Larry Mackowski was my favorite cousin. He was a few years older so of course he was cool. He was into rock’n’roll and did neat things. He had model ships and airplanes. We had awesome birthday parties at his house with all our other cousins. Larry also had a telescope.

Once I was visiting, I think it was around Christmas time, and Larry had a pile of photos and brochures about NASA spacecraft and the moon and Apollo and all sorts of cool stuff. He was using this for a high school report on the space program. I asked where he got the materials and he said you could write to NASA and they would send you pictures and booklets about space. For free!

1967 NASA Facts sm

Pretty soon I was writing to NASA and found all sorts of neat free publications they would send you. I also discovered catalogs they had for other books and posters and things that cost very little. That’s how I started collecting NASA publications and this was not a small influence on getting me interested in the space program.