While still researching the motion picture in 1976, I noticed an absence of correspondence from Al Chop in Richland, WA. Then, early in April, he typed a brief note (see) and disclosed that a back injury had caused a severe disability, prognosis uncertain. Still, he kindly sought out and loaned me that great smiling photo (see) which I was honored to use in the eventual magazine article (not a book, as he states) and in this blog.
The other photo displayed today is a 1965 NASA picture showing Chop as deputy public affairs officer in Houston, joined by his assistant in the background. Imagine, if you will, all those times when you watched space launches on TV, accompanied by the dulcet tones of somebody announcing himself as "the voice of mission control" -- and then imagine Al Chop as that voice of NASA mission control from time to time. . .because in the sixties, he was.