Simpler Times

Prior to 1963 Greg's life was trivially simple--which is to say, non-existent. Born in Iowa just prior to JFK's death, he was restless and rapidly made his way to Boston, Massachusetts. Regrettably he acquired twin sisters at that point, and in a fit of anguish Greg escaped to St. Paul, Minnesota. Alas, the sisters (and parents) followed, and attempts to shake them off in Rockville (Maryland), Nashville, and Minneapolis were all in vain. Resigned at last to his fate, Greg remained there for three years of high school and four years of college.

[Minneapolis skyline at sunset, 20060708]

Greg discovered an early interest in astronomy when he saw a picture of the planets laid out in a row at age five or so. Never one to rest on his laurels, he moved on to entomology when he discovered the vast array of bugs available in Rockville and Nashville. Next came architecture and civil engineering, facilitated in part by Legos and Hot Wheels. Eventually those too paled, but by that point his interests lay in mechanical and electrical engineering thanks to a couple more well-timed gifts.

But by high school Greg was back to his original love, astronomy. While he was unable to persuade his father to make the trek to Canada to observe the February 1979 total eclipse, he did at least manage to get the day off from school and see it at the 91% level. Around this time he was also busy building a four-inch Newtonian telescope with an inverted fork mount made out of pipe fittings; the mount has not survived, but the telescope is still functioning today. The Ring Nebula in Lyra was one of his favorite deep-sky objects, but the planet Saturn just after the Earth passed through the plane of its rings was the best.

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Last modified 13 April 2008 by Greg Roelofs, you betcha.