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We Lost a Friend in Blake Nancarrow
Hello everyone,

I have some sad news. One of our members, known here as blakesphere, has passed away. Blake Nancarrow was a long-time friend of SkyTools and of myself. To my wife he once described our relationship as being sort of "penpals," as we had known each other for many years without ever having met in person. He was a long-time member of the SkyTools email list that preceded these forums, more than once was an important beta tester, organized SkyTools classes for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), played a pivotal role in obtaining SkyTools 3 at a discount for club members, and it was he who ensured a place for the RASC Finest NGC Objects observing list in SkyTools.

In April of this year my wife and I decided to head up to Toronto as part of attending NEAIC/NEAF in New York. My wife suggested that I reach out to Blake to see if he'd be available to finally meet in person. We met Blake for breakfast in downtown Toronto, a city he clearly loved. It was during breakfast that he revealed his cancer diagnosis, and I recall looking into his eyes across the table knowing that it was terminal, and that he knew that I knew. We didn't speak of it again. During the day we spent together, Blake was a wonderful and gracious host, taking us up the CN tower where he pointed out the interesting buildings, so many of which he had taught classes in. It was a beautiful spring day, and I was impressed with how large Toronto is, stretching into the distance. He proudly referred to it as the center of the universe.

I'll never forget racing across town in our rented Tesla on a sort of treasure hunt, not sure exactly what he was up to. First to a RASC member's home to pick up keys, and then off to the historic David Dunlap Observatory, where he gave us the grand tour. DDO is one of the great observatories constructed in the 1930's. I love astronomy history and relished the chance to visit. Before I knew it, Blake was teaching a class - instructing me how to set up and put away the telescope! He asked that I not tell anyone or post to social media about it, because he had called in some favors and we were kind of there on the sly.  I don't think I can get him into trouble now.

Blake was a terrific guy and a wonderful teacher. I am so grateful for his friendship and especially for the day we spent together, only a few months ago. I will always cherish both.

Clear skies,
Head Dude at Skyhound
[-] The following 3 users say Thank You to theskyhound for this post:
  • Tempus, SteveGoldberg, Dennis

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We Lost a Friend in Blake Nancarrow - by theskyhound - 2023-09-18, 06:42 PM

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