I am a member of the Class of 1963. We received our beer jackets in 1962, the year of John Glenn’s space flight in the Friendship 7 capsule, and the logo on the jacket features a tiger in a space capsule. A young woman I was dating at the time had some artistic talent and enhanced the original drawing by adding color and other features.
Fast-forward several decades, and I was hired by Glenn, then a U.S. senator from Ohio, to serve as special counsel to him and the Democrats during a Senate investigation into campaign-finance abuses. During that time and for years thereafter, a friendship developed with Sen. Glenn and his wife, Annie. I would stop by their house periodically on the weekend. Although John was in great physical condition, he had a bit of a sweet tooth. I would pick up a tiramisu cake from a wonderful bakery about midway between our homes. Annie would put the kettle on, and John and I would do major damage to the cake. Between bites of cake and sips of tea, we talked politics and John related some of his experiences as a pilot and astronaut. I treasure the memories of those times and many others we shared.
At some point I recalled the class logo on my beer jacket. I showed it to Glenn, who had never seen it before, and he was delighted to autograph it as follows: “To Alan — with best regards — John Glenn 6-12-99.”