Jim's Greatest Hits!

How does one make a list of the best astronomical memories of one's lifetime? Simple - make a list of everything, then throw out the ones that don't fit. (?!?)
The first step was to peruse my journals, looking for the highlight objects and events in my astronomy life. Trouble is, my journal effectively started in 1988, long after several top-notch events had taken place! Furthermore, computer crashes and simple neglect have resulted in plenty of gaps where records should be, so I can only hope that no major events have slipped through the widening cracks of my memory. With those caveats, here is what amounts to a top eighteen, in chronological order:

1970: comet Bennett - naked-eye and binoculars
1979: solar eclipse from Pine Grove
Apr 1989: first Virgo/Coma traverse, (10")
Jun 1989: 'best meteor ever', 30-inch telescope views
Jul 1989: Saturn and 28 Sgr, ten solar-system objects, noctilucent clouds
Mar 1990: Messier Marathon: 101 objects (10")
May 1990: 18-hour old moon
Jun 1990: incredible night with homemade mirror (6")
Aug 1991: five excellent hours at OSP Steens (14")
Jul 1994: Jupiter and comet S/L 9 (8")
Oct 1995: Klondike site discovered
Mar 1996: comet Hyakutake
Mar 1997: comet Hale-Bopp
Aug 1997: Oregon Star Party with refigured 22"
Mar 1998: Messier Marathon: 97 objects with 70mm binoculars!
Nov 1999: Mercury solar transit (90mm)
Nov 1999: Leonids & digital camera; new 'best ever'?
Nov 2001: Leonids - two more 'best ever's?

This leaves three comets, two eclipses, several instruments, several solar-system specials, and a few special events. Allow me to prune some more and sort this out!

1996: comet Hyakutake
1997: comet Hale-Bopp

1979: solar eclipse from Pine Grove
1989: 'best meteor ever', 30-inch telescope views
2001: Leonids - two more 'best ever's?

1989: Saturn and 28 Sgr, ten sol-sys objects, noctilucent clouds
1994: Jupiter and comet S/L 9
1999: Mercury transit

1989: first Virgo/Coma traverse
1990: Messier Marathon: 101 objects
1990: perfect night with 6-inch

How does one break down these events into comparable units? Any method will produce controversy, so how about giving out awards based on time-span? NOW we can make some decisions!

Wow.
The winner, by a head, is comet Hyakutake 1996b2. If you saw it from a dark site, you know.