Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Starry skies

I just finished checking out all of my "Favorite" sites, and the last one I visited took my breath away and brought back memories from years ago -- 1984, to be exact.

I was on an art buying and fact-finding trip through West Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. My primary focus that year was Indian art. (I don't mean to be politically incorrect here, but that's the term that was used at the time, OK?)

As usual, I was traveling with my CB (Citizen's Band) radio on. And, as per usual, I was traveling with an 18-wheeler who "had my front door" by perhaps a mile. (In other words, he was ahead of me.)

We were headed directly north on (I forget which highway) to Santa Fe -- when, all of a sudden, he said, "Pull over, Dodger!" (At that time, I was using the handle, 'Artful Dodger' -- cuz I was in the art business, of course!)

I said, "Why?! What's wrong?" He said, "Nothing's wrong. Just pull on over to the shoulder, cut your lights, and turn your engine off. Then, get out of the car and look up."

Well, it was probably 10:30 or better in the evening. We were on a two-lane road, one lane each direction, and had seen perhaps two other vehicles the last fifty miles or so, and I did what he asked.

What I saw when I did all that he asked and then looked up was magnificent!

The skies were filled with more stars than the eye -- and, I venture to say, even with the aid of a telescope -- could possibly count in a lifetime. (Adequate words of description just fail me here, I apologize.)

He and I never did "catch an eyeball" on each other. (In other words, we did not meet face to face.)

I don't even remember his handle.

I used to keep notebooks (small ones) that had records of my trips, who I'd "met" (talked to) over the 'radideo', where we'd met, what we'd talked about, etc. You know, a kind of shorthand jotting of things. Nothing in great detail. He's probably in one of those.

Just one other little thing that I'd like to share with you about that trip.

It was while ----- and I were traveling north to Santa Fe and chatting about this and that every so often that we were interrupted in our conversation by someone going the other direction who said, "Hey, Dodger! Did you used to go by the handle of 'Schoolteacher'?"

And, of course, I had, and I replied that I thought his voice sounded familiar.

He then tried to refresh my memory by saying that he -- an 18-wheel driver -- and I had 'met' while on the road sometime or another and exchanged a few words. He said that he and his family had been "10-10 and listening in" (in other words, not saying anything), and he thought he recognized my voice.

Turns out that he was on vacation with his family.

Actually, I have many wonderful memories of my years traveling with fellow CB-ers. I'll just have to do another post about some of those, perhaps even soon.

Meanwhile, I hope that some of you will want to include the Astronomy Picture of the Day in your frequent viewing. It's an 'upper', in my opinion.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

I thought that photo on the astronomy blog was great too. I finally got it added to my favorites I have listed on my blog. Running so behind here.... lol