Last week+ an Edmund refractor was posted on the Craigslist, eBay, etc. thread. Better add Facebook to that title as Facebook Marketplace is coming on strong! I asked if someone would give me a contact number as I'm not interested in signing up just yet to FB. CN member Van Do9:3 (My) asked permission and passed the sellers phone number on to me. I always prefer emails or texts for such encounters but I took a day or two, a few deep breaths and I called Marcelle in Tennessee. First contact was on a garbled speaker phone while she drove. I'm not sure what she is saying but we agreed to a conversation when she got home.
She called me back a bit later. She explained how she was getting responses from all over the country about her telescope for sale ad and was worried she'd be scammed if she agreed to ship it. She wanted a local sale, cash in hand. She thought she would be stiffed for at least the shipping cost, maybe more. She seemed to know the shipping cost would far exceed the cost of the scope. All legitimate concerns. I might have been the only one to talk to her on the phone. When I described how we could make the sale happen and excuse her of any responsibilities after she dropped it off at the UPS Store in Nashville things started moving very fast. Way faster than I'm used to! There were a few questions I had, that got lost in the moment. I remember I asked if she would just throw away the handmade case and she agreed that it was very heavy. I had a feeling UPS was gonna kill me on this deal... and they did! We couldn't figure out what some marks were on the objective. I decided to take a risk. I prefer email and text for a reason.
And now Eddie Sr., The Tennessee Stud is here waiting for first light. The optical tube is cleaning up well with a few passes of a Magic Mr. Clean scrubby thingie. The finder has cross hairs and they're not messed up. Got the focuser moving again. I'll have to purchase some 100mm rings to attach the stud to a CG-5 mount I've got that has been waiting for something to hold since I moved my Tak 102 to a classic Tinsley alt/az mount. Bad time to observe, good time to fiddle with equipment.