BY-WAYS - 12/12/46 - Mt. Wilson

How would you like to stand on a mountain peak, and watch the afterglow of a sunset - a glow that seems to spread half-way 'round the world? Or watch a million lights that twinkle five or six thousand feet below - over an area of 150 square miles? Then come with Cousin Knox and me to the top of Mt. Wilson, where is mounted the largest telescope in the world. The other day, when I went to Glendale, "to see my doctor" (the best in the world), he drove me up to the high plateau, on Forest Lawn. There we looked out over the valleys, and could see the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Knox saw that it was a perfect day for long-distance views - no haze to cloud the scenes. Impulsively he said, "We'll drive up Mt. Wilson." Cousin Anna and Helen had other commitments that day. I secretly wished I had - for I am usually in terror of mountain roads. And Knox is a fast driver. But I am so glad he ignored my cowardice. It was an unforgettable experience - and a glorious one. The mountains of California are fascinating. So much newer in their upheaval than the Appalachian Mts. - and of much greater height, they make your heart thump - to look at their awesome grandeur. Mt. Wilson is not nearly so high as some of her neighbors - being only 6,000 ft. high, but she holds the coveted position of "seeing the mostest the farthest." On a clear day - such as we had - beautiful Catalina Island may be seen, 50 miles away. We were a little too late for that (being held back, to my secret relief, by heavy and slow traffic). We got to a high vantage point in time for that gorgeous sunset glow, and already the "stars" below had begun to twinkle. Yes, the quiver in the atmosphere does make them twinkle. The pamphlet describing Mt. Wilson says that the lights of 60 cities may be seen, a sight unequalled in all the world. I am quite ready to believe it. A glittering chain of lights, with a thousand pendants, stretched all the way from Los Angeles harbor to San Bernardino and Redlands. Some cities have "square gardens" of lights, others have wheel spokes. Some fan shaped - all with bright gems of red and green, enhanced, no doubt by the Christmas trimmings. Mt. Wilson is situated twelve miles north of Pasadena, in the Sierra Madre Mountains. It is said to be the astronomical center of the world.

Sincerely yours,
Florence B. Taylor.
408 Chestnut Ave.,
Long Beach 2, Calif.

P.S. If you find typographical errors, as was the case a week ago, it is because the unhappy linotype operator cannot decipher my poor penmanship. I left my Royal typewriter with Mother Taylor. You can't buy them here for love nor money.

Next - 12/19/46 - The Magic of Christmas
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