We had way more orders than we’ve had in previous years for our Frank Borman private signing. Rob Gallagher is our “tagger,” which means he stays up all night for a few days before the private signing, and meticulously makes sure there is a note for each item, that tells the signer where to sign, what to sign, and what kind of pen to use. He has a system. We trust it, and there has seldom been an issue. Rob is the best.
For the signing lunch break on the first day, mom and I picked up 9 sandwiches from a Tucson gem called The Sausage Shop, which is close to Novaspace. We picked the sandwiches up around 11:45 am, and Frank had already been signing nonstop since 8:30 am, save for a few trips “to the John,” as Frank would say.
Rob and Frank ate lunch together at the signing table, chatting about Tucson Politicians, and Tucson in general. After they were finished eating, mom notified me that Frank was sitting by himself, and it would be a good time to ask him the questions that I had gathered for him.
I had put together a list of 22 questions that were sent in, and I was expecting that it would take a half an hour to answer all of them. Frank had so many things to sign that day, and we were unsure there would even be any time for a Q&A. Good thing I stood by, just in case. As it turned out, after spending all of one day signing, Frank needed to return for an entire second day, just to get everything done.
Frank has big beautiful blue eyes, and a slightly sarcastic wit. My interactions with him have always been brief, but his quips have made me laugh quite a few times. He would normally give me a hug, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all playing it safe. With my list of questions, and my iPhone attached to a tabletop tripod, I started recording and asking him the written questions.
The whole session took 10 minutes. A testament to Frank, despite being 92, he is less sentimental about his time as an astronaut as he is about the love of his life, high school sweetheart, and wife, Susan. She is mentioned a few times in this Q&A session, and if you look and listen carefully, he reflects on her quite a bit, and his big beautiful eyes show a second of vulnerability.
Borman has a reputation for being a badass, not putting up with bullshit, and never sugarcoating anything. Yet, he is as friendly as can be in his older age. I can’t help but think that he is such a rom-com/rom-dram trope: the handsome, stubborn leader, with hardly any soft spots, falls in love hard – and stays in love forever.
And here’s the edited video of the interview!
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