Bud Kennedy

1991: Fort Worth's spaceman, Alan Bean, painting his memories of the moon

Alan Bean’s paintings reflected his time in space. He was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 12 and walked on the moon.
Alan Bean’s paintings reflected his time in space. He was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 12 and walked on the moon. AP

Fort Worth is more spaced-out space-crazy than any time since — say, 1969.

So where's our spaceman?

"I've just got too much work to do," said Alan Bean, Houston artist, former Star-Telegram newsboy and as lunar module pilot of Apollo 12, the fourth human and first Paschal High School graduate ('50) to walk on the moon.

"I'm working on a painting right now of Gene Cernan walking on the moon," he said.

"I'm trying to get the colors just right."

Bean juggled the telephone with palette and paintbrush, in his studio near the Galleria Mall. He's 59 now, 41 years after his last trip with a pouch of Star-Telegrams — and 22 years removed from the day he took an eight-hour walk on the moon.

He wasn't here for the groundbreaking Soviet Space exhibit of Soviet space program mementos at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History.

"It's just important for me to stay here working. I'm an artist. This is my job."

Even if you weren't around for Fort Worth's 1969 tickertape parade saluting Bean, you've probably heard his name.

Mayor Bob Bolen perfected the key-to-the-city speech around him, telling how Bean took the key moon-walking on Apollo 12.

Now, Bean paints scenes from those moon memories. It'll keep him busy, he said.

When he was a boy on Irwin Street and later Bellaire Drive West, Fort Worth was arming itself against the Soviets.

"We're together now," Bean said.

"Really, isn't this a lot better?"

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