John Wingard

John Wingard, AAS Treasurer
Columbus, GA

3.5-inch Questar (owned since 1975)
General observing, astrophotography, solar and lunar observing

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

JW:  I wouldnít say Iím really seasoned, but I have been in and out of the hobby for over 50 years.

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

JW:  Looking through the refractor at the observatory on the University of Alabama campus when  I was in the 3rd grade. We lived in Livingston, AL at the time. 

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

JW:  Moved to Auburn after the 3rd grade and grew up there. Father was a professor at Auburn University, now deceased.. Married, no kids. Have two younger sisters and both still live in Auburn along with my mother. Have a younger brother that works for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. 

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

JW:  Went to grade school, high school, and college in Auburn. Graduated from Auburn Univ. in 1970 in Industrial Design.

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

JW:  I work at Litho-Krome Company in Columbus, GA. Weíre a printing company and a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, and we print greeting cards for Hallmark. Iíve been there 39 years now, and hope to retire in a couple of years. 

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

Other hobbies are ham radio, model railroading, stamp collecting. (Way too many hobbies!!) 

AAS: What was your first or favorite car?

JW:  My first car was a Chevy Vega, a real cream-puff( ha). I managed to keep it running for nearly eight years by working on it just about every weekend! 

AAS: What was your first or most interesting job?

JW:  I worked part-time for the USDA (Dept. of Agriculture) at Auburn University while I was going to school. I worked for several professors in Agronomy and Soils, Dairy Science, Ag Engineering, and Forestry, I worked on some really weird, but interesting projects. It helped to pay my bookstore bills. 

AAS: Tell us about your favorite vacation.

JW:  Back in the good old days, when my knees were good, I used to go up to Smoky Mountain National Park twice a year and hike up Mt. LeConte. One year, (donít remember the year) I back-packed my Questar
scope about half way up the mountain to observe a partial solar eclipse that just conveniently happened while I was there.  Several other hikers came by and I was able to let them observe the eclipse along with me. 

AAS: Have you ever lived in some other part of the U.S. or another country? Where?; When?

JW:  No. Born in Prattville, AL and lived either in Alabama or Georgia all my life. 

Looking forward to possibly making a club meeting sometime, work permitting. We formed an astronomy club here in Columbus back in the 1990ís, but couldnít seem to keep it going very long. I miss being around other astronomy enthusiasts.