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Last update: 14-Aug-2017

Walt McKee: Storytelling at Ingleside at King Farm

Note from Denis Curtin

Note from Denis Curtin: There is a great picture of Walt McKee speaking with students on the back page of Sunday’s Washington Post Metro Section.

Article in Aug 13 Washington Post featuring Walt McKee

Walt McKee, 83, tells his story via microphone at Ingleside at King Farm as student Siril Stephen listens while interacting as part of Link Generations’ Summer Storytelling Series. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

1st Wednesday in December - UPDATE

Note from Ron Johnson:

Update from Ron - August 9, 2017

I have reviewed the comments/opinions from the 1st Wed in December respondents. I have to concur with the majority that the starting time should be moved up to around 12:30pm to 2:00pm to get people home a little earlier (before 5pm). I would like to get your opinion on the best starting time.

The final invitation, changes and directions will be sent at a later date.

Thank You,

Ron Johnson

----- Original Article July 17, 2017 -----

Over the last few years, the location of the 1st Wed in December get-to-gather has changed from Roy's Place to the Golden Bull to the Woodside Deli. (First, Roy's Place closed. Then, the Golden Bull closed). Last year, the event was held at the Woodside Deli.

Last year's event at the Woodside Deli had a pretty good turnout, though there were some interest expressed in changes to the time and place.

The original reason for the 1st Wed in December date was that any weekend in the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years time frame caused problems (shopping, parties, etc.. ) and that the time, 6:30pm was chosen because, at that time, many attendees were still working.

Over time, it has become more difficult to find a venue which would allow us a variety of food choices, a casual setting and at reasonable prices.

I've already made reservations to the Woodside Deli. Right now I'm considering moving the time to around 4-5pm to give people more time to get home before dark.

What do you think?

Please email me. I would like to hear your thoughts on time and place


Thank You,
Ron Johnson

Satellite Gallery Opens at National Electronics Museum--July 10, 2017

The "Satellites: Transforming our Lives" exhibit--after 5 years of fund raising, collecting artifacts, and careful design is finally opening at the National Electronics Museum as of July 10, 2017. It was a long hard slog to raise over $600,000 from some 50 different contributors, to put together the exhibit artifacts including satellites and launchers, create the Arthur C. Clarke mini-theater, display the entire SSPI Hall of Fame--among many other wonderful features. The committee that made this happen are to be congratulated. They include Denis Curtin, Maury Mechanick, Ellen Hoff, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Ramesh Gupta, Scott Chase, and Joe Pelton, who has chaired the effort over the past 5 years. The opening will be as of July 10, 2017 and there will be a special gala opening in the Fall for members of the Maryland state government, industry officials, the SSPI, the Hall of Fame and major contributors.

A "soft opening" celebration among the satellite gallery organizers and designers was held on Sunday June 25th to review the exhibit in its shakedown mode. Pictured are in the introductory foyer of the satellite gallery are:

Ellen Hoff (Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame), Michael Simons (National Electronics Museum Director), Ruth-Pritchard Kelly (Satellite Gallery Committee and representative on behalf of Wilbur Pritchard), Denis Curtin (Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame), Joseph Pelton (Chair, Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame), and Maury Mechanick ((Satellite Gallery Committee and President of COMARA)

July National Electronics Museum Newsletter

Read more about activities at the National Electronics Museum (Near BWI Airport)

July is going to be a fun, busy month! Our first session of Pioneer Camp is July 26-27 and there are still spots available. We've almost reached our goal amount on our GoFundMe campaign to fully fund 12 campers this year! There's still time to donate and any additional donations will go towards next year's sponsorships.

We also have an official opening date for Satellites: Transforming Our Lives: July 10th! I can't think of a more perfect time for active duty military to come in with their families to participate in Blue Star Museums!

Julia Tontala
Visitor Services Representative
National Electronics Museum

Pictures from 8th Annual IRAA/COMARA & Intelsat Summer Picnic

Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017
Seneca Creek State Park - Buck Pavillion
Hosted by Intelsat Retirees & Alumni Association

2017 IRAA/COMARA Picnic Photos We have some photos taken at the 2017 Picnic on May 21. These are hosted on Google Photos.
Alan Olson and his crew provided a great menu featuring Peruvian chicken, burgers, grilled vegetables, desserts, and salads.
The weather was great and all who showed up enjoyed the conversation and comaraderie. We hope more COMARA members will take advantage of the event next year. We are under a shelter so we are sheltered from hot sun or rain. There are lots of places to sit.

Sun Towards High Noon by Peter Varadi

Peter Varadi Peter Varadi is a COMARA member
My second solar book "Sun Towards High Noon" was just published.
The meteoric expansion of the solar (PV) industry resulted from an incredible reduction in the prices of PV systems-first described in the author's earlier book Sun Above the Horizon.

Attached please find the Flyer:Recent-Varadi-Publications.
The publisher is offering 30% discount and free shipping to all of the members of COMARA.
Peter F. Varadi

Albert I Eaton Oct 17, 1931 - Jan 21, 2017

Albert Eaton Albert I. Eaton Jr. of Sarasota Florida, formally of Woodsboro, Maryland, passed away peacefully on the evening of Saturday, January 21, 2017.
He was the son of the late Albert I. Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Eaton and married to his loving wife Alice, AC, of 60 years.

Albert spent his working career as an Aerospace Machinist with Communication Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) until his retirement. -
See more at: Herald Trubune Obituaries

Thanks to Anne and Bill Windell for providing this link.

2017 IRAA/COMARA Picnic
Sun, May 21, 2017 12:00-4:00pm
Seneca Creek State Park
Check or PayPal to IRAA by May 12

Next Board Meeting

Tue, Aug 22, 2017 11:30am
Chez Kinzie

2017 Strathmore Concert
Sun, April 23, 2017 3:00pm
Strathmore Center Bethesda
Check or PayPal to IRAA by Apr 18

Upcoming Events


Report on NEM Satellite Gallery Exhibit by Maury Mechanick

Maury Mechanick, COMARA President, has provided an update for progress on the Satellite Gallery Exhibit for the National Electronic Museum. You can view his report at April 19, 2017 Newsletter: NEM Satellite Gallery . This newsletter was mailed to COMARA members. If you didn't receive a copy, please let the webmaster know your current email address. The COMARA Board

Thanks to: Maury Mechanick, President, COMARA, and the rest of the Satellite Gallery Task Force (Joe Pelton, Denis Curtin, Ellen Hoff, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Ramesh Gupta and Scott Chase)

Joe Pelton provided a look at the design of the Satellite Gallery last fall.
Design Development Presentation 09-28-2016.pdf

Have you paid dues for 2017?

So many New Year's Resolutions are quickly broken and forgotten, but one resolution you should work on is to keep up with your annual COMARA membership dues. Already 193 members are paid up for 2017. The COMARA Board of Directors wholeheartedly thanks each of you who are already paid up for 2017.

Your dues are needed to support COMARA's mission of keeping the COMSAT Legacy alive and paying for this year's operational expenses such as the COMARA web site. COMARA.ORG has lots of wonderful links to legacy materials, membership contact data, and retiree benefits information.

If you cannot remember whether or not you are already paid up, you can check your dues status by signing in to COMARA.ORG and seeing if the text at the top left side next to your name says "Dues paid in current year" or "Future dues paid".
For the 600 of you are not already paid up, please mail your dues check of $15 for 1 year or better yet $30 for 2 years to:

PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827

Don't forget you can also pay your dues via the PayPal link at the bottom of the COMARA home page.

Your membership dues status is shown at the top of our Home Page after you sign in. If you have already paid your 2017 membership dues, thank you for your support. If you have not yet paid your 2017 membership dues of $15 per year, please send a check to COMARA using our PO Box or use PayPal. Better yet, please send in $30 for both your 2017 and 2018 membership dues.
PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827
Pay with PayPal
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Board of Directors
  • Denis Curtin - 2014
  • Dan DiFonzo - 2014
  • Bob Kinzie - 2014
  • Peter Jacxsens - 2015
  • David Lee - 2015
  • Maury Mechanick - 2015
  • Fred Kelly - 2016
  • Geza Serenyi - 2016
  • Ron Johnson - 2016
  • Maury Mechanick - President
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  • Geza Serenyi - Treasurer
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