One of the many hobbies I have that I don’t have time for, like most of them, is that I’m interested in astronomy. So I have several telescopes I’ve accumulated over the years and actually, a couple of them are kind of treasured possessions, but I’ll just talk about one. A telescope consists of two large parts: a tube assembly that you look through and the mount that it sits on. So I bought a very large tube assembly—which people often think looks like a water heater or something—through the mail, and then a friend of mine built the mount to hold it. And he is like a really big guy, kind of an imposing-looking guy, kind of gruff, big, full, black beard. Very much individual and iconoclast. But he’s also kind of a mad mechanical genius and one of these people who pretty much thought the way he did things was the best way to do them. And in a lot of cases he was right. So he built this mount for the telescope for me, and also would help—because, you know, it was kind of big—sometimes he’d bring his truck over and we’d load it in the truck and go out with some friends to observe and that sort of thing. But just to look at it kind of makes me think about him. It’s sort of like he built it in his own image in a way. I kind of lost track of him over the years, and a few years ago I heard that he passed away, and I was sorry about that because there was a memorial service with his family and I would really have liked to have gotten together with them and reminisced about him because he was really a character, really a memorable person.
[You could always reach out to them now.]
Well actually, you know, it’s funny because Iowa City being a relatively small town in some ways, his sister-in-law is actually my dentist. I said something to them at the time, but you know, yeah.
[That’s very interesting. There’s a song there.]