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The Time I Touched the Moon Thanks to Apollo Astronaut Alan Bean

Astronaut Alan Bean with Nick Proach

Although I’ve never been an astronaut or traveled to space myself, I can say that I have touched the moon. And it was all thanks to Apollo astronaut Alan Bean.

Here’s how it happened…

One day a friend and I were visiting Alan Bean at his home in Houston, TX. (Alan and I had a relationship based on some work I did building a Surveyor III model for him a few years back. I recently completed a Lunar Rover model for him as well.)

My friend and I were standing in the gallery where Alan creates his amazing paintings, waiting for him to return from another room, when I noticed a strange-looking hammer on the mantle of the gallery’s fireplace.

“Hey Al, looks like they let you keep your training hammer,” I joked when Alan came back into the gallery.

Alan looked to where I was pointing and smiled. “That’s not my training hammer. That’s the one I used.”

For a moment I wasn’t sure what he meant. “The one you used… on the moon?”

“Yes, on the moon,” Alan replied. “Go ahead, pick it up.”

It was incredible to hold the hammer in my own hands and know that it had touched the surface of the moon! You could see it had been used, too—there were little marks and scratches on the metal.

For me, that hammer is a symbol of all the things we can accomplish if we believe in ourselves and work together to achieve a common goal. Since the day I held it in my hands, the fact that I’ve been able to say that I’ve “touched the moon” has sent ME over the moon!

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