Convention wrap-up

A big thank you to everyone who came to our annual convention yesterday (July 21) at Letha House! We had a good cook-out and potluck dinner, lots of nice prizes for the raffle, and plenty of opportunity for socializing for the 50 or so members, spouses, and guests who attended.

We had sunny weather, but as we moved toward dusk we got partly cloudy skies that became mostly cloudy by about 11 PM or so. In spite of the increasing cloudiness, 17 optimistic members set up their scopes. By about midnight, however, everyone had packed up and left due to the clouds. We’ll have to hope for better luck next year!

Thanks to our Secretary Steve Spears, we had a great selection of door prizes, including a 70mm Vixen refractor that was won by Susan Petsche. Steve sent out a lot of letters and did a lot of work to line up the prizes. A good job as usual.

And a special thank you to our VP Mike Williams, who donated a two-inch eyepiece and a pair of Coronado solar binoculars to the collection of door prizes to help benefit our club. Mike also did the grilling for our supper.

Thanks to Tim Campbell and Marianne Wadsworth who brought all those great sausages and hot dogs–and to everyone who brought a potluck dish or dessert. I don’t think anyone went home hungry! Gail Korylak and Marianne Wadsworth helped set up the serving area and helped with the clean-up.

I was planning to give a slide presentation about Mars and the new NASA rover and science lab, named Curiosity, that is due to land on August 5. After the raffle, however, we decided to forgo the presentation.

I really appreciate the efforts of Tim Campbell, Jim Cofer, Jay Reynolds, and Praveena Lagudu who lined up a projector and laptop for my presentation. Too bad we didn’t see the presentation–I was all set to reveal the secret hiding place for flying saucers on Mars! My lips are sealed now, however!

Again, thanks to all. If I can get the reservation, next year’s convention will be on Saturday, August 3.
— William Murmann, CAA President

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2011 Convention a great night

Photo: Sunset over the still lake at park. Photo by James Guilford.
The sun sets on a beautiful day, ushering in a clear night sky full of stars. Photo by James Guilford.

It was a great night at Letha House Park! CAA members and invited astronomy club members from the area gathered under gloriously clear skies for an evening of socializing and a night of excellent observing.

Many thanks to all those who attended this annual event, and to those who brought the good food for the pot luck and helped with its preparation!  Special thanks in this regard to Marianne Wadsworth, who helped VP Mike Williams with her grilling skills.

Board member Tim Campbell brought in all the great-tasting wieners, brats, and sausages for the event at an excellent price.  Our thanks to Bob Guttwein, president of Five Star Brand Meats in Cleveland, who offered the high-quality meat at a steep discount through Tim.

Photo: Lecturer with projected image of Saturn's moon Titan. Photo by James Guilford.
Featured speaker Jay Reynolds talks about the NASA Cassini mission, shown here with a projected image of Saturn's moon Titan. The new facilities at Letha House Park were much appreciated.Photo by James Guilford.

We had visitors from the Black River, Chagrin Valley, and Mahoning Valley clubs.  It was nice to host them!

Many thanks to our secretary, Steve Spears, who got a good supply of door prizes in spite of tight economic conditions. Caffeine kudos to Ray and Lynn Paul, who brought a large coffee pot and fixings for coffee lovers.

Special thanks to Gail Korylak, who helped with the clean-up.  Gail cleaned all the tables, moved all the tables and chairs, and then vacuumed the floor.  Earlier during the dinner, she also set up and arranged the food table.  She did a great job.

Our thanks also, of course, to Jay Reynolds, who gave an interesting talk about Saturn and the Cassini Mission.

Photo: Astronomers setting up telescopes in early twilight. Photo by James Guilford
2011 Convention attendees set up their telescopes under the clear skies of early twilight. Photo by James Guilford.

The recent improvements to the park gave telescope owners the opportunity to park on solid pavement and set up their instruments on earth. Adding to the pleasure was the fact that skies over the park were the best they have been in many a year for the CAA’s event. It was a great night, indeed!

2011 CAA Convention coming July 30

The CAA OTAA convention will be held at the Letha House Park building and grounds the afternoon and night of July 30, 2011. Registration starts at 3 p.m.  There will be an Observatory demonstration session at 4 p.m. to learn about our new “Push To” equipment.  Potluck dinner at 5 p.m., followed by a door-prize raffle, and then our speaker Jay Reynolds at 8 p.m. The subject of Reynolds’ talk will be the Cassini Saturn mission. The Club will provide hot dogs, brats, and lemonade.  Bring a dish to share for the potluck!

Click Here: Google Map to Letha House Park

In addition to reserving our observatory site and the excellent new Letha House building for the day, we have also reserved the pavilion area across the road. The pavilion features an open shelter with picnic tables, plenty of parking space, and a large open area suitable for setting up telescopes. The pavilion area may be even darker than the space around our observatory, which is unfortunately affected by the headlights of cars driving past on Spencer Lake Road and by outdoor lights from a house across the road. With both sections of Letha House Park reserved for our use, we will have plenty of room for telescopes. Now all we have to hope for are clear skies. See the flyer for further details (click here for PDF).