IN THE entry about children and the night sky, Alan writes:
My father and I were not close, but the stars brought us together for a brief but wonderful time in our lives. When I was 13, he gave me a small telescope. A year later, he and I built a wooden carrying case for it. We stood in our backyard on many nights in 1964 watching the Echo II satellite, a tiny point of light that moved slowly and silently among the stars. We taught ourselves to identify the planets Venus and Jupiter; the summer triangle and Northern Cross in summer; Orion and the Pleiades in winter; and the stars Vega, Deneb, Altair, Capella, Arcturus, Antares, and Sirius. They have been “landmarks”in the sky, century after century, and are landmarks also in my memories of my father.
As The Drifters sang in their 1962 hit record “Up On The Roof”: “At night, the stars put on a show for free….”
Or as Emerson worded it: “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”