Friday, August 17, 2012

The "Pink Club House"
Today was our day to go to Stellafane on Breezy Hill in Springfield Vermont. We started with a delightful breakfast at the "Apron Strings" restaurant -- a little mom and pop eatery in the small downtown area of Springfield. After we were happily fed, it was off the Breezy Hill and the Convention.

with Al Nagler of TeleVue
We spent a good part of the day walking the convention site and talking to telescope makers from all over the United States and Canada. One highpoint was a chance run-in with Al Nagler of TeleVue. For those of you who don't know, Nagler is a respected maker of optics (telescopes and eyepieces). He's known worldwide, and it was fun getting to know him a bit.

Sun Spots thru the Porter
Turret Telescope
A visit to the old "pink clubhouse" and the Porter Turret Telescope was especially interesting. The turret telescope was focused on the Sun and projected a 15" image of the Sun onto a screen. A prominent grouping of Sun spots were readily visible.
(Russell W.) Porter Turret
telescope with Pink Clubhouse in
 As we wandered the convention site, we saw all sorts of telescopes in many different configurations. Some of them simple assemblies with cardboard tubes and plywood mountings. Others were sophisticated scientific instruments of every sort. It wasn't the complexity of the telescope that was important, but rather the fact that they were all at Stellafane, participating in a get-together of like-minded telescope-makers and amateur astronomers from all over. Everyone was friendly and readily shared stories about building and using their telescopes.

Springfield Telescope Mount
invented by Russell W. Porter
in 1920
The Convention was well attended. Lots of folks were camping in everything from 1- and 2-person tents to RV coaches with extended-side living rooms. The Springfield Telescope Makers also had a variety of tents for food and drink. So, now that we've made our appearance at Stellafane, it's time to move on again. We'll stay in Springfield this evening and head out in the morning. Our destination is back to Portland Maine, turn in the car and take the train back to Boston for another couple of days  Linda has some friends to visit -- so that'll be a nice change of pace. There's still much to do and see in Boston so we'll have plenty to do.

More to come. Stay tuned.............