The Astronomy Connection

The Lounge => Rants and Off Topic => Topic started by: Prana on July 12, 2017, 10:17:04 AM

Title: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: Prana on July 12, 2017, 10:17:04 AM
TAC has a new member today - Brad Franzella.

Brad has been living in Germany for many years, and will be returning to CA shortly.  Only a few people will know this, but Brad was one of the early attendees to the fabled Lassen Star Parties, predating the Shingletown Star Party, which we all know now as the Golden State Star Party.

Brad was so young when he began attending that his father would drive him and his 10" Dob from home in Chico to Lassen, and leave him there with the group (all 20-30 of us?).  He'd have to hitch a ride to the observing site and back with other star party members.  Brad must be about 36 now... this story goes back probably 20 years....

Welcome back Brad, we'll see you soon!

Mark
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: DDK on July 12, 2017, 11:54:47 AM
Brad was a fun kid, betcha he's the same good guy now.
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: Prana on July 12, 2017, 12:07:35 PM
Didn't realize you knew Brad, Jamie.  Where did you meet him, CalStar maybe?  He's signed up to attend this year....
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: DDK on July 12, 2017, 12:14:09 PM
I remember Brad from Lassen. He has several claims to fame.
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: Brad on July 12, 2017, 02:46:33 PM
Thanks Mark! Just turned 40 last month.... and have the grey hairs to prove it!

Was the first Lassen expedition of the Copernicus Dinner Club in '93 or '94? I remember being there from '94 onwards. So many great people, so many good memories! When my dad dropped me off for a week with tent, ice chest and 10" Dob, the large pile of beer bottles protruding from a snow drift gave him some measure of pause. But everything turned out OK (mostly). The chupacabra jokes never got old. The nuclear chili bean cook off was legendary, as were the consequences.

This year will be my very first CalStar! I've had the great fortune to hang out with the SVAS, various incarnations of observing groups in Chico, SCAC, San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers and SJAA. But the most fun was always had with Mark's group up at Lassen. Darkest skies too.
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: Prana on July 12, 2017, 03:00:16 PM
Wow, Copernicus Dinner Club.  I'd forgotten that one.

John Hales (there are endless stories about him) drive his pickup to Lassen Peak parking lot, filled the bed with snow, hauled it back and built a snow mountain with it at the group  campground.  Stuffed 2 liter bottles of home brew in it.  Rangers we're not all that pleased about his absconding with the snow!

We sure had fun....
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: Peter Natscher on July 12, 2017, 07:02:24 PM
I found a photo of Brad (at center with green shirt) and the TAC group attending the 2003 Alan Nelms Star Party in the Summit Lakes South camping grounds at Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Didn't we get rained out that trip?
Double click on photo to enlarge.
Title: Re: Welcome Back Brad Franzella!
Post by: sgottlieb on July 13, 2017, 08:56:45 AM
Yep, rain and clouds but we did have one night of viewing -- the first night, which on July 30th (Wednesday).  My notes say I looked at a number of Barnard dark nebulae.  In any case, a lot of fun.