August 25, 2008
By Jim Reier
While vacationing in Traverse City this weekend my wife and I found ourselves touring the many parks and small towns that surround Grand Traverse Bay. My most memorable encounter came while travelling to Lighthouse Point at Leelanau State Park. We stopped at Suttons Bay to take in the local scenery and enjoy it’s many fine shops.
While in Suttons Bay we stopped at Enerdyne Nature/Science Shop located at 223 St Joseph (M22) in Suttons Bay. As we entered the shop, I was captivated by a wide display of quality optics from TeleVue, Celestron, Meade, Orion, Vixen and many others. Within moments, I found myself withdrawn from my wife with my eyes glued to the merchandise in utter amaze and wonderment.
I was greeted by store owner Dick Cookman who noticed my interest. I commented that he had a remarkable display of optics and continued to inquire about a couple of the scopes. At some point in the exchange I noticed that Dick seemed a bit reserved, afterall, we had not made introductions and for all he knew I was just one of many men my age who are curious about optics, but perhaps, not experienced.
We exchanged names and I shared with him my affiliation with the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association. With that, he smiled and promptly shook my hand. Dick was familiar with the SAAA and had visited our web site many times.
I shared club experiences with Dick siting recent club activities and meetings in the planetarium. I also expressed a longing to do more star gazing and how the weather in West Michigan had not cooperated much this Summer.
Dick promptly handed me his monthly newsletter covering NASA missions, comets, meteor showers and viewing highlights for the month. Dick’s newsletter can be found online at www.enerdynet.com. I also discovered that Dick is a contributing author for Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews and that his monthly newsletter have been published since 2003 at Cloudy Nights (http://www.cloudynights.com).
Dick was very courteous and shared with me a number of books for sale in his collection. He also shared a couple observing aids like the LightWedge Night Vision red LED reading lense (which I purchased for reading star charts and other field use).
After several minutes, my wife kindly nudged me, pulling me away to review several nature/science toys for my daughter.
Dick and I said our goodbyes, and in passing I told Dick that I would place a link on our web site pointing to his monthly newsletter.
So, in closing, if on your next trip up north you find yourself around Traverse Bay, be sure to stop in Suttons Bay and make a trip to visit Dick Cookman at Enerdyne Nature/Science Shop. You’ll be mighty glad you did!