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
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.