DO THE STAR HUSTLE: Looking Up To Jack Horkheimer



Have you ever heard of the man that hustles stars?


Night after night, I gladly forfeited sleep and endured any late night show PBS could throw at me. It was worth it, as I knew I’d hear my favorite electro-whistle rendition of Debussy’s Arabesque #1 before the star-spangled banner would end the day’s programming.  Jack Horkheimer’s Star Hustler was my cosmic lullabye for many wonderful years.

For most Floridian jits my age back then, Walt Disney World would be the obvious dream destination choice.  For me, however, it was unquestionably the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.  That just goes to show you how much Jack was a great ambassador of the astronomy community.  So much so that he started his career as a volunteer and ended up running the museum, making it more profitable and entertaining.

Personally, I hold Jack’s legacy as high as other public television legends, as he was Carl Sagan straight outta Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  In an oration style similar to Stan Lee, Jack heroically catalogued the viewable universe for the viewing audience with boundless enthusiasm. Somehow, he made staring up into space appear light years ahead of any game system out at the time. Perched on planetary rings, Jack would bring the heavens into our homes and into our imagination.  When it came to once-in-a-lifetime astronomical events, nobody could rally the troops like Jack:



Here’s to you, Horky.  Rest in space.



Did Jack Horkheimer inspire you as much as he did me?
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