RIP Michael Collins

Another childhood autograph collecting artifact. I got this 8 x 10 color photo of the Apollo 11 crew from a NASA publicity package and sent it to each of the crew members one by one, asking then to sign and return. As you can see, they all did. Eventually. I believe I started the "project" sometime in elementary school, age ten or so, when I did most of my other autograph hunting activity. Aldrin and Armstrong signed and returned very quickly. But it was literally years before the Michael Collins response finally arrived. By then I was a teenager and had forgotten all about it, very surprised to receive it in the mail. And maybe not as excited as I'd have been in the fourth grade, I'm not sure. I had my mind on other things than astronauts' autographs at that point. But I was pleased enough with it to hang on to it. I always wondered if Michael Collins was maybe a bit miffed at always coming in third of three in attention and kudos, even from ten year old autograph collectors. Perhaps his secretary placed the photo on his desk and he was all "Buzz again!" You know, shaking his fist. Sweeping the desk clear in anguish, leaving the secretary standing by in embarrassed silence. "I'll get you some coffee, General Collins," she says, discreetly retreating through the side door, leaving him alone with his pain. Then he signs the autograph but gives it the absolute lowest priority, just to show 'em. Four years later it finally makes it to the out tray. I suppose I know the feeling if so. Ben, Joe.... and then, me. I usually sign pretty quick though. #autographs #space #thefinalfrontier #peckingorder #minds