LtE in CMO #279

From Samuel Ray WHITBY

. . . . . . . .Date: Sat, 20 Sept 2003 00:45:55 -0400

Subject: Hi


Dear Masatsugu,


I thought I would tell you that yesterday we survived a direct hit by Hurricane Isabella. No one in the family was injured, and, other than losing a few tree branches and limbs, we suffered no property damage. Some nearby homes were damaged, and numerous trees away from our property were blown down. Our electricity was off for about 24 hours. Many people, over a million according to the TV news, still have no power. I worked this evening at the hospital, and our electricity came from emergency generators that belong to the hospital. Nearby Petersburg is still without lights, and some roads are flooded. I took the opportunity to show co-workers the Milky Way as we left work. Most of them, city dwellers, said they never had seen the Milky Way. Isabella was the first hurricane I have directly experienced since childhood, and I found it scary enough not to long for the experience again.


I sketched Mars a few minutes ago, with very good seeing. A cloud is drifting by as I write. Perhaps I can make another sketch later. I would be tempted to drive to the observatory in Bon Air, but I do not know if the electricity is on there, and I would not want to make a long drive unless the telescope's drive was working.


Numerous people have mentioned how much they have enjoyed the CMO Gallery. A reporter from the Washington Post telephoned to ask about the close approach of Mars. He said he got my name from your CMO page. We had a nice talk, and he wrote a short piece about amateur observation of our Red Planet.


Glad to have lights,


Sam WHITBY (Hopewell, VA, USA)

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