|Group picture, AAVSO Fall 2008 Meeting, Nantucket, MA|
By Vladimir Strelnitski
Benjamin Franklin pointed out once that it takes a long time to acquire an old friend. It took enough time - a century - for AAVSO and MMO to become real old friends. And it took an outstanding personality, Dorrit Hoffleit, to give this friendship a rare depth and multidimensionality. What can be compared with the joy of celebrating your anniversary in the company of an old friend? Thank you, AAVSO, for coming to the "Far-away Island" and being with us in this special year! Thank you for a perfectly organized scientific meeting and other events (with a very special gratitude to Rebecca, of course)! It was a great surprise for me personally to be the recipient of the prestigious William Tyler Olcott award. I'm honored and a little sad - that two dear personal friends, Dorrit and Janet, could not witness this special moment.
[Clarification: Nantucket, in translation from Wampanoag, is "The far-away island".]
By Kate Hutton
At the Nantucket meeting, my involvement with the AAVSO went to a whole new level, since I was elected to Council. In the prior year, I had made e-mail acquaintance with many more people, so the meeting seemed like a whirlwind of conversations about stars, sequences, telescopes, etc. Nantucket was also a fascinating place, involved as it was in the life of one of my childhood heroines Maria Mitchell. I'm glad that we got the opportunity to visit the observatories that are her legacy.