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Remembering a Young Carl Sagan

In the fall of 1963 I was taking an astronomy course at Goddard College. One day the professor took me aside and said he'd arranged for an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Harvard named Carl Sagan to drive up to the campus and give a lecture on the solar system. Knowing of my long time interest in astronomy he asked if I'd show him around the campus and escort him to the dining room for dinner. I did and of course the lecture (a slide show with some of the best planetary photos of the time) was great. Mind you, at that time Dr. Sagan was a total unknown outside of the Astronomy Dept. at Harvard, and the big concern from my professor was how the college administration would feel about his spending $300 of his budget to pay for Dr. Sagan.

As Carl Sagan became better know, appearing on TV, publishing books and doing the Cosmos series, I'd drive a lot of my friends up the wall by exclaiming, "I know that guy!". And then telling the above tale. But I know it caused many of them to read his books. He is missed now more than ever.

- Chip