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Pulitón 2010
by Claudio Argandona and Moira Evans




 

I am sending you an account of our very successful "get together" on Saturday  January 9th in Santiago, Chile. The event was hosted by Roberto "Caylo" Zepeda, who along with Ricardo Gonzalez, founded our group Telescoperos Ricardo Gonzalez in 2003.

We named this event "Pulitón 2010", which literally means "Extended mirror polishing session", as you see we are real word savers. One of our main reasons for doing this event was to honor two of our oldest members, both well over 70 years of age, and of which one suffers from an advanced stage of Parkinson´s disease, but which does not stop him from keeping putting his hands on a mirror and help out with this, his lifelong passion.

To this meeting came 33 people from all over the country, from such distant places as Iquique (1000 miles further north), and Coyhaique, something like 900 miles south, where John Dobson and Donna Smith came to visit us in 2004.
The rest were visitors from Valparaiso, Copiapo, Rancagua, Vicuña, Quilpue, Villa Alemana, and Santiago itself, all members of their own local amateur astronomy groups.

We began the event very early in the morning with our more distant visitors (who had arrived the night before), while the others appeared throughout the morning. It was a wonderful reunion as we take advantage of these meetings to renew our friendships, exchange news of our latest polishing or telescope projects, and then to dig into the real work, comparing techniques and teaching the newbies.

Some were just beginning their very first mirrors, being new to the group, invited by other TRG´s. Others advanced on their own mirrors, begun some time before. Sometime during the morning we got everyone together and celebrated our two honored guests, which received a big framed picture of the Observatorio del Cerro Tololo, and a couple of mugs with our new logo.

We didn´t forgo our camaraderie lunch, taken with some choice Chilean wine and humor, never absent form our events.
The day carried on with other activities, like our clandestine meetings (so called spontaneous talks on some pet subject, usually foucault tests or ronchi images) to solve some dilemma or help out in some polishing problem).

The meeting ended around  10 o´clock at night, accounting for more than 12 hours of continued activities. I am sending you many photographs, I am sure you will remember Oscar Saa, Roberto, and some others, together with Elena and Fedora (Ricardo´s wife and daughter).

We are very happy with the results of our get-together and are already planning the next one.

Our deepest regards to John and Donna and all Sidewalk Astronomers from your friends and Sidewalk Astronomers in Chile.

 


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