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John Mallas' 4" Unitron

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#101 John O'Hara

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 07:19 PM

Reading Keith's postings takes me back to my early days in the hobby in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The articles I read in back issues of Sky and Telescope​ mentioned many of these great amateur astronomers from the "golden age" of the hobby, some of these are the friends of Keith.  I feel fortunate that in the present time, we have access to much good but inexpensive astro gear.  Yet, I find myself envious of those who were in the hobby in times past, when a 3 inch refractor or a 6 inch reflector was a normal scope, and often, people had to make their own telescope for it to be affordable.  Actually, this was still true to some extent in the 1970s and early 1980s.  My first telescope, a 60 mm Swift refractor, cost $260 new in 1976, when I received it as a Christmas present.  My dad told mom I'd probably use it for two weeks and then it would collect dust in a closet.  He was seldom wrong, but that was one of those rare times.  I was definitely spoiled on that Christmas, I'm not sure what $260 in 1976 is in today's dollars, but I was spoiled for sure that year smile.gif 

 

I'm not complaining about the blessings I have now, but to have met, known and worked with some of yesterdays icons would have been immensely satisfying.

 

John


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#102 Jim Curry

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 07:42 AM

Magnificent dome/house.  It's great to hear an HOA permitted this, I hear more story's of denial than acceptance.

 

Jim



#103 SteveGR

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 02:56 PM

Here is another pic showing the vestibule attaching the dome to the house.  It has lots of storage and a big vent fan.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

That dome is beautiful.  Someday I'd like to build something like it, but where I currently live, there just isn't a great place for one.  To echo others, keep posting stories, they are fascinating.



#104 Keith Parizek

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:34 PM

Hi- Here is another picture of my RV home showing the dome and big second story deck.  The deck has a great view over the desert and mountains to the south, east, and northeast.  I have some big binos up there to scan the country and watch for meteor showers.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

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#105 clamchip

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 11:05 PM

God I would love that, you probably don't spend your entire weekend mowing and weedeating like I do.


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#106 Keith Parizek

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 10:53 AM

Here is the only picture I have of Evered.  He is on the right in a green shirt. That is me on the left.  He is one of my great friends and one of my regrets is that I don't have pictures of all my other great friends.  THe most important thing is that I will always have memories of them with me forever.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

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#107 Keith Parizek

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 04:09 PM

Here are the pics of the scopes in the dome at Rio Verde.  On the right is an 18 inch Classical Cass f-5 and f-34.  On the left top is a 11.5 inch Mak  f-23.  Lower left is a 12.5 inch Dall Kirkham Cass f-25. 

Both casses optics were made by Don Loomis.   I was recovering from cancer surgery in 1999, and the subsequent chemo was really getting to me.  When I talked to Don he agreed to make the 18 for me.  He said he would work on it soon.  He and Dick Buckroeder were on a  project to convert one of the big scopes on Mt Lemmon into something to be used for NEO asterods.  I think Dick did the calculations for the corrector and Don was making the corrector.  Don always said he would make something for me,but he didn't want to be rushed.  One of our projects took like 4 years.  When I talked to Dick about what I had in mind he said send me the design and I will run it thru my computer program.  He is good at doing number jobs.  The design turned out to be fantastic.  About a month later a pic in an ALPO jounal showed a similar scope by Emile Schaer done in the early 1900's.  Makes we wonder if anyone ever had an original thought.  Don considered my situation and when a member of his family also had a problem, he said he was going to make this for me quick like.  He did do it before I was ready to make my move to RV.  He called me up one day and said he needed it as a collimator to make some 18 inch f-1.75 parabolas for a space experiment for the U of Michigan.  He said it was one of the better ones he ever made.  If this is true I am proud to have him as a friend as well as the great mirror.  I gladly lent it back to him and he later said he made 4 such mirrors off of it.  I sometimes lay awake at night wondering how someone would attempt an f-1.75 parabola.  I have great friends who are real talented.

I am getting wordy again, but the story about the 11.5 Mak deserves a whole section my itself.  It was made by Ken Hebert, another longtime great friend.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

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#108 Keith Parizek

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 10:31 AM

P2140541.JPG Here is a pic of the little mount in the dome at Rio Verde.  It has a base of 36x32 inches and the extended RA tube is 36 inches.  It is the second one of this type I made and the other is in the  little dome at Alpine.  I  actually made the parts to put together another third one  of these. The parts sit waiting here in RV.  These little mounts are really strong and have performed really well.  This one was prefabed and lifted in while the dome was being installed.  The big dome mount at Alpine was moved up in pieces and formed and welded in place.  I can't believe we did it.  I can't decide if I should show the only pic I have of it as it is really a cluttered up mess. It is really gigantic.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


Edited by Keith Parizek, 03 May 2018 - 12:22 PM.

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#109 Geo31

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

WOW!


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#110 jcruse64

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 12:45 PM

Show the picture Keith!!!


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#111 Keith Parizek

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 01:44 PM

P4100411_edited-1.JPG Here is the big mount at Alpine.  This pic is the only one I have on hand and I apologize for the quality and clutter.  It was hauled to Alpine in pieces and put together in place there.  The base is 48x48 inches and the RA tube is 20 inches in diameter.  Dick Lines did the number job on it to make it sure it was strong enough to hold anything I would ever own.  Counterweights are not necessary if you have enough scopes to put on each side of the DEC axis.  THis mount holds the 24 Cass and on the other side the 12 Schmidt.  I am not a believer in counterweights as I have a lot of different equipment to balance stuff up.  Evered built all the controls and they have been bulletproof for all these years.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#112 photiost

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:02 PM

Wonderful setup !!


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#113 Keith Parizek

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 10:20 PM

A 1956 article by John Gregory in S&T about Maksutov scopes caught my interest as I had never heard of such a scope.  THey seemed to be too good to be true and I longed to see one.  About 1964 I saw an ad in S&T for a 10 inch Mak and it was in Phoenix. Needless to say I made contact and who showed up but Ken Hebert and his wife Pat.  He brought this scope out and parked it in my dome under my 6 inch Brashear.  We made a long lasting friendship on the spot and shared many good times together.  Ken came over from California with Max Bray and another guy Jim Pascoe to  start an optical shop at RIchardson Camera in Phoenix,  I had never heard of Richardson and was surprised that  anything like that ever existed in Phoenix. The  Richardson set up never materialized and these guys were left stranded.  Max went on the build Maks as AD Astra.  Ken moved back to Cal and we maintained our friendship forever.  The 10 inch Mak was sold to Larry Braemer if I remember correctly.  Larry wanted Ken to come and make Questar optics,  but Ken was never interested in production work if he could avoid it.  It the world had never seen something, Ken would try to build one.  Our friendship endured thru the years.  I talked him into making a 6 inch f-23 Mak.  It was superb and I got him to try an 11.5 inch f-23.  He eventually sold  this to me for a song.
I was over at an RTMC meeting and Dick Buckroeder waved me over to  his table. He said meet John Gregory !  We had a great conversation with John and his wife.  He would not let me go when he found out I had an 11.5 inch f-23 Mak.  He said a lot were started but few were ever finished.  I had on heck of a time making him understand that Ken made it and not me.  I thanked  him for the design and we had a rousing good session.  Sadly, soon after John and his  wife were killed in an auto accident.  Max had a big home in north Phoenix and made optics there until he got his business location set up.  They made 3.5 and a 5 inch AD AStras.  Max's home was unique in that it had a full theater pipe organ.   If you have never seen one up close you are missing something big.  Max finally built a 20 inch Mak for a doc from Tucson.  Clyde Tombaugh looked thru my 11.5 Mak and was really impressed.  It is one heck of an instrument.   The Mak and 12.5 Cass in the  RV dome are now kind of relegated to counterweight work as I mostly use the  18 Cass when I am able.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek

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#114 Geo31

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 11:43 PM

Keith, every story is a gem.  I look forward to each and every one.


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#115 jcruse64

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 09:30 AM

Love the stories, Keith. I've been around 2 church/theater-sized pipe organs before; I cannot imagine a house big enough to hold one, lol. Can you imagine that as your "alarm clock" each morning!!!



#116 Keith Parizek

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:50 AM

Hi- I have seen some big church organs also. THat organ in Max's place was the darnest thing I ever saw. It occupied one end of his big garage. It had snare drums, bells, whistles, you name it all connected by cables, etc. He eventually sold it to a big pizza place in Phoenix called Organ Stop. I never heard it played, but Organ Stop is still around. Glad you enjoy the posts, but I never stop wondering if everybody on Cloudy Nights is on the lamb from the FBI since no one ever just uses their real names. Seems everyone has an alias. What do you think? I always wonder who I am talking to.

Regards
Keith Parizek
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#117 jcruse64

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:40 AM

Keith (if that is your real name-just joking), a lot of people like to hold some anonymity while on the internet. Also, in almost ALL cases, once someone registers as a user, with their real name, that user ID is locked from being used anymore, and you might be surprised how often that could be an issue. And ,of course, you may be right, and some of us are incognito, and on the lam, lol.

 

Of the pipe organs I've seen, I DID get to hear one of them play, and several different compositions. I liked it! They make me think of the ancient water clocks, with all the intricate machinations taking place.

 

Please keep the stories up!!!

 

Joe Cruse



#118 Keith Parizek

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 09:43 PM

Howdy-  I never did follow up on how I got the 8 inch triplet.  My previous posts mentioned Dick Buckroeder a lot and he is a very good friend.  A long while back he and his kids came up to Alpine to visit for a few days.  I showed them around the country and took his kids trout fishing down on Boneyard creek.  Dick rode in the back of my truck and got bounced around really big time 4 wheeling down into the creek.  We got his kids some trout and had a good time.  After his backside healed he was feeling magnamamous and offered me the gift of a set of glasses to make an 8 inch photographic triplet of 55 inches focus.  He also included the design.  He is known all over the astro community as a leading designer of triplet photo optics.  My friend Ken Hebert agreed to do the fab to complete this triplet.  I was shocked to have him call one day and ask the temperture range that happens at Alpine.  He was in the process of designing the cell and I never heard of anyone asking that kind of question.  All of those giant lens cells must have had some real engineering involved to keep those 30-40 inch lenses from pinching or cracking.  Ken was working at a coating company at that time and they coated all six sides.  Ken said it costs 500 dollars a side for that coating and he did it for me as a favor.  I hope now that everyone will believe me when I say You can all the money in the world, just give me my friends.  I hope all of you have good friends too.

 

Regards

Keith Parizek


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#119 Keith Parizek

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 04:54 PM

John Mallas may have had a relationship with some professional astronomers that he never mentioned to any of us. He called me one day and invited me to lunch at the old Islands restaurant in Phoenix. There he introduced me to Dr. Donald Menzel, the director of Harvard Observatory. Turns out I was a fascinated good listener. Does anyone else know of any other associations he may have had?

Regards
Keith Parizek
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#120 Keith Parizek

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 09:10 PM

Howdy-  There were some other interesting folks who were friends of John, Evered, Dick and Helen Lines as well as me.  Bob Rhoads was a planetary observer par excellence and was an assistant recorder for the Mars section of ALPO.  He was a sidekick of  Chick Capen.  Bob was using my 11.5 Mak and found the fissures in the Martian polar cap way before anyone else saw them at the 1971 opposition.  Dick and Rhoda Reynolds were also friends.  Ken Hebert and I made them another copy of my 12.5 F-4 reflector.  THey were satellite observers post early Moonwatch era and could reach very faint satellites.  It was fascinating to hear them tell of the Smithsonian calling them three or four times a night to try to observe some big Russian  objects out about 20000 miles if memory serves me right.  THey were important to the  Smithsonian program since this was pre Baker- Nunn.  Dick said they were working out to 12 to 14 mags.  THis was from  north Phoenix back in those days.  Nowdays you could read the want ads in your backyards at night or at least some small print.  They were on a first name basis with some guy Bill from South Africa who came to work for the Moonwatch. 

I just have to mention Helen Lines and me hollering at each other at some  star parties when the moon would rise.  We both always noticed that after the moonrise we  would experience slow air movement.  We called it the moonrise wind.  Whether this is a real or just our imagination is up for grabs.  Anyone know if this is a real event? 

 

Regards

Keith  Parizek


Edited by Keith Parizek, 04 October 2018 - 07:32 PM.

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#121 KBonnough

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:59 AM

Greetings. I am one of Keith Parizek's grandchildren and I've come here with his permission to inform those who have been reading his stories here that he has been dealing with terminal leukemia. He hasn't been able to come on here as he is now having to visit the hospital every few days to get a transfusion. 

 

I did enjoy reading the stories that he got to share on here. Even though I don't fully understand all of them. I did however grow up around his love for the stars and his ginormous telescopes in Phoenix and Alpine. 

 

I'm not sure what else to say except I offer apologies for anyone who has been wanting to hear more stories from him.

 

Sincerely,

 

Krista


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#122 jcruse64

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:24 AM

Krista, really sorry to hear of your grandfather's health. I, and many others on here, have REALLY enjoyed his reminisces of his work and adventures in this activity. I wish him, and all of you in his family, all the best. Please tell him that his time and posts here have been appreciated by the other members here.

 

Joe Cruse



#123 starman876

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:27 AM

Thank you.  I wish Keith all the best and appreciate very much what he has shared with all of us.


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#124 Geo31

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:00 PM

Krista, thank you for making us aware.  Keith will be in my prayers.  If you have not already, please reach out the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  They are able to help in small, but useful ways.  I used to run with Team in Training, one of their fund raising arms.

 

Wishing you, Keith, and your family strength and peace.



#125 PETER DREW

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:36 PM

Just finished reading the entire post. What a trip down "Memory Lane". My interest goes back far enough for most of these now famous people to have been beacons illuminating my astronomical journey. Living the other side of the Pond meant that I would never had the chance to meet such people but I have been fortunate to know those of similar standing here over the years and can fully understand their importance historically. Keith's writing and description needs no editing, if anything it is an object lesson in how to convey priceless interest to eager recipients.

So sorry to learn of the current situation, my best wishes to Keith, his family and friends.


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