I am Michael Overacker. I am a retired professional firefighter and fire officer with 24 years of service. In 1975, I became a professional photographer, which I still am today. I started my professional photography business, Decent Exposure Photographics, in 1979. In 2019, my business celebrates its 40th year anniversary. I am also a Luthier (Guitar Builder), musician, and disc sports enthusiast.
I bought my first Meade optic in 1975. It is a Meade Model 1020, 102mm SCT telephoto lens. I still use this lens today, even though it was submerged in floodwaters in 1985 for two days. When I retrieved it out of the caked mud, I rinsed it off, set out to dry, and reassembled it. It is still working. Other Meade products that I have owned include an 8” LX200 Classic, a 10” LX200 Classic, a Meade 127mm refractor on an LXD55 mount, a Meade 8” LX200 Classic OTA with gold coated optics, Meade MWA 5mm, 10mm, and 21mm eyepieces, a Meade XWA 14mm Eyepiece, a DS2000 mount, dozens of Meade Plossl eyepieces, a Coronado PST, a Coronado PST CaK, and an assortment of Meade digital cameras.
Most of my astronomy is dedicated to outreach, although I do astrophotography as well. I helped with the installation of telescopes and equipment at the University of Lynchburg Belk Observatory, and assisted in running the astronomy outreach programs at the observatory. I am an Astronomical League Master Observer and an Astronomical League Master of Outreach. I have run an Astronomy Outreach Program called Mobile Astronomy Outreach since 2004, with over 225 outreach programs to over 11,000 people. I have an Astronomy Mobile Outreach Vehicle (AMOV) that I use to transport all needed telescopes and associated equipment to outreach programs in the area. It is a very successful nationally and internationally recognized program. I am also the webmaster of the Meade LX200 Classic website (www.lx200classic.com) that many people use to help repair and maintain their Meade LX200 Classic and Meade LX200 GPS telescopes.
I hope to continue to present astronomy outreach programs for many years to come, and expose Meade products to outreach attendees.