The following story is from the Weatherford Daily News –
Weatherford, OK – An evening of celebration relishing the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Mission ended with a series of celebratory toasts and wishes to good health in the future.
Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov raised a glass toasting to what he said was a wonderful event and to the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary in ten years. A very large bottle of scotch nearly one-third full filled the shot glasses of Stafford, Leonov and fellow U.S. Astronaut Alan Bean as they toasted their friendships and successes of the space program and its contributions to society.
“We hunted together, we fished together and we’ve had a few drinks together. We are like brothers,” Stafford said about Leonov.
“Russians like scotch… Aleksei had a great idea and said ‘Say, why don’t we write our names on the bottle and the last one left alive will drink it.’ So, let’s take a drink tonight so that the last one left alive will not have to drink that much,” Stafford added.
Stafford said, “It is so wonderful we can have this reunion in this museum in Weatherford.”
“We hope this is the start of something that will not only take us back to the moon but to mars,” said Stafford.
The evening was called a very deserved salute to the mission and those who made it possible with a host of impressive dignitaries of the space programs and numerous Russian guests.
Among those dignitaries attending were Leonov, Stafford, Gemini and Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan, Apollo and Shuttle Astronaut and fighter pilot Joe Engle, Shuttle Astronaut John Herrington, Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott, Apollo Astronaut and fighter pilot Walt Cunningham, Apollo Astronaut Alan Bean, Apollo Astronaut Fred Haise, Shuttle Astronaut Cady Coleman, First Nurse to NASA Dee O’Hara.
Other guests of honor were widow of Apollo astronaut Ron Evans, Jan Evans, widow of Gemini Astronaut Clifton C. Williams, Beth Williams and NASA engineers Glynn Lunney and Tom Weichel.