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Thanks Dad
Thanks Dad

It was my Dad who initially gave me my interest in the stars (and volcanoes, earthquakes, and archeology). Not that he could point out a lot of constellations, or name off the names of stars in the Big Dipper and Orion. He gave me the joy of just looking at the stars. Going out and waiting for a meteor to blaze across the sky was a wonderful experience for him. He thoroughly read every article on stars and space in National Geographic. If I bought a science magazine that had something to do with space, he devoured them. He bought me my first 2" cardboard refractor telescope so we could keep an eye on Mt. St. Helens just before it blew up, and also look at the moon. He had a pair of Sears and Roebuck 7X50 binoculars that we took everywhere. It was with these that I got my first taste of the Milky Way. I saw my first star cluster with them. Being twelve at the time I really didn’t know what to make of the glob of stars, but they sure were neat to see.

I have been able to pass this joy of star watching to my two daughters. They often came home from some outing telling me how they "wowed" their friends with their ability to point out a number of constellations, to get their bearings at night and tell their friends which direction they need to go because they knew where the constellations were in the sky, even if they could not see the North Star. They have even had their friends lay flat on their backs in an open field, and watch a meteor shower. Some had never done such a thing before in their life, and were amazed at how much fun looking for shooting stars were.

Yes my dad passed on a legacy to his family, just by being amazed by the wonder of the sky.

Thanks Dad.

Date Taken: 06/14/2011
Author: Greg S
Category: Orion's Astronomy Essay Contest (2009)

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