By Richard Zowie— When Shepard Coleman was an adolescent attending school in Wimberley, his history textbook’s cover showed one particular iconic American from the 20th century.
Alan Shepard, the famous astronaut who, in 1961, became the first American to travel into space. Ten years later, he would command the Apollo 14 moon mission.
Coleman’s teacher then told the class, “Can anybody name the person on the book—besides Shepard?”
Coleman probably felt like covering his face and sinking in his chair. The teacher had just blown his cover.
“My friends loved it,” recalled Coleman, now in his early thirties and living in Fredericksburg. “They’d go around and say, ‘Hey, guess who Shepard’s grandpa is?’”
He and his sister are among the six grandchildren of Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard Jr., who spent nearly 217 hours in space—of which nine hours and 17 minutes were spent on the moon.