MN86 Mak-Newt and AP900GTO mount
I began my foray into astronomy as a Cub Scout, first with a 40mm refractor, then went on to a 3" Gilbert reflector... my
first tender bouts with aperture fever and the refractor vs reflector controversy!

During summer vacation between sixth and seventh grades, I quenched my fever by grinding, polishing, and figuring the
optics for a 6" Newtonian telescope, working as a caddy in the afternoons to finance the project. The scope served me well
until I discovered girls and dirt-bikes and sold it to purchase the first of many motorcycles.

After a hitch with the USAF (27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) and re-entry into the hustle and bustle of civilian life, my
youthful encounters into astronomy began to fade into distant memories. The years turned into decades with my "bike"
riding now limited to the pedal variety and the young girls have become women with kids of their own (where did the time
go?!?), but I've since been re-awakened to the wonders of the heavens.

On a moonless summer night not so long ago, I went outside to enjoy the cool breezes. Although I had lived here many
years, I seemed always to be too busy, too preoccupied to notice what a splendid observing site I have. The dark
background sky was heavily sprinkled with a dazzling array of stars, save being separated by a large cloud that stretched
overhead from horizon to horizon. As my eyes adapted to the darkness, I realized my "cloud" was the sea of stars that form
the summer arm of the
Milky Way... countless millions of stars wrapping their way  across the sky. The  experience
immediately rekindled the fire, which was further fanned when I learned that several long-ago astro-acquaintences were
still actively involved... and my fate was fully sealed when I discovered a co-worker has been an avid ATMer since
childhood.

Having joined the local Astonomical Society (
ASNH/Yale), I was pleasantly surprised to find my mentor of many years past
was still actively involved, now as Chairman of the Education Committee. (Thanks Allan!)

My schedule is a tad busier now, but then my "allowance" is a little bigger too, so I've opted to forego the ATM route, but I
do try to attend as many of our
public outreach and observing sessions as possible. Perhaps I can provide the spark that
fires someone's imagination, starting them on their own fantastic journey through the Cosmos!
And other stuff...
I've been fascinated with cars and motorcycles (new and classic) since my teenage days, and along the way have
developed a special affinity for
German cars (thank you, good investments! :o)
A few other things I've enjoyed through-out the years are: boating, camping, hiking, mountain biking, snow and water
skiing, woodworking, and gardening. The latter is a constant challenge as I'm in a heavily deer-populated area and eat
anything and everything in sight,seeming to sense I'm an easy mark. A neighbor counted 16 of them in her yard one
evening, gorging themselves on even supposedly "deer-resisant" plants! We also keep a few
feeders out for the birds
as well, and get quite a crowd at times!
Life truly is a journey, so we might as well enjoy the ride!
Life is a journey...
Summertime and the livin' is easy!
Boating and water skiing are two passions I've enjoyed through many summers,  donning a wet suit (or a glass or two of
wine!) to continue into October in my younger years! Little can top the exhilaration of wind rushing by while skimming over
the water in a jet-boat agile enough to turn in little more than its own length at full throttle (the 18' Super-Sidewinder shown
above sports a 390hp jet-drive, while I sport a glass of cheap wine! :o)

When the snow falls, thoughts turn to shushing through the deep Utah powder or lesser traveled sites (Arapahoe/Loveland
Pass in Colorado), though I've become more sedentary now in recent years (ahhh to be young again!).
AP 160 and AP 175...  Waited quite a while for these babies!