The History of Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society

To commemorate CVAS's 25th anniversary in 1988, club co-founder Tony Mallama wrote a short history about the club.  While most of this web site focuses on recent activities, Tony's story takes us back to the days of CVAS's founding in 1963 before the advent of home computing, large amateur telescopes, CCD cameras and the technology that is able to present this work to you.   Tony and club co-founder George Gliba were eager teenagers with a passion for astronomy and to spread that knowledge and enthusiasm throughout their community. 

The story is written in eight chapters, you can start the journey below. 


WE OBSERVE by Anthony Mallama


Last summer, as the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society entered its twenty-fifth year, I recommended that the club set down two records of its history. The first record is a series of audio taped interviews with some of the club's most historically influential members. In order to encourage candidness, I offered each interviewee ten years of privacy before the tapes might be replayed in public. The interviews with Kim Aebi, Doug Caprette, Ian Cooper, George Gliba, Al Havrilla, Dennis Jefferson, Bruce Krobusek, Tom Quesinberry, Dan Reiner, and Dan Rothstein may be of interest to future club members during the thirty-fifth anniversary year and beyond. 

The information from these interviews was crucial to the second record of the club's history, which is this text. I recall the first few years of the club's existence from my own participation. However, there have been many years between then and now when I have been out of the Cleveland area and only remained in contact by letters, telephone calls, and visits. Thus, the information in the interviews filled in long gaps. 

I found the historical research for this book to be an adventure. I read as many old Valley Skywatcher articles as I could find. I played and re-played the tapes, searching for threads that tied the little club of 1963 to the larger one of 1988.

I think I have succeeded in that, and I believe the book is an accurate portrayal of the process by which the club came to be what it is today. 

This volume was created primarily for entertainment. However, it may also be useful as a source book or idea book. Someone who desires to improve the club or to try a new project may find a few good ideas on these pages. 

The club history was written in a way that I hope will please the people who are in it. I have concentrated on the many club achievements and downplayed the mistakes. I adopted the adage that "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I've left out anything I considered unscrupulous. What is left is the good stuff of amateur astronomy. 

Tom Quesinberry reviewed and proofread the text. Kim Aebi did the drafting. 

Anthony Mallama

January 1988


The next chapter: Youthful Enthusiasm