Friday, April 22, 2011

The New Collection in Our Curio Case is Ready for Takeoff. Cool Space Stuff from Our Friend Ed!

Hooray for collections!  One day when I was changing out the collection in our curio case, our friend/customer Ed offered to display his wonderful collection of space race-iana.  Needless to say, I said yes.  I'll let Ed take it from there:

"During the 1960s, my father worked for a company who supplied parts for NASA’s Apollo project. This limited family connection served as my inspiration for collecting space autographs and memorabilia. I recall flipping through a tragically outdated World Book Encyclopedia and reading about the “current” Apollo missions as a child in the early 1980s. Typical, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut and flying to the moon (little did I know that the United States had already ended the moon missions). I sent a few letters to astronauts during these early years, however my aspirations quickly shifted elsewhere, and I forgot all about the dreams of youth.

"I renewed my interest in NASA and space exploration through watching the 1998 HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. I began asking my father about his role in the space race, and reading anything I could get my hands on. With all the NASA information filling my head, I decided to solve my hobby problem with (surprise, surprise) the introduction of a new hobby: collecting astronaut autographs. Unlike previous collections, I had a specific goal in mind; an autographed photo from every NASA astronaut, past and present. Following the advice of other collectors, I began by sending letters to current astronauts requesting an autographed photo. After waiting only a few weeks, my mailbox quickly began filling with the distinct brown envelopes from the Johnson Space Center; each containing signed photos.

"Over the past decade, my collection increased in scope to include memorabilia, ephemera, toys, books, and films. The subject matter has also altered slightly, as is now includes items from astronomy, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and private spaceflight. The original goal remains elusive, although it is roughly 75% complete. The remaining astronauts present significant difficulties, as many living retired astronauts no longer respond to autograph requests, and others charge extremely high signing fees. While I could simply purchase autographed photos from auctions or E-bay, I prefer to receive them from the source. This, of course, is not possible for several astronauts who passed away. Despite its difficulties, I continue to collect. At present, the complete collection contains over 600 unique items. The items on display offer a sampling of my collection. I hope you enjoy viewing the items as much as I have enjoyed collecting them."

-Ed Benoit, III

We usually keep our collections up for at least three months.  So if you're reading this post anytime before July 21 (and possibly after that), come in and see some cool stuff. -DCG

No comments: