03Apr2017

A Childhood Telescope And A Childhood Dream.

Image result for kid using telescope

I’ll never forget my first look at the Moon

Hi Everyone. I’m Tom Pickett. I hope you’re having a good day and thanks for your company. A week ago I posted an advertisement on Cloudy Nights classifieds forum looking to see if I could find my old telescope.

The Search Begins

This was the one that got me started in astronomy when I was 7 years old. The one that taught me so much about the night sky! Within minutes of my post offers started pouring in. Wow!

My heart raced, could I have actually found it? Yes! One of the forum members had it. When I saw all of the pictures he had of the scope I had tears streaming down my face, because there are so many memories tied to this scope.

Where It All Began

Here is a story (one of many) about this scope and how it came to my attention:

When I was 7 years old I went to my friend’s house to help his mom with her clothes dryer which had stopped working. We pulled the dryer back away from the wall and there was this white tube leaning there – full of dryer lint. I asked my friend what it was and he said it was a telescope. How fascinating!

This is it – my old scope!

I asked him what he was going to do with that scope and if I could have it. Yep, sure can he said, but for 20 dollars. I went home and mowed a few lawns and came up with the money. Something drew me to it, I wanted that scope! Back at my friends house we searched for the mount and tripod and found them lying on the floor among some other things.

The Cleanup

I hurried home and eagerly began to clean up this fascinating instrument, removing the dryer lint to find the mirrors in perfect shape, clean and untarnished! The dyer lint is what kept the mirrors safe and kept them from getting scratched.

I was one of those 7 year old kids who took everything apart and put it back together – just to see how everything worked. I knew those two mirrors had to be aligned perfectly to see anything through the scope. After a quick clean and adjust I called my friend to come over for the night and we sat out on the front lawn to see what we could see.

Finding A Target

My friend said to point the scope at this bright ‘star’ he spotted but we found out very quickly it wasn’t stellar, it was giant Jupiter. After that day I was hooked! A lifelong hobby was borne that night and I loved it!

There are thousands of stories I could tell you about that telescope and all I did with it but you’ve probably got your own similar story, right? We did so much that scope and I, at one time I had more than 300 people lined up looking through it at a comet I found in Astronomy Magazine. I was the most popular kid on the block and I loved it!

It was still in the original box and packing

There are so many other stories, but this is the one I remember so well. You know, tears welled in my eyes when I saw that telescope again for the first time in decades. I just couldn’t believe I had found my old friend. You know, it wouldn’t have been possible to mount a search like this years ago, but today anything’s possible via the magic of the internet.

Ageless Find

It’s crazy that Shane had all the original packing. That scope and box has to be almost as old as I am. I’ve just turned 51 but the scope and packing have remained timeless. It still looks like it did the day it was originally packed by the Towa Telescope company.

Lucky Find

Man, I am so surely blessed to find my boyhood telescope again, and in such good condition after all these many, many years. To me, that scope is priceless! For the purists it’s an early 1960s Towa D=114mm F=900mm Astronomical Reflector. It aint going anywhere ever again! Have a good day and clear skies everyone.

Written and supplied by” Tom Pickett . Texas. USA

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