Finally the national presidential
election is over. What a frustrating, exciting,
irritating, historic 36 days we all experienced
in November and December. Our grandchildren and
our grandchildren's children will study this election
in school. Happily the OCA 2001 elections would
appear to be much less controversial. The slate
of nominees is in place for the OCA election and
I am pleased to read over the list.
I am particularly pleased to see
Liam Kennedy's name at the top of the ticket. In
the past two years that I have worked with Liam
I have found him to be an intelligent man with good
management and people skills. On top of that he
has a real passion for astronomy. These are the
four most important elements in leading an organization
like OCA. I am totally convinced that he will do
a great job as president of OCA.
When I turned the OCA website over
to Liam's care more than a year ago I knew he would
do a good job. I have not been disappointed. And
the addition of providing steaming video of club
meetings will prove to be a most significant development
in serving our membership.
Liam, congratulations and Godspeed.
"The goodness of the night
Othello Act 1 Scene 2
Appropriately I found out about
this club in January 1998 by doing a search on the
web. I Started by tapping in "ASTRONOMY CLUB
IRVINE" which didn't turn up anything interesting
so I expanded the search to be "ASTRONOMY CLUB
ORANGE COUNTY". Bingo! I found it. I called
the membership number and spoke with Charlie Oostdyk
- the rest is history I guess.
Why am I standing for President
of the OCA? To answer that let me quote a little
from my "Election Candidate Statement"
that I created for the December OCA Meeting.
"The Orange County Astronomers
helped open my eyes to the field of amateur astronomy.
Prior to three years ago I would say that I was
totally unaware of the delights of our universe
that await every one of us who owns or has access
to a telescope. I now have what I will call a life-long
love and devotion to this "hobby" of ours.
I see this club as the enabling organization that
helps connect the photons of light from distant
galaxies to the eyes, imaginations, hearts and minds
of all its members and the wider community in which
we live. My one regret is that for most of my life
- I was practically blind to the sheer majesty of
the dark skies available to each and every one of
us. I have dedicated myself to enabling others of
all ages to see the light."
As I fight my way through the hoards
of Christmas shoppers this year - I cannot help
but notice the number of telescopes people are buying
from all sorts of stores. Each one of those new
telescope owners is a potential new member of the
OCA. Each one will benefit as much as I did from
joining this club. To that end I created a little
mini two-page brochure about the OCA (with the help
of Jim Benet) and I spent all day December 16th
driving around from mall-to-mall asking the store
managers if they would distribute the brochure with
all new telescopes sold. Nearly all the stores agreed
to do this - some with very great appreciation for
what the club could do to enhance the overall experience
of their customers. We'll see if this results in
even more members - I hope it will. (update: by
December 21 we had three people sign up as new members
using the new forms)
The OCA is something that I truly
cherish - and I look forward to serving the membership
as the next President of the OCA.