Tag Archives: Andy Parton

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. On stage are (at lectern) MICHAEL STROMER, JetBlue Chief Product Officer, Techology; and MARC MACDONNELL, Chair, Board of Directors of Cradle of Aviation, as seen from third level of atrium of CAM, during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. U.S. Navy Blue Angels Grumman F-11A Tiger jet is suspended from ceiling. Astronauts and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, are seated at tables next to stage.

Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner at Cradle of Aviation Museum

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 23, 2019

On June 6th, five Apollo Astronauts and two Apollo Flight Directors helped the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the first time humans walked on the moon. 

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Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. After speaking at lectern on stage, at extreme right, ANDY PARTON, President of Cradle of Aviation Museum, turns to guests sitting behind him, L-R, Apollo 16 Lunar Pilot CHARLIE DUKE, Apollo Flight Director MILT WINDLER, Apollo 9 Lunar Pilot RUSTY SCHWEICKART, Apollo 13 Lunar Pilot FRED HAISE, Apollo 17 Lunar Pilot HARRISON SCHMITT, Apollo Flight Director GERRY GRIFFIN, and Apollo 7 Lunar Pilot WALT CUNNINGHAM, during Cradle of Aviation Museum's Apollo Astronauts Press Conference during its day of events celebrating 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. After speaking at lectern on stage, at extreme right, ANDY PARTON, President of Cradle of Aviation Museum, turns to guests sitting behind him, L-R, Apollo 16 Lunar Pilot CHARLIE DUKE, Apollo Flight Director MILT WINDLER, Apollo 9 Lunar Pilot RUSTY SCHWEICKART, Apollo 13 Lunar Pilot FRED HAISE, Apollo 17 Lunar Pilot HARRISON SCHMITT, Apollo Flight Director GERRY GRIFFIN, and Apollo 7 Lunar Pilot WALT CUNNINGHAM, during Cradle of Aviation Museum’s Apollo Astronauts Press Conference during its day of events celebrating 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Astronaut Press Conferencephoto gallery

That day – part of a multi-year series of CAM events leading up to the anniversary on July 20, 2019 – started with a Press Conference featuring Apollo astronauts and flight directors, plus Long Islanders who worked for Grumman when it was NASA’s LEM contractor.

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. SAMUEL KOEPPEL, who was Grumman's Technical Editor when Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. won the NASA contract to design and build the Lunar Excusion Module for the Apollo Program, is interviewed during Astronauts Press Conference for Apollo at 50 at Cradle of Aviation Museum, where he is a docent. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. SAMUEL KOEPPEL, who was Grumman’s Technical Editor when Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp. won the NASA contract to design and build the Lunar Excusion Module for the Apollo Program, is interviewed during Astronauts Press Conference for Apollo at 50 at Cradle of Aviation Museum, where he is a docent. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

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Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. Apollo Flight Director GERRY GRIFFIN is interviewed during Cradle of Aviation Museum's Apollo Astronauts Press Conference during its day of events celebrating 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. Apollo Flight Director GERRY GRIFFIN is interviewed during Cradle of Aviation Museum’s Apollo Astronauts Press Conference during its day of events celebrating 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

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Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. L-R, Astronauts CHARLIE DUKE, Apollo 16, and FRED HAISE, Apollo 13, Lunar Module pilots, pose in front of the genuine Grumman Lunar Module 13, built for canceled Apollo 18 mission, during Cradle of Aviation Museum's Apollo Astronauts Press Conference during its day of events celebrating 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. L-R, Astronauts CHARLIE DUKE, Apollo 16, and FRED HAISE, Apollo 13, Lunar Module pilots, pose in front of the genuine Grumman Lunar Module 13, built for canceled Apollo 18 mission, during Cradle of Aviation Museum’s Apollo Astronauts Press Conference during its day of events celebrating 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner –  photo gallery

During the cocktail hour, guests could snack, dance to music by the Freeport High School Jazz Band, and take selfies with Apollo astronauts they spotted.

Astronaut Fred Haise was chatting with a couple, whom I later learned were Peter and Kelly Kelly, when I asked if they’d like me to take a photo of them in front of the Apollo 11 moon mural:

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. L-R, Apollo 13 astronaut FRED HAISE, PETER KELLY and KELLY KELLY, pose in front of moon landing mural at Cradle of Aviation Museum during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. Pete Kelly is youngest of 5 sons of Thomas J. Kelly, who led the design team for the Lunar Module, and is commonly called the Father of the Lunar Module. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. L-R, Apollo 13 astronaut FRED HAISE, PETER KELLY and KELLY KELLY, pose in front of moon landing mural at Cradle of Aviation Museum during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. Pete Kelly is youngest son of the late Thomas J. Kelly, who led the design team for the Lunar Module, and NASA calls the Father of the Lunar Module. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Days after the event, I realized Peter Kelly was the youngest son of the late Thomas J. Kelly, Long Island’s aerospace engineer who led the design team for the Lunar Module and whom NASA calls the Father of the Lunar Module.

FYI from fLI: Thomas Kelly was born in Brooklyn in 1929, and he was raised in Merrick – where I was born and raised, decades later. One of us graduated valedictorian from Mepham High School, and the other taught there briefly during a long career in Bellmore-Merrick CHSD. 

Three student groups from Freeport High School performed at the Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner and Cocktail Hour: FHS Select Chorale singers, FHS Upperclassman Jazz Band musicians, and FHS Navy Junior ROTC cadets.

Garden City, NY, U.S. June 6, 2019. Freeport High School Select Chorale singers perform - with their Director MONIQUE RETZLAFF standing at right, facing them - during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner. FHS Navy Junior ROTC cadets are saluting. Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing was held at Cradle of Aviation Museum.) (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Garden City, NY, U.S. June 6, 2019. Freeport High School Select Chorale singers perform – with their Director MONIQUE RETZLAFF standing at right, facing them – during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner. FHS Navy Junior ROTC cadets are saluting. Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing was held at Cradle of Aviation Museum. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

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Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. L-R, GERRY GRIFFIN, Apollo Flight Director; Apollo 9 astronaut RUSTY SCHWEICKART; Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN; and Apollo 16 astronaut CHARLIE DUKE pose for photo at Cradle of Aviation Museum during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. L-R, GERRY GRIFFIN, Apollo Flight Director; Apollo 9 astronaut RUSTY SCHWEICKART; Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN; and Apollo 16 astronaut CHARLIE DUKE pose for photo at Cradle of Aviation Museum during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

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Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. ANDY PARTON, President of Cradle of Aviation, is speaking on stage, as seen from second level of atrium of Cradle of Aviation Museum, during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. The 5 Apollo Astronauts, 2 Apollo Flight Commanders, and Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN sat at tables next to stage. U.S. Navy Blue Angels Grumman F-11A Tiger jet is suspended from ceiling. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. ANDY PARTON, President of Cradle of Aviation, is speaking on stage, as seen from second level of atrium of Cradle of Aviation Museum, during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. The 5 Apollo Astronauts, 2 Apollo Flight Commanders, and Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN sat at tables next to stage. U.S. Navy Blue Angels Grumman F-11A Tiger jet is suspended from ceiling. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Silent Auction

Space memorabilia and space-themed Items donated for the Silent Auction fundraiser were on display in a corridor off the ground floor level of the atrium. Interested bidders didn’t need to be at the anniversary dinner, since bids were placed securely online.

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. Colorful print'Just the Beginning' of Neil Armstrong in front of American Flag - signed by its artist Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean - is a Silent Auction fundraiser space memorabilia item on display at Cradle of Aviation Museum during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. June 6, 2019. Colorful print ‘Just the Beginning’ of Neil Armstrong in front of American Flag – signed by its artist Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean – is a Silent Auction fundraiser space memorabilia item on display at Cradle of Aviation Museum during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner, an Apollo astronaut tribute celebrating the Apollo 11 mission Moon landing. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)


Feature Photo at top of post: Garden City, NY, USA. June 10, 2019. On stage are L-R, MICHAEL STROMER, JetBlue Chief Product Officer, Technology and MARC MACDONNELL, Chair, Board of Directors of Cradle of Aviation, as seen from third level of atrium of CAM, during Apollo at 50 Anniversary Dinner. U.S. Navy Blue Angels Grumman F-11A Tiger jet is suspended from ceiling. Astronauts and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran are seated at tables next to stage.


site: Cradle of Aviation Museum

  • How Freeport H.S. student groups helped CAM, on June 6, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NASA’s 1969 Apollo mission:

Freeport H.S. Students Soar: ‘Apollo at 50’ at Cradle of Aviation Museum

My news Photos of Apollo at 50 Anniversary, Cradle of Aviation Museum, 6/6/2019:  

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Garden City, New York, USA. May 23, 2019. At left, ANDREW PARTON, President of the Cradle of Aviation Museum is standing at lectern and introducing, at right, ANDREW CHAIKIN, best-selling author of "A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts" in the museum’s JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium. Event was part of CAM's celebration of 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.

Andrew Chaikin: Over the Moon about Space

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 30, 2019

VIDEO 1 [00:21] Chaikin’s favorite quote:

An Evening with Andrew Chaikin, at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Thursday, May 23, began with refreshments near the “LEM” room, home of the actual Apollo LM-13 lunar excursion module built for the cancelled Apollo 18 mission.

What a great setting for photos of the bestselling author of “A Man on the Moon: Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts”!

And when asked if I wanted him to go on the surface of the (simulated) moon – the first time anyone offered that in all the years I captured photos there – I was so surprised I blurted out, “Are you sure it’s okay?” He smiled and good-naturedly assured me he had permission. 

Garden City, New York, USA. May 23, 2019. At left, author ANDREW CHAIKIN takes a selfie with ALAN CONTESSA, who worked on the real Apollo 11 lunar module, as they stand in front of the genuine Lunar Module LM-13, built for cancelled Apollo 18 mission.

Garden City, New York, USA. May 23, 2019. At left, ANDREW CHAIKIN takes a selfie with ALAN CONTESSA, who worked on the Apollo 11 lunar module, as they stand in front of the genuine Lunar Module LM-13, built for cancelled Apollo 18 mission. (© 2019 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After capturing photos of Chaikin at LM-13, I saw a few guests come in, including Alan Contessa, who, as a 22-year-old Grumman employee in 1969, was responsible for making and installing the gold silver thermal foil covering the lower part of Apollo 11’s lunar excursion module LM-5, the “Eagle” of “The Eagle has landed” fame.

My favorite LM area photo of the evening shows Chaikin taking a selfie with Contessa as they’re standing in front of the LM-13 thermal foil, which Contessa, as a volunteer, worked on for the Cradle of Aviation display.

Soon it was time to go to the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium, for Chaikin’s talk about growing up on Long Island and interviewing Apollo astronauts.

VIDEO 2 [44:10] Chaikin’s talk:

Chaikin became obsessed with space when he was five, and he was 12 when he met his first NASA astronaut, Alan Bean, who later became his dear friend and mentor.  

Young Chaikin literally dreamed of meeting Neil Armstrong and getting his autograph. During a trip with his parents to Washington DC in 1971, he found out Armstrong was working at NASA Headquarters. The second time Chaikin went to HQ, he ran into Armstrong in the hallway, where the astronaut signed an autograph for him, and then took a selfie of the two of them.

As adults, they got to know each other as friends, and in 2002 Chaikin’s wife Victoria Kohl took a picture of Armstrong and Chaikin, who was holding that 1971 selfie.

Chaikin, an animated, knowledgable, and fascinating speaker – and I’m not saying that just because we have the same birthday – talked about the Apollo 11 mission in great detail, with photos and videos projected on the huge screen behind him. NOTE: Video 2 above includes most of Chaiken’s talk.

During the Q&A, the first guest called on asked if Chaikin thought the [2018 biographical drama] movie “First Man” portrayed astronaut Neil Armstrong accurately. The audience laughed when Chaikin quickly answered, “Not at all….”

The evening ended with the CNN Films documentary “APOLLO 11,” but I had to leave before it ran on the giant curved screen, so I returned to the IMAX theater with a friend to see the film that Sunday afternoon.

Walking up and up and up the theater stairs, we turned into the second row from the top, sat down, and enjoyed the awe-inspiring, newly unearthed views of the Apollo 11 astronauts, support teams, and the mission itself.


Feature Photo at top of post: Garden City, NY, USA. May 23, 2019. At left, ANDREW PARTON, Pres. of the Cradle of Aviation Museum introduces, at right, author ANDREW CHAIKIN in the museum’s JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium.


Andrew Chaikin at Cradle of Aviation:  MY GALLERY

Video 1 – Chaikin’s Favorite Quote: vimeo.com/annparry/chaikinquote
Video 2 – Chaikin’s Talk: vimeo.com/annparry/chaikintalk

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