Friday, December 26, 2008

An unexpected Christmas present

I received a wonderful surprise in the mail today - an autographed and personalized photo of John Glenn! I shouldn't say it was a total surprise, but the timing made for a perfect Christmas present.

After seeing John Glenn at the National Air and Space Museum in November at the lecture for the Apollo 8 crew, and realizing that he was now 87 years old, I thought I had better hurry if I was ever going to get a personalized photo from him. He looked in relatively good health, but at 87, every day is a gift.

Senator Glenn (or "Payload Specialist II Glenn," as they jokingly referred to him at the NASM lecture), is renowned for his generosity in filling every autograph request he gets through the mail. I ordered on eBay a great photo of him being loaded into Friendship 7 on the day of his historic flight. After that photo arrived, I sent the photo, a letter, and a prepaid return envelope to Glenn's suburban Washington DC address. That was the week of Thanksgiving, and I frankly didn't expect a reply for several months.

Today's mail delivery brought my return envelope and the picture, beautifully signed in silver pen and personalized to me with the date of December 22, 2008. It's so incredible that this man still signs autographs - and does it for free. I heard somewhere that even if he wasn't necessary thrilled about signing, he felt it was the least he could do as a representative of the country that he loves and who sent him into space. He is a class act in every respect and a true gentleman.

God bless you, John Glenn, and thanks for a wonderful Christmas present!!

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