OCA 30th Anniversary Banquet
Posted On January 1, 2000
By Russell Sipe
October 12 -- OCA celebrated it's 30th Anniversary with a banquet at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Billed as a twin speaker affair, OCA's own Chris Butler made it into a triple header with his fascinating stories about the King's View Room (our banquet location). Chris, a former tour guide on the Queen Mary, pointed out that the very room in which we met was not only a favorite of Winston Churchill's, it had seen the likes of nearly every major personality of the middle of the 20th century pass through its doors. But what was particularly striking to me was Chris' description of the famous landmarks and headlands one could see outside the King's View Room if we were on some of the voyages logged by the vessel. The coup de grace of Chris's talk was the presentation of a special painting he did of the Queen Mary as she would have appeared 30 years ago during the same week that OCA was formed. It just so happens that the week OCA was formed was also the week the SS Queen Mary logged her southernmost position in her entire history, minus 58 degrees south latitude. So Chris painted a scene showing the QM steaming in South Atlantic waters with Eta Carinae, Alpha Centari, and the Magellanic clouds accurately displayed in the night sky over the ship. Brilliant stuff!
Before dinner we listened to a facinating presentation by Jennifer Harris, the project manager of the Mars Observer mission. Ms. Harris mixed interesting stories about the people involved with the project along with facts and interesting tid-bits about the mission itself. Her description of her efforts to "debrief" NASA Administrator Dan Golden on the Mars mission was amusing and informative. Her multimedia presentation included still shots, videos of the Sojourner treks, and a sequence of 3-D images that required us to wear 3-D glasses. The image of a room full of astronomers wearing 3-D glasses was humorous to say the least.
After dinner Dr. Edwin Krupp of Griffith Observatory made a "powerful" presentation based largely on his new book: "Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings". Ranging from the ancient world of the Hittites to the modern land of Hollywood, from Outer Mongolia to Chumash sacred sites in Southern California, Dr. Krupp seemingly rolled an entire semester's worth of fascinating information into his evening presentation. Dr. Krupp's talk centered on ancient (and not so ancient) mankind's effort to control and use the Power surrounding him through rituals, architecture, art, and worship. At one point Dr. Krupp dawned a humorous wizard's robe and hat to make his point.
Because this was the 30th Anniversary of the club, a large number of former presidents of the club were in attendance including Bob Goff, Walt Clark, Bob Gill, Helen Mahoney and Wayne Johnson.
As the cliche goes, "a good time was had by all".