Are you a turtle?International and Interstellar Association of Turtles: Two Membership Cards. The first, for the International Association of Turtles is green in color and 3.5" x 2.25" in size. It is dated October 11, 1962, made out to Paul Sturtevant, and signed by Imperial Turtle Sally D. Gates. The second, for the Interstellar Association of Turtles Outershell Division is beige in color and the same size. It is made out to Paul M. Sturtevant and actually signed by D K Slayton. Walter Schirra's facsimile signature is on the bottom as High Potentate. Interesting period souvenirs from this legendary club. Both very good. From the personal collection of Gemini Program Office special assistant and longtime NASA employee, Paul M. Sturtevant.
By most accounts, this organization started as a fun, fraternal drinking club among World War II pilots. Admission is gained by answering four questions that would apparently have vulgar answers, but in fact do not. Examples are found on the back of these cards; take a look at the image on our website. Also, the password must be given when asked by another member: "Are you a turtle?" The only acceptable answer, "You bet your sweet *** I am," had to be spoken in a loud voice or the one challenged had to buy the drinks. This was based, of course, on the assumption that all members owned a certain animal related to a donkey. Wally Schirra was the High Potentate of the astronaut club and during his Sigma 7 flight, he was asked the ever-important question by a ground controller just minutes into his flight. He recorded his answer off-radio for later playback. A similar situation came up between Slayton and Schirra on Apollo 7.
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