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General Meeting: SJAA 50th Anniversary and Holiday Celebration

Mike Koop


On November 8th, 1954 a small article was posted in the San Jose Evening News as part of the "Share it with Barrett" Column:

One month later, the first meeting of the San Jose Amateur Astronomers was held at Herbert Hoover Jr. High (near the intersection of Park and Naglee) on December 6th, 1954. Twenty people gathered to discuss the formation of a club and to hear two speakers. Walter Krumm, a member of the Peninsula Astronomical Society, spoke about Astronomy Clubs and types of telescopes. The newly formed club then heard it's first lecture from Dr. Olin Eggen of Lick Observatory, who discussed the possible astronomical explanations of the star of Bethlehem.

Fifty years later, our club is 350 members strong. We have witnessed many revolutions in astronomy, from the creation of the affordable Schmitt-Cassegrain, to the Dobsonian Revolution, to the computer driven scope revolution. The SJAA was there and part of it. Come join us on December 18th for a 50 year celebration. We will be joined by long time members Kevin and Denni Medlock, Jack Zeiders, and others who will retell some of the stories of the SJAA. Come hear about some of our old observing sites, like on Mt. Umunhum. Find out how the Fremont Peak Observatory came to be. Here about legendary SJAA meetings like when the World's First Computer Controlled Telescope was demonstrated or how Group 70 got it's start. There will be plenty of surprises and familiar older faces.

Just after the meeting, we will be ringing in the holiday season with a Dessert Potluck. Bring your favorite dessert or appetizer to share. Last year we had many tasty "potluck" contributions. Contributions of food or drink are appreciated but not necessary. No alcohol, please.

Well try running a "white elephant" gift drawing this year as we had done in years past. To participate, please anonymously wrap (no name tag) an astronomical item of small value and/or large humor and bring it along. It can be a used item you no longer want, an inexpensive new item, and can be either useful or funny. We'll do the exchange as a "draw or steal" lottery, which is always great fun.

Happy Holidays to All!


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