My Photo
Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, July 17, 2009

40 Years and Counting

It's rare when I have something to talk about other than the books I read or the birds by the pond....

But July 16th was one of those rare days.  And before I even begin, let me apologize for the large download of photos!

Yesterday my son and grandson took me to the Kennedy Space Center.  Although I lived in Florida for 13 yrs once before, and dearly love the space program, I never got there before... but July 16th was a special date in history.  It was the date in 1969 when we blasted off for the moon.

The capsule, that sat atop a Saturn V rocket, held three passengers.  Neil Armstrong, who would become the first man to step on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, who would be the second man on the moon, and Michael Collins, who was the command module pilot.

And so, my first and only visit to the Kennedy Space Center would be on a Historic day.

The day began with the blistering sun shining down on us as we stood in line for our tickets.  The "astronaut" below hovered over us as we purchased our way into the Space Center.

After an interminable line we were bused to the Apollo/ Saturn V Center where several Astronauts from Apollo were there to speak to us of their experiences.  Today would be an emotional day for me and I was hoping I could keep it under control.

(above: left to right) Buzz Aldrin, Walt Cunningham, Ed Mitchell, Al Worden, and Charlie Duke were all there to tell parts of their historic flights.

At one point my grandson pulled me outside of the Saturn V complex to see something.. way off in the distance we could see the launch pad.  My zoom helped me to get a fairly decent shot.  And to think, just the evening before this area lit up the skies as the Shuttle Endeavor was launched.

After the astronauts spoke we looked around the complex itself.  One of the many eyecatchers was to see the Lunar Module hanging above us.

..and then there was the "lunar buggy" !

Hanging above us for the entire length of the complex, was (strangely enough since it was named after it) the Saturn V !  It's so large that it's impossible inside to get to a place where you could see the whole thing at once.. here are the main thrusters.  (can you imagine if just one of those millions of wires were wired wrong?!)

Below is a shot showing part of section one and section 2.

Then we noticed that even the floor had something on it!.. we followed the arrow..

..into the new display that was being opened to honor the astronauts who went to the moon..

As we entered the gallery.. there it was.  Something I had wanted to see with my own eyes for 40 yrs!.. the capsule!  I snapped a picture before I even realized I didn't have the flash opened yet!.. so this was truly my first view.. got more colorful with the flash!...  Other than seeing the astronauts, this was second of "must sees" on my agenda.  This is what made it all possible (well this and the rocket of course).  I was in aw.  I had a hard time moving on..  This was emotional for me, to be sure.. but I was proud of myself that I managed to keep myself under control !

Look at this door!   I mean if this wasn't "the capsule" it would be more than overkill with the locks don't ya think?  I wonder how many people it took to invent this door system?   Thankfully, it worked! 

.. I found this map interesting, showing where each Apollo landed on the moon.

Below are their names and dates of  moon landings..

Back outside there is a shuttle. The man below snapping his own photos gives you an idea of the size.

.. oh well.. I HAD to put one photo in of my son, George, and my grandson Brent or it wouldn't have been a family thing~

Below is an astronaut suite with a rocket pack to help control their movements in space.

Then we hit the "gift shop" (lord help me)

There were prettier shirts but I had to have this one with the moon imprints on it.

... I wanted a Nasa shirt and thought this one: "I need my space" was clever enough even for me.

Then came the time of truth...

Would I be one of the lucky ones to be able to get Buzz Aldrins signature on my book?  We found the line already started  an hour and a half before he was to begin signing.. and the line was... in the sweltering sun!

A lady in front of us when we got in line heard us talking.  I was telling my son that he and Brent should go get something to eat and I would stay in line .  They could bring me something.. preferably COLD!  The lady heard us and said she would hold out place if I wanted to go eat.  Ohhh, that sounded soooo goood!  We went.

When we returned the line was literally "out of sight".. oh boy.

But the lady was true to her word and we had no problems getting our spot back.  I could tell I was a shoe in for a signature, but wondered how many would wait in that heated line who would not get his autograph.  Buzz was listed to sign for 1 1/2 hrs only.

Ahhhh how beautiful is that signature?  Well, I'll tell you.  At autograph shows Mr Aldrin gets 250.00 a pop to sign things.  At the space center there wre some fantastic pictures of Buzz signed in the gift stores.. they sold for 450.00 each.   

I am a happy camper!  But I will admit that I am more happy because he is one of my true hero's.  I would never have been able to afford his autograph any other way.. and anyone wanting this signed book will have to tear it from my cold dead hands!

(below) Buzz Aldrin signing my book.  Once again he looked up and smiled as I mentioned our mutual friend, AC Lyles, which brought an even bigger smile.

Then something I didn't expect... 

Star Trek was playing at the Space Center's Imax theater.  My son had already seen it but got us tickets to see the movie. 

Wow! I was finally going to see it!  I crossed my fingers I would like it.  It has gotten both good and not so good reviews from individuals. I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was hoping I was open to seeing new faces in the characters I had grown to love so dearly... and especially of Dr McCoy, who was also a good friend.

Could someone really do the job as well ?  Could someone make me think this was a younger Dr McCoy??

My son had stated when he first saw the movie, that if I closed my eyes, I would hear McCoy... but then he didn't know DeForest as well as I did.

.. well..

.. I certainly was NOT prepared for Karl Urban's interpretation of Dr McCoy!

The instant this man opened his mouth I began to cry. (so much for my emotional control!)

I was hoping my eyes would just fill and sit there, but as I saw from the corner of my eye, my son look at me to see my reaction.. the tears rolled down my face.

He had DeForest's voice!  He had McCoy's mannerisms.  He even looked a bit like Deforest when he was young.

I was not ready for him.

Each time he came on the screen my eyes filled.

If there were just some way I could tell this young man how much what he did impressed me, and spoke of someone who cared enough about the part he was playing to try his most to "be" the consummate actor that DeForest was... I'd  be so happy to tell him. 

I really doubt that anyone other than Karl Urban could have played the part of McCoy any better.

And as for the rest of the Star Trek crew?..

I loved them all!  They all brought the personalities of their characters to the screen.  I, as a Trek Fan and a friend of DeForest Kelley's and as someone who has seen and or met all of the original Star Trek actors, have to say...  well done people.   You made me believe I was watching the characters I love when they were younger.  

May you live long and prosper!  And may the Trek Franchise continue on into the future.

July 16th.. was a special day.  It was a historic day.. and a day I won't forget for some time to come.



Blogger cj said...

Pat -

I am so thrilled for you! Your visit sounds like it was everything you could ask for and I knew you'd be one of the lucky ones to get Neil's autograph. Needless to say, I'm also jealous!

Your comments on the movie are the best ones I've heard and they make me want to see it but I'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD. And, I think you should send the actor (Urban?) a letter with your comments. I bet he'd be happy to know that a personal friend of DeForest felt he nailed his performance.

Thanks again for the words and the photos. Both are priceless.


11:32 AM  
Anonymous Chelle said...

This post made *me* tear up! I'm so happy you had such a wonderful, memorable day.

11:37 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cj: if I can find out his manager I will send him a letter! I don't think i went to the movie hoping or not hoping that it would be good.. it shocked me.

Chelle: it was one of my better days thats for sure

11:46 AM  
Blogger Memory said...

I just wanted to say that I adore your posts. Your love for these things that mean so much to you shines right on through. I'm glad you had such an amazing day!

12:51 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

thanks memory.. i hope everyone has such days!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Astaryth said...

This posts just makes me happy :)

I'm so glad that your trip went so well and that you not only got to finally see the movie, but that you loved it. I agree with whoever said you should right Urban and tell him. Be sure to let him know how close to De you were. I think that will really make him appreciate the comments even more.

Have you seen the site They are doing a 'live' broadcast of the flight and walk as if they were happening right now and not 40 years ago. They also have e-mail alerts of all the important things, and a twitter feed. I think you would enjoy it.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Really loved hearing all about your day, Pat. I just had a feeling you would have a brilliant day and you did! You even got your autograph! Go you!

And then you got to see Star Trek! I just grinned when I read that comment on my LJ. Am so pleased that it moved you so much and that Karl Urban nailed Bones McCoy for you. I thought so too but such things are very personal and what seems good to me might not be so for you.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful day.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

What an amazing post Pat!!! And what an amazing day. I seriously want to get in my car and drive to the space center now. It looks amazing! I'm so glad you had such a great day. You truly deserved it. And I can't believe you got Buzz Aldrin's autograph! That's so freaking cool! Can't wait to hear about the book.

Star Trek sounds so good but I still haven't seen it :( I'm thrilled to hear that the actor playing Dr. McCoy did such a great job! I'm sure De would be proud!

And I can't believe how big your grandson has gotten so big since the last time I've seen him! Tell him I said hi!

6:15 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

This is such a great post for so, so many reasons.

One of course simply because of the subject matter. True and fictional space ships and space travel in one post is like heaven to me, so that is certainly one reason, but the main reason is that this sounds like the Deslily I know and love. This sounds like you...a happy, loving life, loving the moment you and I'm so very, very thrilled that you had this opportunity. What an amazing, historic, and made just for you opportunity!!!

I loved reading this and the pictures are fantastic! I'd be jealous if I wasn't just so absolutely giddy for you. I am so glad you shared this with us and that you shot me an email so I didn't miss it today!

How cool that you got his signature! Wonderful!

And I'm psyched you got to see Star Trek and that you had an emotional experience with it. I cried both times I saw it and am glad you did too, even if for more personal reasons. You knew him personally, but certainly for me the characters these guys portrayed took on a personal note with me and seeing them portrayed so lovingly on the screen just brought tears to my eyes! Such a great film. I cannot wait to own that one on DVD.

Your family provided you with a real treat and I couldn't be happier for you!

6:50 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

thanks JJ.. sent you an email

Hi Cath: the whole day was good.. I, of course, love the "old" astronauts, love our space program and love the original characters from Trek.. It had sounded like I would like the movie, but admit I was worried how I would feel with different faces but names I remember so well...and the little touch of having Spock in the movie was just right.

Hi Carl: I thought you might like the photo's and to read my reaction to Trek! I am with you about owning this movie! If I can find a way to the theater near me to see Harry Potter I will stay and see Trek a second time. But I will say that I will probably cry again. Once I knew to expect this from him i found myself really watching his face and I swear I could see his determinatin to "be mcCoy" whenever he was on.. I'm sure some voice expert could find someone who does sound more like Deforest, but Urban did a fantastic job. If I didn't love McCoy already, I'd have fallen for him from his performance!

6:31 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

chris: I wish you could have been with me! It's strange.. I was a little disappointed at the space center.. I thought it would be "more" somehow.. or maybe I just wished it was more, since I can never get enough of it.. and especially the "original astronauts".. I was disappointed that in all the gift shops I could find anything I could afford that would be a "model" of the capsule and orbitor. They had one gorgeous one for 200.00 heh.. but also it was on the large side, with my small place I was hoping for something I could afford and be smallish. But most everything was the shuttle and not much on Gemini/ apollo and mercury..that saddened me some.
BTW: once I get my last piece of furniture for the livingroom (which may well be a loveseat/pull out bed) you are welcome to come anytime.. but be warned "I am the youngest" one here! so you'd better like seeing old farts!

6:39 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

Like other said before me, I adored this post :D I'm glad you had such a wonderful day, and thank you for sharing it with us!

I love those NASA shirts, btw. And that's wonderful that you managed to get your book signed by one of your true heroes!

8:07 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi Nymeth:.. umm well.. on the NASA web site they have their "store" where you can buy on line.. i mean.. just saying...ya know.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Oh Pat, what a wonderful, wonderful post!!! See...I told you that you still had adventures to come! It sounds like a perfect day. And you sooooo deserved it!!!!!

9:50 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi Debi: I don't know about deserve but I did need it...and it was over way too soon.

6:20 PM  
Blogger madcobug said...

Pat I am so glad that you got to to. I know you had a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing your day with pictures and discriptions. Your grandson has grown so much. Hugs, Helen

7:25 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

thanks Helen. yes Brent turned the big 13 in may! hard to believe how different he will be each year from now on...

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Pat... Your visit sounds like it was so, so beautiful... And filled with so many wonderful things, I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. I'm so, so glad that that woman kept your spot for you and that you managed to get that signature of your hero. I'm so glad to hear you finally got to visit a place youve always wanted to visit, and at such an emotionally charged and special moment too.

And then to crown the day off with the new Star Trek movie turning out so much more beautiful and good than you feared it might... It sounds absolutely wonderful.

And that movie needs no more recommendation than those lines of yours. I wish that somehow you'll get that chance to tell Karl Urban how he impressed you.

*hugs* (You did deserve such a spectacular day, hun. Hush.)

11:57 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

libritouches: yodated news.. I got the name and address to Karl Urbans agency and I wrote him a 3 page letter and mailed it yesterday!.. I don't know if he will read it or not.. but I did write it, and mailed it. Problem is, that since the release of the movie he may well be inundated with fan mail and might not read them all

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh. Yaaay! I hope he'll read it and that you'll be pleasantly surprised sometime in the future! ^-^

5:50 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

I don't know how i'd be surprised, I didn't ask for anything.. just told him how I felt about his performance but I do hope he reads it.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

WOW !!! Best. Post. Ever. I got a tear in my eye just reading this Pat !!! I'm so glad you have seen the movie, and I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as you did. If anyone has a right to do a true and fair "Star Trek" review, it is you ! This is your area of expertise.

2:43 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi daniel ! I thought you might like to know what I thought of star trek ! lol.. I think it's really impressive if a movie can do that to an old time fan.. i didn't go there expecting to hate it but did think maybe I'd feel weird hearing names I knew so well and seeing different faces.. i'd say i was shocked! it was really well done by every one!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

Urban definitely did McCoy great justice with his performance. I loved him from LOTR and have even more respect for him now.

7:09 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How truly WONDERFUL Pat...Your pictures are fabulous and made me feel I was there with you all....And to get Aldrin's autograph which you were so hoping for...FANTASTIC!
I've never been there but I truly felt I had a little bit of a visit, too....AND, to see "STAR TRK, too! What a Great Great Day, my dear!

You should write that young man and let him know how you feel...I know it would mean a great deal to him, and something special coming from you!

2:50 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home