Gail Smitherman

Gail Smitherman
Selma AL

Telescope(s):  Meade 10" Starfinder reflector& Orion Starmax 127 Mak-Cassegrain 
Area(s) of special interest:  Galaxies and Clusters

AAS: Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby? 

GS:  I have been interested in Astronomy for along time, but I've only had a scope for 2 years. I love to read the magazines even if it does go over my head sometimes. I really enjoy pointing out the constellations to children because they are so receptive to learning.

AAS: What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy? 

GS:  I have always enjoyed the sky from clouds to stars, of course I grew up watching Apollo missions on TV.

AAS:  Tell us a little about your family members; spouse? kids? siblings? significant other? 

GS:  My husband Marvin works for International Paper. I have two lovely step-daughters aged 18 and 21

AAS:  Can you tell us a little about your formal education? 

GS:  High school here in Selma with some college Business and Accounting courses.

AAS:  Do you have any pets? What kind?; How Many? 

GS:  I have a big orange cat that Marvin named Ozzie after Ozzie Ozbourne. He enjoys Astronomy also. He always seems to be underfoot while I'm trying to observe!

AAS:  Where do you work? If you're retired, what was your occupation?; If you're still in school, have you chosen a career? 

GS:  I am the secretary for Social Service and Case Management at Vaughan Regional Medical Center on the Parkway. I have been employed for 27 years at the hospital, but I'm still not anywhere close to retirement!!

AAS:  Besides astronomy, what other hobbies do you enjoy? 

GS:  Acting in community theater, taking care of all the little wildlife that finds its way into my backyard, reading, travel, love a good movie, sing in the church choir.

AAS:  What was your first or favorite car? 

GS:  My favorite car is the Oldsmobile Aurora I got l Christmas 2000 (No , I did not buy it just because of the name) It is my 4th Oldsmobile. I started out with the Omega, then Cutlass, then Cierra and now the Aurora.

AAS:  What was your first or most interesting job? 

GS:  First job typical for a girl, baby-sitting. I have stayed friends with a lot of those kids, who now have kids!!

AAS:  Tell us about your favorite vacation. 

GS:  Hawaii. It was as beautiful as I had dreamed it would be. The colors were magnificent and I saw whales on 2 different occasions. A few years back I performed on the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York with a huge mass choir. That was quite an experience for a little southern girl.

AAS:  Have you ever lived in some other part of the U.S. or another country? Where?; When? 
No , I have only lived in Selma. But I would love to visit England! I have been away from this country enough to know what a GREAT country we do live in.

I'm a little on the shy side, but you probably wouldn't notice if you met me. I'm not afraid to ask questions or tell you I don't know all the answers. I have enjoyed my association with AAS and I am looking forward to being a full fledged member, although it will be a little to far for me to attend meetings. I do hope to attend some star parties and special days at the planetarium. I met a few members last year at Astronomy Day and they were so gracious and friendly and made me feel welcome. I hope very much to be able to return that favor to others interested in astronomy. 

May the stars shine upon your face. Gail