I bought my first telescope, a Unitron 2.4 inch refractor for about $120 back in the early 1960s. As a struggling college student at Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin, I had to pay it off in twelve installments. It survived the long trip to Barrow in 1985 and has been my basic scope for arctic stargazing ever since.
The first time I went out on the ice during whaling season in Barrow was in the spring of 1973. I’d barely been there for six months and, as a recently transplanted New Yorker, was blissfully ignorant of any danger that didn’t involve derelicts with squeegees.