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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

As a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years, I must take issue with Dale Shrull’s fact checking in his recent article, “Rifle man shared in success of Apollo 11 mission.”

First of all the numbers didn’t add up. The Rifle man, Tom Collins is now 68, but he retired in 1997 after 37 years, which would have made him 19 when he started working, although he said he was 21. So when did Collins attend Colorado State University and “a university in Florida”? And which Florida university was that? Either Mr. Collins was an incredibly gifted teen or he was pulling Shrull’s leg.

A quick Google search revealed recent news stories from around the country about other Apollo 11 engineers – oddly enough now in their 70s and 80s – who were given medals made from the melted bolts of the mission’s lunar landing craft. Not commemorative coins “made after they melted down the lunar craft.” To a person, all of these other engineers said that the companies they worked for were contracted by NASA. But Collins neglected to name the company he worked for.

During my search I also discovered that Apollo lunar surface drill rods were not hollow but made of solid metal. Core tubes were hollow but only about 16 inches long – not 3 feet long as stated in the article. I’m not sure what sort of drill rod Collins has in his possession but I suspect it was never on the moon.

I don’t know whether Collins is an imposter [sic] or the real deal. I do think it’s the reporter’s responsibility to suss that out for the readers.

Peggy Tibbetts


Editor’s Note: When doing feature stories there’s always the chance that someone might want to pull a fast one. It’s happened before to reporters at this newspaper. When we do these types of stories, we are more trusting than with hard news stories. We hope that the source is credible and doesn’t have some other motive and desire to take advantage of our trust.

When I interviewed Mr. Collins and saw his certificates and other documentation, I didn’t have any reason to doubt him.

I’m not clear on what your motivation is to question Mr. Collins’ credibility, but I wonder if it’s of the personal nature.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have trusted me to tell their stories. I am always humbled by their trust and their belief that I will not violate that trust.

This is a resounding agreement with Mike Vidakovich’s assessment of the athletic prowess of the 1979 Glenwood High School Demons. I was living in Boulder that year, a senior at the University of Colorado. My brother Tom was a senior starter for the Boulder High School Panther basketball team. The team took the state title in 1977 and 1979.

While watching the various teams compete in 1979, my Dad and I agreed that Glenwood’s basketball team would beaten Boulder High, which I believe was either 5A or 6A at the time (the highest designation at the time).

That team had some great players including my brother (all state that year), Mike Bohn (the athletic director at CU), and Doug Wilson, a scrappy guard with ice in his veins who sank two free throws in the final few seconds to beat Regis.

My dad coached girl’s basketball at Sacred Heart School middle school for many years with many of his players continuing to play at the high school level. As a coach he was a fundamentalist and if you look it up, the Boulder High School girl’s basketball team won a few state championships in the 1970s and 1980s. My Dad knew talent, and we both knew that the 1979 Glenwood boys basketball team definitely excelled.

Rick Padrnos

Glenwood Springs

Basically all of the world’s industrialized democracies – except the United States – have adopted some form of national health insurance.

Despite the fact that it’s provided by the government, 90 percent of Britons reportedly like their health care.

If state medicine is so awful, why don’t we hear of the British or the French or the Swedes or the Canadians debating a switch to private health care? These aren’t police states, you know. They could change their system if they wanted to.

In this country, armed forces personnel, veterans, seniors and, of course, all of our Washington representatives and senators already receive government health care.

So why the hysteria over Obama’s government option for the rest of us?

Ed Colby

New Castle

The wife and I (both senior citizens) enjoy the recreational pastime “driving for pleasure,” frowned on, of course, by environmentalists. Does anyone recall the good old days when Ma would say, “Pa, let’s go for a ride in the country.” During our travels over county roads and city streets we are distressed that very few houses display our country’s flag. The flag flies at our house on every fair weather day. Flying the flag is an expression of the pride we have in our country, and our gratitude to those for having defended our freedom.

Come on, folks. Go to one of the “Marts” and invest in a flag. Be a truly proud American!

Dick Prosence


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