(Weekend Under The Stars)
I'm pretty sure this was the first of the WUTS star parties I had ever attended and it is remembered with fondness. It was this occasion that I reunited with my old friend Ray and made warm acquaintence with the good folks from the Laramie and Cheyenne astronomy clubs. I immediately fell in love with the laid back, family oriented atmosphere of the group and it became my favorite summer weekend of the year. That was in the days before this annual event became so well known and popular; when a little elbow room could still be had in the confines of the two clearings at Foxpark.
I remember that weekend I had packed up a large quantitiy of astro-junk to bring to the swap meet in hopes of trading for an equal quantity of other astro-junk to play with, but there were very few people that had brought anything to trade.
Pictured below is the highlight of the amateur telescope maker's projects that sticks in my mind from that weekend. This was a binocular observing chair with all the comforts of home and made with a large amount of beautiful machining. As you can see, it includes a cupholder and magazine rack.
In the photo on the right below you can see some of the detail of the overhead binocular mount itself. In the photo on the left note the small aluminum spoked wheel at the end of the left armrest. This little wheel is twirled with the finger to provide azimuthal (left and right) movement of the entinre chair around the horizon. The movement of this little wheel is transfered via cable to a set of pulleys beneath the chair.
Here is a view of the azimuth pulley system. Nice, huh?
Here is a view of the Saturday afternoon crowd that gathered to hear the speakers.
As mentioned above, there was a lot more elbow room in the fields in those days.
Life was simpler then. :)
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