Friend, Buzz Aldrin, First Moon Team Moon 1
911 Patriotic Memorial Park
Fawn Park, Big Bear, California
Ernie Borgnine, dear friend and one of my avorite cowboy's, Wild Bunch
AWE, FRIENDS & CLIENTS.
They have become one and the same. I am doing a very large 11' 6" painting for the Postal Service. The Post Master, Kathy Jones, has become one of my best friends. It is so much more enjoyable for me to do The Post Office "FREEDOM WALL" when I care so much for the people I am working with.
Just finished the Douglas County Veterans Memorial Park, appreciating and loving all the Veterans, the City Clerk, Suzanne Welsh, Mayor's David Norman and Burrley Loftin.
It makes my "Life Worthwhile." I am working making something beautiful using my God Given "Creative Gift" and "Giving A Gift from My Heart!"
The man above, Don Tryon, now with the Lord, was the San Juan Capistrano Historian and Commissioner & leader of the Historical Depiction Committee. Don and I along with Mayor Tony Forster worked for many years on HDP's and bringing History in a many forms to San Juan. Don surprised me and asked for my 'Miracle' book, "I'll Watch Over You, Witnessing The Miracle's Of God." San Juan Capistrano, I call, "The Town That Never Forgot Me!" While living near SJC, then moving 50 miles away and still being called to do HDP's. Then moving 1750 miles away, and still being called to do HDP's.
"THAT ALONE IS A MIRACLE OF LOVE & APPRECIATION."
Don & wife Penny's Christmas card from 2016 still graces my refrigerator 1750 miles away.
THAT IS WHAT FRIENDS & CLIENTS TO ME IS ALL ABOUT!
As an Artist, I have known many people from a wide range of lifestyles. Some of the collector's are from the movie industry. Buzz, was my friend, more than collector, although I did do artwork for Buzz. The first celebrity to buy my Commissioned Artwork was Steve Allen. I have a detailed collector and commissioned artwork list just above Buzz's section. Moon 1, was Buzz's license plate. Buzz sure deserved that label!
Life has many different turns WE don't expect. Shirley and Marty were one of them. I was in a Celebrity Show at the Beverly Garland Hotel and met Shirley and Marty. Marty said something that surprised me. We started talking about the things I had done, granite and monuments, etc. Marty said, "Maybe this is NOT just a "Chance Meeting.'
They lived in the Hollywood area, but had a get-a-way in Big Bear, California. Big Bear is gorgeous, big pines, beautiful lake, snowy winter less than 100 miles from their home.
They had just purchased in the center of town, a beautiful site that Marty wanted to build into a 911 REMEMBRANCE PARK. It would create a beautiful walking and sitting park for the Big Bear residents and guests. Marty loved America and was a GREAT Patriot. He wanted something very special help remember those lost at 911. He wanted to re-insure that America's Patriotism following 911 would always be remembered.
Granite was not what Marty wanted. He wanted something more mild than rock. He wanted emotion, love, "heart-felt" compassion. I told Marty about a process called "Sublimation," baking full colored artwork on premium tile. I showed him the WALL I had done in Studio City, just a few miles from The Beverly Garland Hotel. It was a go.
I started designing the concept. Marty had his visuals and his "heart felt" words. I just had to give him the venue. Marty also had metal from the falling towers from Manhattan, New York.
Because there is so much cold weather, snow and ice in Big Bear during the winter, the tiles had to be protected from the winter cold and the summer hot. We designed and built 2 beautiful chalets to protect the art. The chalets had to be designed to fit the landscape of the outdoors.
Here are the photos of Marty Ingels and Shirley Jones 911 Park.
The friendship of these two gracious people, met a lot to me. They were kind, funny, dedicated, loving and so kind. While working one day at the Park, I took my mom. Shirley was more than gracious to take a picture with mom. Mom smiled all day long! Shirley Jones also wrote the forward for book, "I'll Watch Over You, Witnessing The Miracles Of God." As we sat in her Big Bear home overlooking the lake, she told me about "Her Personal Miracle" of the "Musicals; The Music Man; Oklahoma and Carousel." She also shared with me the stories about her beloved dogs, King and Hanna. LOVE YOU Shirley Jones.
One thing that impressed me about Shirley, but also broke my heart was, when Marty died, Shirley said, "I LOVED Him to The Core. " I understood!
Buzz Aldrin was the Pilot of first team to land on the MOON,
Apollo 11. The story of Apollo 11; almost didn't come home.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" could have turned out dramatically different had it not been for astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s ingenuity in averting disaster with a simple felt-tip pen.
Following the Apollo 11 historic July 20, 1969, moonwalk, Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were preparing to return to command from their lunar module when they discovered that a 1-inch engine arm circuit breaker switch had broken off the instrument panel.
In his book, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, Aldrin recalls spotting something on the floor of the lunar module that didn’t belong there.
“I looked closer and jolted a bit,” he writes. “There on the dust on the floor on the right side of the cabin, lay a circuit breaker switch that had broken off.”
Wondering where the switch had come from, he looked at the rows of breakers on the instrument panel. Then he “gulped hard.”
Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin on the spaceflight Apollo 11 in July 1969.
“The broken switch had snapped off from the engine-arm circuit breaker, the one vital breaker needed to send electrical power to the ascent engine that would lift Neil and me off the moon,” he writes.
Somehow, he or Armstrong must have accidentally bumped the switch in the cramped space with their cumbersome backpacks. “Regardless of how the circuit breaker switch had broken off, the circuit breaker had to be pushed back in again for the ascent engine to ignite to get us back home,” he writes.
The broken switch was reported to Mission Control, but after a fretful night trying to get some sleep, Houston had not figured out a solution the next morning.
“After examining it more closely, I thought that if I could find something in the LM (Lunar Module) to push into the circuit, it might hold,” Aldrin writes. “But since it was electrical, I decided not to put my finger in, or use anything that had metal on the end. I had a felt-tipped pen in the shoulder pocket of my suit that might do the job.
“After moving the countdown procedure up by a couple of hours in case it didn't work, I inserted the pen into the small opening where the circuit breaker switch should have been, and pushed it in; sure enough, the circuit breaker held. We were going to get off the moon, after all. To this day I still have the broken circuit breaker switch and the felt-tipped pen I used to ignite our engines.”
A side note from Katie West:
Buzz is brilliant, yet so sensitive and heartbroken. I liked being with Buzz because he was a "gentle" man, kind and quiet. He didn't talk a lot but, when he talked you listened. He told me something that I will never forget, and something that will stay with me forever and it taught me something very valuable, when meeting people.
Buzz went to the moon. Buzz was an "over achiever!" I engraved a brick for my friend Buzz for the Douglas County Veterans Memorial Park for this reason! I wanted to remember BUZZ with appreciation!
When he was telling me about going to the moon, he came back and as he was speaking to his father, probably thinking his father would congratulate him and be SO VERY PROUD like every other American in the United States was... his father said,
"Buzz you were the second man on the moon NOT the first!"
My response to this is, "No wonder Buzz was an alcoholic!"
This taught me to ENCOURAGE, MORE!
BUZZ ALDRIN by Katie West
Buzz and I were friends. We met at "Inventor's Workshop International. We were both inventors and found common ground. In our friendship, we became very good friends and spent about a year going places and enjoying each other's company. One of our favorite things was Griffith Park Observatory. We would go many times and see "Laserium." The colors, the dazzling universe like motions & designs were phenomenal. Buzz is a scientist of all scientist's. He is deliberate in his thoughts. Buzz is brilliant. I was about 20 years his junior, but the age thing never came into play. I would go with Buzz to AA. At the time he was still working through alcoholism. I do remember many things he told me about outer space. That had always been one of my pet projects, wanting to know more about our universe(s).
I was a graphic artist with my own company, Free Style Graphics. Buzz had asked me to do some research and make it into letterhead and business cards. The thing, "Alpha Centaurus." I found Alpha Centaurus, a galaxy outside our own & finding information was a little difficult, but not impossible. Imagine how surprised Buzz was when I presented him with the "Three Star System" artwork. The three stars are each different colors... red, orange and yellow.
I also loved hearing about things in outer space that plagued the astronauts. I remember him telling me in the 1970's that... "Someday, people will be wearing computers on their wrists!" I could not believe it... but today here we are.
He loved fried chicken and Monday night football. I lived on Balboa Island at the time (Newport Beach) . We would go across on the Ferry Boat to the big water (ocean) and play in the Arcade. We played what else, "Asteroids!" That is another story.
One of the BIG things about Buzz... he wanted to go to Mars even in the 1970's and he knew it was possible. It was part of his makeup and thinking outside of the box. I saw Buzz when he was the guest of President Donald Trump this past year. He looked good, always a GREAT American Patriot with his patriotic tie, and a true gentleman. I knew he talked to President Trump about Mars. I thought that "Space Force" might have been a Donald Trump/Buzz Aldrin idea.
One more thing: I like Toy Story and Buzz LightYear. I often thought of Disney playing the "BUZZ" card.
YOU can't judge a book by it's cover. YOU have to read the book to know the contents. That goes with people too!
Thank you for reading, God bless,
Buzz Aldrin earned more than an Engraved Brick to Thank him for serving his country.
Buzz was a fighter pilot in the Korean War flying 66 combat missions. Buzz gave and still gives so much to America, helping, teaching by example. Buzz if you ever see this, know that you made a wonderful impact on my life, by your friendship. I was honored to help your life in any way I could, as you also did in mine. God bless YOU Buzz, and thank you for taking communion with Neil on the moon. I hear about that part of your moon journey on Christian radio. Decades since our friendship began and we have taken many roads since then. I am PROUD of YOU Buzz Aldrin! YOU have made a HUGE difference in this world. YOU will always be remembered and HONORED! MOON 1 Sir !
When I was asked to help with the Douglas County Memorial Park, I was deeply honored. The Mayor was David Norman, a man of great integrity and Patriotism. The Mayor's office City Clerk and I worked wonderfully, all of us with the same Patriotic hearts. City Clerk, Suzanne Welsh and I together made over 450 engraved bricks to honor our Veterans from the Civil War to current wars.
As time went on, a new Mayor came aboard, and kept the Veteran Memorial machine going, Mayor Burrely Loftin, also a great Patriot. Both Mayor Norman and Mayor Loftin have "servants hearts" and I couldn't be more proud and honored to work with them.
Suzanne Welsh, City Clerk, organization skills, helped everything run smoothly. With each brick the City of AVA and Douglas County came together to show their appreciation to the men and women who helped keep America FREE.
The bricks that were chosen were special bricks. I had a wonderful contact introduce me to these bricks. The rich red color and the steadfastness of the color and engraving ability impressed me 450 times. Most of the bricks were 4" x 8" x 2.25" . Some like Buzz Aldrin's brick was 8" x 8" x 2.25". The amount years and extent of his service opted for the larger brick. When the brick was laser engraved, the engraving turns to black glass, truly black glass. Disney World in Florida have the same bricks and they still look brand new after years of wear.
The Douglas County Veterans Memorial Park is still available to honor your family member or friends. Most of the bricks are those still living and it is a pleasure to meet them and thank them for their service. They are humble men and women, and thanking is the least we can do to honor them all.
For information about Bricks or for Special Laser Engraving, please contact me personally
Katie West Email: www.KatieWest@KatieWestArt.com
Texting only: 909-234-WEST Thank You and God bless, Katie
Laser Engraving Bricks is one of my GRANDEST Pleasures. The Douglas County Veterans Memorial Park in AVA, Missouri is giving "HONOR" where Honor is due. WE LOVE and Thank Our Military for serving. We have bricks dating back to those who served in the Civil War from our area. Click below for more information and photos.