The Alan Bean book signing at Novagraphics, 11/6-7/1998, was the largest event of the Alan Bean tour. Although Tucson was the smallest city on the tour, we are Alan's largest dealer, so we were the first venue booked in the book tour. We were also the only venue to be afforded two full days of signing. Andrew Chaikin, author of the text of the new book and also the author of A Man on the Moon was also present to co-sign books for those who attended.
The first evening, Friday November 6, was reserved for our large Alan Bean collectors, and they flew in from almost every state, and even a few from Europe. The second signing was held the afternoon the next day, and was open to the general public, mostly locals from Tucson or Phoenix, or VIPs who couldn't make it the previous night.
We had a large tent, under which we set up the Space Shuttle ice sculpture (surrounded with fresh shrimp) other food included NASA meatballs, cakes somehow decorated with Alan's originals on the icing, cheese balls, veggies, deviled eggs, & wine the first night, and desserts like lemon bars, raspberry torts, pecan-chocolate bars, and cream puffs. The tent housed Alan Bean and Andy Chaikin the next afternoon, to keep them out of the sun. Temperature was typically autumn in Tucson, with lows in the 50s the first night, and highs in the 70s the next day.
The large parking lot was completely filled both days. Several of our artists were in attendance, but they were there to meet Alan, who made them take their works off our gallery walls and show him!
In contrast to most celebrity booksignings where the customers often do not even make eye contact with the person signing, and are offered a few seconds, Alan spent a few minutes with each person: chatted, and asked questions of the children and graciously posed for photos with our photographer. (Complimentary photos were sent to all the VIP attendees.)
VIPs were also given souvenir gift-wrapped bottles of APOLLO beer, and the door prizes included signed Alan Bean posters, signed Apollo 12 tumblers, and signed LIFE magazines with Alan on the cover.
Two large telescopes were set up Friday night by the local astronomers, and one solar-viewing telescope was set up Saturday afternoon for viewing of the sun. We sold Alan's only finished original, The Spirit of Exploration which is in the new book. We also sold three flown flags, a real nice study and a drawing. If you'd like to see some of Alan's Originals and studies, Click here. We're working on getting the drawings posted, too but pencil drawings are difficult to photograph.