[AZ-Observing] RTMC this Year

  • From: Stan Gorodenski <stanlep@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: AZ-Observing <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 26 May 2012 22:08:01 -0700

Dean, Where were you? I was at RTMC Friday all day and into the night up 
to 9:45pm. You were not in sight.

RTMC really went drastically down hill this year. We were told by the 
staff there were only 300-400 that pre-registered this year (some 
incorrect information got around. Someone said 800, but an organizer 
corrected this). When I arrived about 9 am Friday morning there were 
practically no vendors set up and hardly anyone there! Normally, there 
is already a bunch of vendors set up along the path from the meeting 
hall to Telescope Field. Hardly anything. On telescope field there was 
Meade, Woodland Telescopes, OPT (I think), and a few other vendors.

Normally, on Friday morning there are cars lined up to get in all the 
way along the dirt road, maybe 5 miles, to Camp Oaks. Of course, since 
the camp opened on Wednesday there was no line, but there was hardly 
anyone that had arrived! In the past there was the danger of not getting 
ones favorite spot because of all the people that had already arrived. 
This was not the case by a long shot. There were plenty of spots for the 
choosing. Things slightly improved, i.e., a few more people came in, as 
the day progressed but not much. It had been exciting arriving on Friday 
in years past and seeing all the activity. Not this time.

One can blame the economy, the weather (one hypothesis is that not many 
vendors came up because the winds last year caused a lot of damage and 
there were strong winds predicted this time), the decline in amateur 
telescope making, PATS, etc. For me, I did not go this time because they 
had done away with the meal tickets. I was not going to eat nothing but 
hamburgers and maybe a $15 steak now and then. The Galaxy Cafe that 
everyone was supposed to get their food from was pretty sorry.They had 
also decided to close the meeting hall for eating. Since Saturday 
morning was going to be very cold (Big Bear Lake got snow Friday night) 
I wonder if they relented and set up eating tables inside.

It appears RTMC may become a one day  event - Saturday - if it doesn't 
fold up in the near future. If so, this and the eating change will keep 
me from ever attending again. Because of the new eating change, the only 
time I would attend would be on Friday after the SAS meeting in Big Bear 
Lake, but if there will be hardly anyone there, then Friday is not an 
option. I would just drive back to Arizona after the SAS meeting. 
Normally, in years past up to recent years, there were a lot of people 
there on Friday and one could visit with acquaintances that were made 
over the years at RTMC. Also, a lot of vendors were set up. I was able 
to get my Ventura calendar on Friday. Not this year. It was very-very 

I am sure it picked up on Saturday, and those who arrived on Saturday 
will be able to make a decent report, but this would be an example of 
how an incomplete sample can give an incorrect view of RTMC this year.
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