Back in 2005, I started writing what I’d planned to be a non-fiction book about NRAO (the National Radio Astronomy Observatory), based on visits, photos and interviews to this interesting place. My contact was Wesley Sizemore, NRAO’s public face and “Keeper of the Quiet”, a term which will make more sense to you once you read more about NRAO and the NRQZ (the National Radio Quiet Zone).
I didn’t get to finish the book. Life intervened, I got caught up in other things and my photos, interviews and written pages (there are quite a few of them) sat in my Documents folder, gathering digital dust for about seven years.
Rather than let it all sit there till oblivion, I thought it’d do more good published, unfinished as it is, so in 2012, I went through what I had, re-organized it, re-wrote some sections, re-edited some of the photos, and published it on my website in seven instalments.
For this book edition in 2019, I went through everything once again, re-organized the text once more and laid it all out in book format. I want to state once more that the story is incomplete and I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it. Some sections aren’t filled in properly. As I wrote them, I had more questions that would get clarification only during subsequent visits, which never materialized. So please forgive whatever rough edges you find, including my barely adequate photos, since I was also at the start of my photographic career at the time.
If I ever get the chance to make subsequent visits and finish writing the whole story, great. If not, here is what I have, for your enjoyment. It is worth reading. More people should know about the work being done by the NRAO: it is a neat place doing interesting research into things that have always obsessed humans: outer space, planets and aliens!