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Imagine you're the great-great grandchild of Griffith Observatory founder Colonel Griffith J. Griffith. Walking around the park must be a real trip, right?


"You might think that would make you feel important but it's actually humbling," says Morgan Griffith. "I think about my great-great grandfather and the huge contribution he made to the City of Los Angeles, and I think that gives our family something to live up to."


One way she carries out that legacy is through continued involvement with the Observatory -- even though Griffith currently lives halfway across the country. She visits when she can.


"I was at the Observatory when it closed for renovation," says Griffith. "In fact, I spoke at the closing ceremony about how when I was a child, without really fully understanding everything it offered, seeing the excitement of others and knowing my family helped that happen was really touching."


Meanwhile, as a member of FOTO, Griffith keeps up with news of Griffith Observatory's makeover. FOTO played key roles not only in obtaining funding but in the redesign and expansion planning process. And as the re-opening approaches, members can continue to have an impact.


"It's really important to get the word out on what's new at Griffith Observatory," Griffith says. "Members can do that with their support both financially and in other ways, by creating an interest in it again when it reopens."


"The long-time fans come regardless. FOTO can bring in new visitors and help attract a new audience."


Griffith says she was about 10 when she first understood the impact Griffith Observatory had on the community.


"I used to visit every year with my elementary school class. At one of the anniversary celebrations I began to realize just how much it means to people, not only because so many came out that day but from the stories they shared."


Seemingly as community-minded as her revered ancestor, Griffith appreciates Griffith Observatory's place in the Los Angeles scene.


"It's unique in that it brings so many people from all walks of life together," she says. "Not only in terms of different events, or because it's such a recognizable landmark for the city -- but because our universe is so huge and there is so much to learn. Having Griffith Observatory there as a free learning resource for the community is incredibly important."


And Griffith plans to be part of her family legacy's next phase.


"I want Griffith Observatory to bring that experience to many more generations," she says, "and I will be there when it reopens."

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2019-09-16: Cosmic Musings - 2019-09 - Carnegie
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