My 30’s were kind to me. I had secured a security job, and thought this a good time to save up for my big 10 inch, Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. I saved everything I could and paid on it for 2 years! The day I finally took it home and set it up, I was so happy, I saw stars! LOL!
It’s not just the fun-time star-gazing session with these babies! First, ya gotta try to get a big, bulky tripod out the door, and it’s heavy and awkward that way… No I wasn’t gonna unscrew the middle, collapse the legs, and then screw it back on! DUMB-CLUCK! Too much fuss when you’re in a hurry… Better to struggle. Then you have to bring the heavy, tube section, which has a fat bolt sticking out the bottom.
The object, is to bring this thing out in the dark, and blindly try to fit the bolt into the slot on the tripod, and tighten it up from underneath the tripod; awkward at best! Then you have to perform three maneuvers to align it properly with the North Star, and then you have to plug-in all the little lights and gizmos to track the sky! Finally, you put in this honking, huge eye-piece, and bump yourself in the forehead… It’s really great! You have an 84 degree field of view, so it feels like you’re lost in space, the view is so spectacular!
There are things that can happen to you too! Once, in the middle of February, it was so cold, that the frozen carbon dioxide I was exhaling, froze my mustache to the rim of my scope! So there I was at 3 am., just mere yards from my house, and nothing I could do… I tried shouting, but my wife was sound asleep, and so was everyone else for that matter. I stood there bent over, for the longest time, trying to blow warm air up my nose so my mustache would thaw and break free. No such luck… Finally, I just ripped my mouth free, leaving a little tuft of hair stuck to the rim of the scope, and the warm, welcome taste of blood! I was free at last! I was freezing, so all I wanted to do was disassemble and get into a warm house…
Then there was the time I was just innocently fiddling with my focus, and as my custom, wore a black hood over my head, to cut out any stray light. The june bugs get up under there in June, so they’re a bit of pest, but not like this night! Nothing could compare to this night!
So I’m fiddling away under my cloke, and suddenly everything went bright all around me! Five cops all with flashlights on my face, I was blinded! I cupped my hand over my brow to try to see who they were. I could just make out they were Police Officers!
One shouts out: ‘STEP AWAY FROM THE WEAPON!! NICE AND SLOW!!’
So I did as he asked. Then I told them… ‘This is NOT a weapon! It’s a telescope!’
Cop: ‘Oh yeah? You live here?
Me: Yes Sir… (If you’re polite, they’ll let you away with murder…)
Cop: ‘OK! Let’s see some I.D. And pull it out slowly…’ What a sexy request! LOL!
When I did that, they lowered their flashlights and took hold of the wallet… I was still blind though. All I could see were big, red, splotches! At a loss for what to do, he just said: ‘OK then Mr. Everett… Keep that Bazooka under wraps!’ And they left… They thought it was a weapon of mass construction! It’s getting to where a body can’t even star gaze in peace!