Tenth Annual Mid-Atlantic Mirror Making Seminar

MidAtlantic Mirror Making #10 Success! It is over! MMM#10, yes folks, I said MMM#10 is now part of Delmarva Star Gazers' history. And it was a tremendous success! Thanks to each participant for making #10 a memorable MidAtlantic Mirror Making weekend. The final count of mirrors attempted and mirrors completed is:


I saw many of these mirrors on the test stands…and they are something to be treasured by their makers forever. There will be no rocking the focuser back and forth to decide when focus has been reached with these mirrors. All of us store-bought telescope owners will have to restrain our envy when we look through the scopes built around MMM#10 made mirrors. These mirrors are true works of art created by some very nice, dedicated, hard working people.

Now to some particulars surrounding the event. There was an absence of snow, fire trucks, sun and forks (yes, we ran out of plastic forks). But the gods of wind, rain, and tide attended MMM#10 and they let their vengeful presence be known. The rain and wind of Friday night and Saturday morning were classic Nor'easter and at Saturday's high tide we found ourselves on Mallard Lodge Island. Water was just a few feet from the Lodge out the back door, on both sides of the Lodge, and out front Route 9 was underwater to our north and south. In fact, the tidal water actually came into the parking lot and several cars had to be moved to higher ground…just inches higher…there are no hills around the Lodge. The wind and water penetrated the old Lodge in SEVERAL places and we contended with a few drips for a few hours. I am sure this MMM will be remembered as the one when we were forced to stay inside and "Grind More - Worry Less"…in this case the worry was about the rising water and when would the wind and tide abate. Someone even asked what my plan was in case we lost electrical power…and I didn't have a plan. I did not have a plan to prevent the tarp covering the grinding room floor from rising…apparently the Lodge floor does not have an air barrier and as the winds howled outside the old Lodge became a chimney and our blue Chinese tarp rose off the floor - twixt the grinding stands.

As usual the food was excellent and plentiful. Kathy, Karen, Doreen, and Gina did a great job in preparing great food in very substantial quantities…mirror makers like to eat often and they like eat large quantities…mirror making whets the appetite. We even had a banana pudding with "#10" written in 'nilla wafers on top. Of course we had a fish fry with hush puppies Saturday night…the vengeful gods must like fried fish and hushpuppies 'cause they calmed the winds and turned off the rain just in time for us to cook on the side deck. For those who want the recipe for hushpuppies…it a MMM secret that is shared freely.

I want to thank all who participated and made MMM#10 so much fun and such a huge success. Here are just some of the people - in no particular order, who contributed their time, talents, personality, and lots of work to ensure MMM#10 was successful…and if I missed you and your contribution please don't be offended 'cause without you the event would not be nearly as great.

Bill Hanagan and Michael Lecuyer- master pitch lap makers…the gods of pitch

Dave Groski, Dick Parker, and Steve Swayze - master mirror makers, testers, coaches…and encouragers. These guys can see and interpret those test reflections and then instruct the mirror maker in the proper figuring strokes…truly art and science combined.

Kathy Sheldon, Karen Surles, Doreen Riley, and Gina Acker kept the excellent food coming in spite of the weather.

Jerry Truitt, Ted Paras, Art Bianconi, Rob Lancaster…provided helping hands at whatever needed to be done.

All the Mirror Makers…you stuck with the plan and worked for a successful outcome.

We have successfully promoted MidAtlantic Mirror Making for the TENTH time. All of you, take your left hand and place it on the back of your right shoulder…and flop it up and down several times. You deserve those "pats on the back".

Thank you again and now it is time to start planning number 11. See you next March.
Don Surles
Delmarva Stargazers

Mid-Atlantic Mirror Making #10 in Pictures