by page 261. NASA has just been one small part of a very full life with some incredible flying exploits.

Here is a photo Jim Vertrees shared with me and asked to be posted here.

MCroft04
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posted 01-25-2011 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a bit over half way through the book, and this picture by Francis says it all. This is a great book!!!!

Murph
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posted 01-26-2011 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Murph   Click Here to Email Murph     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished the book last night, and must say I found it somewhat disappointing. Certainly a life of dedication and tremendous accomplishment, worth documenting, but the Skylab mission section was little longer than a magazine article. Surely, an 84 day mission would have a few more tales to tell. I would have enjoyed a longer reflection on that almost end-of-the-era spaceflight.

As always, thanks to Boggs SpaceBooks for their great packaging and customer service.

AJ
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posted 01-26-2011 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My favorite part of the book were the stories about his childhood. There were some great, often laugh-out-loud moments. A wonderful read.

hinkler
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posted 01-27-2011 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book is an excellent addition to anyone's library or book collection.

Thanks to Bill Pogue, and Don and Tamara Boggs, and others for making this book available to enthusiasts everywhere.

MCroft04
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posted 01-30-2011 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great book with lots of interesting stories! I understand the disappointment at not having more about Skylab; heck I would have been happy to hear more about Bill's flight. But this is an autobiography, and Bill states in the forward that the book was written primarily for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I met Bill at the November 2010 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Autograph and Memorabilia Show and we had a good long conservation (at the cocktail party). My impression of Bill from that conversation fits well with the how he portrays himself in the book.

Bill is a very kind, down to earth person who made the most of his God-given talents to do some pretty amazing things in his life. And he is still going. What more could one ask out of life!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 01-30-2011 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too found Bill's Skylab portion of the book shorter than I had hoped but a very enjoyable and easy read none the less. Bill comes across as a very modest guy; a trait I have seen in many of the Apollo astronauts.

Fezman92
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posted 02-01-2011 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just ordered mine. Can't wait to get it

Fezman92
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posted 02-07-2011 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
#282 arrived today!

dss65
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posted 02-08-2011 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently finished my copy (#191) and wanted to add a few comments to this string. As usual, I find that the comments of those who have posted before me are accurate and give the potential reader a very good idea of what to expect.

My parents' families both come from the rural midwest, and Pogue's philosophy and writing style remind me a lot of them and their siblings. As I read his story, I kept thinking about how much he represented everything that is right about America's Heartland.

I, as others have noted, particularly enjoyed the stories of Pogue's childhood and often laughed out loud (sometimes to my wife's distraction). It was arguably my favorite part of the book. However, his firsthand accounts of missions over Korea and flying with the Thunderbirds also made for fascinating reading, especially given that they included many close calls.

I actually found Pogue's passages about Skylab (especially when including his references to it in the portions of the book covering life after Skylab) to be more satisfying than I had expected. I'm certain, however, that my expectations for this had been set rather low by some of the postings in this string.

Might I recommend that people who want to get a full, satisfying serving of Skylab read "Homesteading Space" by David Hitt, Owen Garriott, and Joe Kerwin? After that, adding Pogue's experiences is kind of like icing on the cake. At least it was for me.

I believe that Pogue met his objectives in writing this book, and I recommend it to all who enjoy autobiographies of astronauts and aviators. I enjoyed it.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 02-11-2011 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just finished reading #328. Initially, I found the long explanatory captions to the photos a bit distracting and annoying, but after finishing the book I went back and re-read them (and in doing so, saw them in a new light), so I am glad these were included. Lots of photos, which is always a good thing in an autobiography.

At first I found the writing style hard to grasp, but it is best remembered that Pogue has written this book for his grandchildren, so the book is deliberately a traverse through his many experiences. Without that in the back of your mind, some anecdotes might seem a bit pointless (with no disrespect intended).

The Skylab section is disappointingly short; conversely the section dealing with his mid-1970s trip through Nepal, India etc with Stu Roosa is disproportionately long and sometimes repetitive, so in some respects I think the right balance hasn't quite been struck between "chapters" in Pogue's life. To me, anyway.

You get the impression Pogue is most proud of his days with the Thunderbirds (1955-7), and this is a truly interesting part of the book.

Throughout, he gives a sense of the dangers he often faced, and how he was lucky to have survived some moments.

He deals sensitively with his divorce and the death of his first wife in 2009, unlike other astronaut bios (no, I won't mention names) where sections about the "new wife" border on being disrespectful to the first wife who lived the astronaut years with the author, and which sometimes make the reader squirm uncomfortably.

Not my favourite astronaut bio of all time (to me, everybody has been attempting catch-up with Collins after Carrying the Fire in '74), but it was certainly an enjoyable book and well worth reading. I am glad I bought it, and the autographed copy will sit proudly amongst my collection.

Happy reading, all.


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