Monday, December 17, 2012

"The endless vista of stars..."

The William Miller Sperry Observatory
Cranford, New Jersey
"Jeffrey would race upstairs, and hide out in his room for the rest of the night. He'd spend countless hours building his own telescopes from scratch, studying constellations and poring over books about the universe...anything to escape from the grim reality that festered downstairs.  As he tinkered with his telescope parts, he'd slip on his headphones and turn up The Ramones full blast to drown out the sounds of his wasted father yelling, sobbing and breaking dishes in a drunken rage.  Jeffrey would gaze out his bedroom window at the endless vista of stars and daydream about visiting space - where he imagined it must be peaceful, silent and completely safe from raving alcoholic lunatics."

-Quote from The Kabrini Message regarding main character, Jeffrey Driscoll.  

To be clear, the above refers to the background and childhood of main character, Jeffrey Driscoll...not Author, J.R. Egles.

Jeffrey Driscoll had a loving mother, but a "drunken bastard" of a father.  Author J.R. Egles was blessed to have two loving parents, Marie and Bob Egles.  In fact, as mentioned in the Author's Bio previously posted, when Joe built his own telescope, it was his Dad who helped him permanently install it in their back yard by pouring concrete and setting it into a base.

But although their families differ considerably, there are definite similarities between Jeffrey and Joe.  They both "built their own telescopes from scratch", loved studying constellations since childhood and spent their teen and young adult years "hanging out" at the observatory.

In the book, Jeffrey attends Princeton University on an astronomy scholarship.  For the record, that would have been the Peyton Observatory at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.  You can check out Jeffrey's observatory by clicking on this link:
Petyon Observatory at Princeton University

In "real life", Author Joe attended Union County College and frequented The William Miller Sperry Observatory in Cranford, New Jersey.  It is probable that the very inspiration for, and origin of, The Kabrini Message was the many hours Joe spent at The William Miller Sperry Observatory.  Click on this link to visit Joe's observatory:
The William Miller Sperry Observatory

In addition to clicking on the above links, you may want to make plans to actually visit one or both of these observatories in person, to check out "The endless vista of stars..." for yourself, just as Jeffrey and Joe did!