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By John I. Blair

For James E. Hesser, astronomer,
On having an asteroid named in his honor

When we were kids together
In the 50s back in Wichita
If I’d said there’d be an asteroid
Named for you some day
(In the 21st century no less)
We’d both have laughed;
But maybe I’d have laughed longer,
Because you had a fire in your belly
Even then.

I could talk like a stargazer—
Words were always my strong suit—
But I was never ready to do the work,
Never ready to do more than
Taking a class, reading a book,
Indulging my yen.

You, however, would work for hours,
Days, weeks, and ultimately years,
Following your star, so to speak.

Edison once said something clever
About the perspiration factor in genius;
But whatever numbers one puts on genius,
You have it, my friend,
And it warms my heart
To have known you when.

©2002 John I. Blair

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