Sunday, March 1, 2009

Your first love

For me it was a young lady by the name of Bridget. I was 10. We had just moved to Yankee land (Columbus Ohio) I was the new kid in school and I had an unhittable curve ball.Could it get any better??? I never hung around girls or rather they never hung around me. That was OK what with scouts, baseball and astronomy. Who had the time? She was smitten with me from day one of school.You got me folks. Bridget probably just could not resist my southern charm and accent. We moved back south after nine months and I never saw her again. At this point in my life I still owned ZERO telescopes. I was pining away the loss of Bridget. I am pretty sure we just kissed once. I was put on a baseball team that was so bad that in one game I threw a no hitter and we lost. I had the only two hits of the game. The other team could not hit it out of the infield. I lost count at twelve errors my teammates made behind me. It seemed as if my life was turned one hundred and eighty degrees. I was miserable. School started and I was the new kid in school (that happened a lot.) Things rolled along at a soured pace until Christmas that is. The thing about this is I never asked them for a Telescope because I knew we could not afford such a luxury and yet there it was under the tree, a 60mm gleaming white Focal refractor with slow motion control!!! Joy of joys I had never seen a more beautiful object in all my days. Sorry Bridget Darlin. I knew right then I had the coolest parents on the planet or at least on the top 25 list. It came with two eyepieces a barlow, a moon filter and an evil dreaded and dangerous eyepiece sun filter. I did use it once before a science teacher warned me against it. I threw it away. Yep I rolled the dice on that sun filter and got away with it. I was lucky. I am getting away from the point here. I could not wait for a clear sky. Every evening I would race to the door look out and rats! Clouds again. Even back then the Curse of the new scope was alive and well. I was going over the scope every day learning how to control it. Man I was ready. The weather man said it was going to clear up after midnight. I took a nap that evening. My parents watched me go to the window every hour only to see clouds and more clouds.This went on past twelve then one o'clock. At two o'clock I looked out and saw the wall of clouds. A straight line running north -south move east right over my head. The heavens opened up in glorious detail. It was crystal clear and it was cold, bitter cold. I never gave it a thought as I bundled up and took the scope outside. I could see Canis Major, Orion and Taurus to the south-southwest so I decided to take a peak over there. I sighted in on Sirius to get focused yep there it was bright with a few colors dancing around it.(chromatic aberration) That was to be expected with a Cheapo scope from K-Mart. I decided to look at the Orion nebula next. I had seen it before but not with MY scope. As usual I was bowled over by its beauty. I spent at least two hours that first light night looking at stuff in the night sky. My mom came out and gently told me I should probably come in and get warm. She had no idea how warm I was that bitter cold night sitting in front of my new first love.

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