Astronauta Optimus Maximus

Painting Completed 2006
19 9/16 x 16 inches, Textured Acryllic with Moondust on Aircraft Plywood
Completed March 2006

On the edge of a small sharp crater on the south rim of Surveyor Crater, Pete Conrad and I rest a bit. This had been a good day. We had run across the Ocean of Storms gathering rocks and soil, digging trenches and taking core samples. We only have one major objective left to accomplish - to perpetrate a bit of thievery on Surveyor III, an unmanned spacecraft that landed on the Moon some 31 months earlier.

From where he stands, Pete can see our Lunar Module on the other side of Surveyor Crater. He knows our lives depend on that fragile machine. It is the only way home and there is no backup. Although this thought is in the back of our minds on the lunar surface, Pete is as cool as they come. He observes, "doesn't that LM look neat, sitting on the other side of that crater?"

Register another Pete Conrad moment !

All I could do was laugh and agree with Pete. The LM did indeed "look neat". Conrad’s First Law was to do our job to the best of our abilities. Conrad’s Second Law was to have fun while doing it. By opening up and showing the world how this dangerous adventure could also be fun, Pete made it possible for me to have fun and enjoy my time spent on the Moon. Unfortunately for us, Pete is now gone, but as I look at this image of my friend I see what must be the very definition of an Apollo astronaut; and in my opinion, the best and greatest astronaut ... and I think ... How fortunate I was to be standing on an alien world with such a man ... and such a friend.