I got to meet an astronaut!

Commander Chris Hadfield was in Calgary last night, signing his recent book The Darkest Dark, and it was awesome to be there.

I could not believe the size of the crowd that showed up. I got there about 15 minutes before the signing was to begin and I ended up parking a block away. When I got to Chapters (the store holding the signing) I found out it was a ticketed event so I grabbed a ticket and I was in group 17.  

Chapters must have started a little early because at 7:00 pm the event co-ordinators had just called group 2 and 3 to start lining up. So it was going to be a late night for Cmdr. Hadfield.

I actually had time to go home and take a family member to an appointment, at which point my daughter decided to join me, and we got back to the store by 10:30. By this time the line up had made it to group 13 and by 11 group 17 finally got to get in line.

While waiting in line I mentioned to the Chapters staff what I had brought to be signed and each time (a total of 4 interactions) I was told “he might not sign those”, one item for sure he would sign, but the other two…I was prepared to accept no for an answer. Thankfully, he did not say no.

What did I take?

For my wife I brought her copy of his book “You Are Here”, she already had a signed copy of his book "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth”. And I brought a print I had given her a few Christmases ago by a fantastic artist named Mike Mitchell in which Cmdr. Hadfield is depicted as an action figure (it’s awesome…see for yourself).
Mike Mitchell "Hadfield" Print
For me I brought a test pilot helmet that I had picked up some years ago for a photo shoot at an agency I had worked at. This was already signed by Lee Majors when he was in Edmonton a few years back and when Cmndr Hadfield was inspecting the helmet he looked at the signature and I explained who it was, in case he couldn’t make out the signature, and he smiled, so I hope that meant he thought it was as awesome as I think it is.
So yeah, it was AMAZING...my daughter and I got to meet an incredible Canadian last night.

I read his tweet today where he said that it was a 7 hour signing, which means he got out of there around 1:30 or 2 and I heard tell from several people in line that they never saw him leave the table - quite the endurance test if you ask me, but then what would one expect from an astronaut.