First of all, yesterday was quite successful. I accomplished everything in Connecticut that I set out to. That being said, no one ever told me that southern Connecticut was such a sketchy place. While searching for a place for dinner, I didn’t want to stop because no where looked safe. At one point, I was even approached by a prostitute, to which I promptly drove off. I finally did decide on a decent looking Mexican place, which had the cutest little Mexican gay waiter with a nice little bubble butt. The food was also delicious. I had sopa de mariscos, which is a seafood soup, and a carne asada steak. both were beyond delicious. This is the best Mexican food I’ve had since I left the South.
Now, I am headed back to Vermont.
Sadly, we did not find what we were looking for in Rhode Island, and we are kind of at a loss for what to do next. There is some genealogical research to do in Connecticut so we are heading there today and then back home. It’s going to be another long day.
I’m back in Rhode Island until Friday. This is a continuation of the previous research trip to Rhode Island. We didn’t finish last time, so we are back to finish today. Tomorrow, we will either remain in Rhode Island doing research or we may move on to Connecticut. After Connecticut, the last possible search will be Harvard, then we would have exhausted all the places within driving distance to do research. I hope we find what we are looking for today. A trip to Boston would be nice, but I’m ready for this mystery to be over.
Friday we went to Stellafane, one of the largest gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers. We went first to Hartness House where they directed us up Breezy Hill to the Stellafane clubhouse. We talked to the president of Stellafane along with the curator of the museum at Hartness House. There were lots of amateur astronomers there with their hand built telescopes. I will admit that I did not understand any of the technical stuff they told us, but we were mainly there to find out more about Russell Porter, arctic explorer turned telescope maker. Porter was quite an interesting man. It wasn’t the most exciting day, but we had a good time.
Stellafane. Your first question is probably: what the hell is Stellafane? Stellafane (Latin for shrine to the stars) is the name of the clubhouse built by the Springfield Telescope Makers club of Springfield, Vermont in the early 1920s, and has since come to refer to the club’s land and buildings on the summit of Breezy Hill. It also refers to the Stellafane Convention, a gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers (star party) held every year at that location. The Springfield Telescope Makers grew out of a class on how to make telescopes that was started by Russell W. Porter in Springfield, Vermont in August 12, 1920. The members of this small group decided to form a club and held their first meeting on December 7, 1923.
The reason I mention Stellafane is because I am going to the convention today. Porter was an alumni of the university that I work for. They are the curators of some Porter material that my Museum would like to borrow. Porter built some great telescopes such as the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. Porter was a pretty fascinating guy as an artist, an Artic explorer, and a telescope builder. So I’m going to Stellafane to help borrow some of the artifacts they have about Porter. It should be an interesting day.
I read so many old letters yesterday that by the end of the day, my eyes were crossed. People had such bad handwriting. Some had beautiful handwriting but most did not. Today, is going to be no different. I will still be reading letters, hopefully though the later they are in time, the more often they are typed. Hopefully more will be typed than not. We also haven’t found what we are looking for, but maybe something will turn up.
Today will be a day of research. Thankfully, I won’t have to drive far. Traffic was horrible yesterday. At one point I had two cars merging into my lane where I was occupying said lane. Luckily, I squeezed on through and managed to avoid a wreck. With so much traffic plus the rain, and accident would have been a major disaster. All I have to do today is drive into Providence (11 minutes from the hotel). Hopefully traffic will be better.
Unless something changes in the morning, I will be spending the next few days in Rhode Island. It seems that my boss needs an extra pair of eyes to help with research at the historical society in Providence. So, I will be spending the next two days plowing through old letters and documents, and essentially looking for a needle in a haystack.
I finally made it back to my apartment around 12:30 am. Isabella sure was happy to see me.
I fly back to Vermont today. It’s been good to be home, and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to returning to Vermont. However, I am looking forward to seeing Isabella. I’ve had a coworker taking care of her, but I’m ready to have her back. Otherwise, it will be back to the same old routine at work.