Join Donate

Share Your Story • Tony Dennis • November 17, 2016

My Dad, my brother and the stars

Our Dad worked at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio and took us to the annual air show. He taught us to always look up and thrill in the exploration of the skies. As the bug took hold of both my brother and I we realized that we needed more so we looked into buying a telescope for our back yard. The cost of a telescope was too much for a couple of poor young boys, but the price of some components was not too bad.

With my brother, Nick as the lead, we spent many hours in the basement grinding a glass blank with finer and finer grit to make the mirror for our 6 inch reflector. Finally, with a roll of cardboard and some second hand optics we had our scope. But we needed a mount. The guy next door was an avid car mechanic and had access to welding equipment and lots of scrap metal. With a lot of help we had a mount that would have held the Mount Palomar scope but it worked great for our little tube. When Jupiter swam into view on our first cold night under the stars, and you could actually see 4 moons as the mighty planet's attendants, we were both so badly infected with space fever that 50+ years later we still have not recovered. And never will.

Comments & Sharing
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


You are here: