ALAN BEAN, THE 4TH MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON INSCRIBES AN ICONIC APOLLO 12 IMAGE OF THE LUNAR LANDER MODULE ASCENDING THE MOON’S SURFACE — TO THE MAN WHO DESIGNED THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LONGHORN LOGO AND CHANGED THE UNIFORM TO THE NOW WILDLY EMBLEMATIC BURNT ORANGE
BEAN, ALAN. (1932-2018) NASA Astronaut and the fourth person to walk on the Moon. Choice original 1st generation NASA color photograph of the lunar module leaving the moon’s surface. [the large crater in the image may be Ptolemaeus] Oblong quarto. [Approximately 10 x 12 inches]. No place. [Texas?] No date [circa 1970]. Signed, “Alan Bean” on the photographic surface, in lower right corner. The photograph is mounted to a larger piece of photographer’s backing and is wonderfully further inscribed on the wide lower margin: “To Rooster- Flying to the Moon is like throwing a long forward pass – You have to lead it just the right amount- It worked for us.”
The person to whom this image is dedicated is: William Edward “Rooster” Andrews. He was legendary figure in Longhorn lore, and the University of Texas football team manager who became famous as a drop-kicking player, dubbed by the media as the “All-American Waterboy,” as he was only 4ft 11 tall. He later opened a local sporting goods store and was the one who developed the now-iconic “Longhorn” logo and changed the team’s uniform color to burnt orange. He was an avid fan of the Space program and became friends with many of the astronauts who often presented him with flown items to display in his store (thus the fading of the signature, inscription and color of the image itself, in our piece).
This image is not the usual type that one finds from the Apollo era, nor the very common ones obtained at space conventions in the 90’s, 00’s and teens, and we can not recall ever seeing another like it. Combine this with the intimacy of the presentation, and it only reinforces that fact. A ‘must’ for the collector of space material, signed in the era in which moon flight occurred.
On a personal note: we had the privilege of knowing Captain Bean, as both a former astronaut and as an artist. We remember with great fondness his participation in talks and lectures which I, my wife and my young sons attended. He and his fellow astronauts definitely had and were made of: “The Right Stuff”.