A highlight of our epic three week vacation, with 5 kids in a "Pop-Top VW" was the McDonald Observatory. Friends at the Moody Foundation, my customer, had urged be to go to the Observatory. Evidently the Moodys were big contributors, and I had done considerable work in their new building, American National Insurance Co., Galveston. I had seen photos in the Moody offices. Anyway the experience was "other worldly," to use a cliche'. I loved it and have returned many times. The kids now have kids and will be taking them soon.
1st visit 1955 at age 10
Shared by visitor Perry Cozzen on May 5, 2014
In 1955 my mother inherited her father's car and she brought me and her mother to McDonald Observatory from Lamesa, a long trip at the time.
We were in a '49 or so Dodge, and it vapor locked on the way to observatory. My mother made me and my grandmother get out while she backed the non-running car back down the hill.
My grandmother just stood on the side of the road with her hands over her eyes screaming the whole time, knowing my mother was about to die, but she managed to back down the very narrow road and got the car restarted at the bottom.
Shared by teacher workshop participant Scott Demaree on April 26, 2014
I was lucky enough to get to the observatory two summers in a row for teacher workshops. On the second of these, I got my hands on a "real" telescope. No, not a research instrument. I was honored to collect photons with my own eyes through the 36-inch, by far the largest telescope I've ever used. Starting at age 12 with a 4.25-inch reflector, over the years, I worked up to a 10-inch. And I have observed objects with telescopes as large as 20 inches.
But this was a real treat!
Railroad Family Exploring
Shared by visitor Mildred Baker Beaman on April 26, 2014
It was probably very early in the public history of McDonald Observatory when the Jim Baker family made their first visit. With 3 preschoolers (Warren, Mildred, and Roger), it must have been a Sunday near 75 years ago, probably when Jim was operating a Burro half-circle crane for the redecking of Southern Pacific Railroad's Pecos High Bridge.
Building the Road to the Observatory and Hauling the Tube and Mirror
Shared by visitor Caroline Neeley Mueller on April 23, 2014
In order for the observatory to be built a road had to be constructed up the mountain, which was a distance of 17 miles from Ft. Davis., C.E. Armstrong and Sons (my Great Grandfather and his company) were part of the building of the road.