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John Dobson Memorials in Los Angeles and San Francisco

The memorial at the Vedanta Society in Hollywood on Feb 23rd was a wonderful tribute to John. Telescope makers, sidewalk observers, Vedantins, personal friends and family came together to remember and share experiences of time spent with John and of his incredible influence on us all. Leah Early, an archivist intern at the Vedanta Society made a beautiful video about John and it will be posted on his video page in a day or so (technical problems uploading). Bill Scott opened the service with a Vedantin reading and told of his own experiences with John over the years and Shiva gave to me, the most beautiful talk about John that I have heard. John's family, Ruth and Loren spoke and we were so pleased they could be here. One highlight of the ceremony was when Mike Kendall asked everyone who was there who had ever been on the sidewalk with a telescope to stand and almost the entire audience stood.

 

 

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A memorial/star party was held in San Francisco on March 8 and while it was outdoors and less formal than the event in Hollywood, people were sharing similar stories. What was unique was that more people who had built telescopes with John when he first started were in attendance. One of John's earliest 10 inchers made an appearance, it must have been made in the early 60's and was still in working order. Jeffrey Roloff, one of the three original Sidewalk Astronomers was there as well as many of those from the early days of the club including John's family.

 

 

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Also on March 8th, Griffith Observatory celebrated ISAN 7 during the monthly star party and also had an event in the Leonard Nimoy theater to celebrate John. Anthony Cook of Griffith, along with Mike Simmons of AWB and Katy Haugland of the Sidewalk Astronomers all spoke of John and his influence on amateur astronomy. Many local Sidewalk Astronomers and members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society also spoke.

 

Reports have come from all over about ISAN 7 events. Many will be celebrated a little later because of weather, but overall it seems that turn out was great, up from last year because this one was even more a tribute to John. If you didn't get a chance to take your scope out on March 8, JD would be good with any time.

 

 John did his job, now it is time for us to step up and do ours. Keep sharing the sky and keep questioning just how this Universe we live in works.