For the past fifteen years, I have been making trips to Florida. I saw a few space shuttles from Daytona Beach and visited Kennedy space Center. I met quite a few astronauts , in fact I attended a few IN PERSON book signings. At each book signing , I purchased more than a dozen books and each book was sign in front of me. A simple telephone call, or a letter would confirm these signings. I have photographs as well.One of the book signings that I attended had James Lovell as a guest signer. I shook hands with him, several photographs were taken, and he signed a few books for me. I decided to sell one of my signed copies of Lost Moon on eBay. The buyer received an opinion from Steven Zarelli about the book. Mr. Zarelli gave an opinion that the signature was highly suspect. I saw the book signed with my own eyes, so I found the matter to be quite frustrating. I tried to reason it out and I looked at my signed books to see if perhaps James Lovell had signed his name differently in some way, but upon doing comparisons, this was simply NOT THE CASE !I had heard of Steve Zarelli before. I was previously of the opinion that he had studied autographs extensively and yet he found this book, which Lovell signed in person, to be highly Suspect. How could this be ? No matter how I look at it, Steve Zarelli is not the expert that some proclaim him to be, in my personal opinion. It is my opinion that Mr. Zarelli is knowledgeable, but not a definitive expert. Mr. Zarelli is just man. He is not correct every time. In my case Mr. Zarelli made a mistake. A MISTAKE. Those books were signed by James Lovell in person. I met Lovell and shook the mans hand. NO ONE has any exclusive anything as far as astronaut autographs.As a child, I met Ed Sullivan. One of the bullies in my school did his best to convince the other children that I never met Ed Sullivan. My uncle was a fight announcer and I helped by setting up records. Mr. Sullivan signed one of the records for me because I had nothing else for him to sign. I met quite a few famous people at the fights. I recall being ridiculed in school because a bully convinced some of my school mates that my meeting of Ed Sullivan never happened. Mr. Zarelli seems to fall into a similar category as the bully. Mr. Zarelli is not a bully, but his actions have the same psychological platform because his mistake was an effort to exclude and dismiss me. Sometimes making others appear small is a way for an immature person to make himself appear larger. In my opinion, Mr. Zarelli is NOT the expert that some consider him to be. QUESTION: Do I think Mr. Zarelli is dishonest ? NO. He just needs more life experience . QUESTION: Is Mr Zarelli ripping off people ? Abolutely NOT, he has knowledge and I truly believe that he either knew that my James Lovell book was signed for real, but he was hasty in his opinion, or he found it difficult to admit that someone else , closer to Jims age, could be capable. Mr. Zarelli is actually quite young. He will continue to grow and he is quite intelligent. As an authenticator, in my opinion, he has not yet arrived.
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