Through March 24, 2015, Collins Observatory was open to the public twice. The first time I had 57 guests. It was on that night of March 9, 2014 that the focus mechanism locked up and would not move. Thanks to my son Brian, who was my eyes and hands, we removed the focus mechanism and brought it to Ron Sampson for repair. Thanks to Ron for his extraordinary effort to repair and re-engineer the focus mechanism, we got it up and running in a timely manner. I reopened for the second public observing session on Monday, March 23, 2014 and I had a small group of 17 enthusiastic guests.
I also had two observatory visits scheduled in March. One for the AAPT on Friday, March 20, 2015, which was canceled due to clouds, but I did manage to distribute the NSAAC brochure, which Ed Burke updated, to the group. The second one was with Pack 49 cub scouts of Beverly on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. At which time I had 16 cub scouts, family and guests (10 children and 6 adults).
Unfortunately, Phil Driscoll, who works with me at the observatory is off his feet, as he slipped on ice near his home, and broke his ankle. He will not be able to help out for an undetermined period. So I will be operating Collins Observatory by myself, probably for the remainder of the observatory’s open period.