January 12, 2002
The top of Indian Hill was totally covered with trees,
so our first task was to clear it. The project started in May
1978 as weekend work sessions and was completed by that Fall.
The remaining year was spent cleaning up the place, splitting
the wood and selling it to help fund the observatory construction.
1978, five months after starting our project with chain
saws, hand saws and hatchets, we had most of the hill
doing a loggermans job
from being amateur astronomers, we were also amateur tree-cutters.
The tree was leaning left, so Denny
Jefferson climbed it to tie a rope near the top.
Then, we could force it to fall to the right.
smart move would have been for Denny
to take the rope up the tree with him. Instead, we tied
a metal handle on the rope, then threw it at Denny. He's
hanging onto the tree with one hand and tries to catch
the metal handle, thrown by Dan,
with the other. As luck, and a bad throw would have it,
the handle hit him on top of his head and made a loud
"clunk". Laughter followed for the next 2 minutes.
Cooper takes one down at the south
end of the hill.
The trees we removed were sold as firewood
to raise funds for club. On one February 1979 Sunday afternoon
work session, George Gliba
and Dan Rehner run the wood
down the north side of the hill with the toboggan. In
this episode, the toboggan got away from them, spilling its
load all over the slope of the hill.
George Gliba doesn't mess around.
He just rolls this 100 pound log end over end to the chain saw.
was a ton of free firewood for the taking in the backwoods,
about a 1/4 mile south of the Hill. Since we were still
in a fundraising mode, we grabbed it. Devon and Tyler Paullin don't waste time
with a chain saw. They just pushed the trees over.
December 1980. We go into the back woods
to haul out the firewood. The driver of truck says, "no
problem, my truck can get through anything". Except tons
of mud, which his axle sank into.
he calls his friend, who's got a bigger truck, to haul him out.
We hook a chain to the blue truck. That's Ian Cooper in the yellow hat waiting
for the fun to begin. The silver
truck almost bought the farm trying to maneuver into a
good hauling position.
1 minute and tons of flying mud, the truck is free. That's
Doug Caprette running through the mud.
We also had some slack time to round
up new members. Here's Dan Rothstein
chasing one of the pigs that escaped from the pigpen that
Keith kept near our
Dan hangs one of several signs
that have greeted visitors at our driveway entrance over
the last 20+ years. Looking on is Bob
Petti and Ian Cooper.