This weekend, Jess and I were over in Bend for her mom’s birthday. One of the best things about their ranch is that it is far enough away to limit some of the light pollution from Bend and Redmond so you get a nice view of the stars. As I was trying to fall asleep, I just laid there and looked out at the stars which reminded me of one of my first sleep-overs at Ben’s house
I must have been seven or eight when I first slept over at Ben’s house. I’m sure we stayed up and played the Sega Genesis, mostly likely Joe Montana Football or Sonic the Hedgehog. However, what I remember the most is once we were all set to go to sleep in Ben’s room; he had this cheap plastic telescope. It was so cheap that it came with plastic slides that you could insert into the telescope to see stars, planets, and solar systems. I’m sure this telescope had just under the required power to see the Andromeda Galaxy…. or our sun for that matter. So Ben and I had that telescope out looking at stars, I think the telescope magnified them by at least 1.5 times. I’m not sure what happened, but eventually we either became delirious or just ingested too much sugar because we both swore that we saw starts moving in crazy patterns.
We let this become our obsession. We grabbed blank pieces of paper and both of charted the stars erratic path. We started having discussions on maybe it was an asteroid or a UFO. We had convinced ourselves that we would be submitting this to Unsolved Mysteries (with Robert Stack) and they would appreciate all of this documentation so they could make the reenactment of us more realistic and factual. We couldn’t wait to hear Stack’s baritone say, “Two boys in a little town of Woodburn, Oregon were innocently looking through their telescope one night and happened to find a most curious discovery. What did Chris and Ben find? How would it change their lives?” Of course, the show would break into commercial after the Stack lead-in because you have to keep the audience waiting through the commercials… you know they were going to be hooked after the intro.
I’m not sure if Ben and I were just Robert Stack-ophiles or if we never realized that when they haphazardly threw out head up against the telescope that it moved in an erratic motion.
I wonder if Ben still has those charts.