Tag Archives: eclipse

August 21: The great American Eclipse…um ‘Foodfight’

With sorrow and a bit of embarrassment I officially announce the death of my Dream: to watch the up-coming total solar eclipse in person.
In fairness, fantasies have their value, even if never fulfilled. So at least there’s that..
My ‘plan’ was to fly to the Untied Snakes (Philadelphia), gas and oil my ’91 Subaru stored out in the barn for 23 years, (last run 5 years ago), buy a few road maps, and drive south to, oh, Kentucky. Find some deserted spot to park, watch my watch and the Sun, and quietly enjoy the spectacle.
Several cold hard facts, compounded by credible rumours, (please do read the excellent Wash Post article linked below; she might have written it for me specifically) have awakened my inner Rip Van Winkle’s reverie.
Transatlantic airline flight-price high-season;  6000 shekels, individually extracted from anal-retentive Israelis, would be required, merely in order to find myself trapped like an automotive rat on the freeways and byways (impromptu parking lots?) toward my destination. With a better than 50% chance of staring at the underside of a cloud bank during the big event, cursing my fate.
I still recall considering turning around on the grid-locked 2-lane road to the Woodstock festival. Half a million ‘Sears- ‘poof, yer a hippie’ impostors flashing peace signs. This new-version ‘event-of-a-lifetime’ promises a 50X volume of traffic, and without even Jimi Hendrix. I am, of course in favour of public awareness of celestial events, and applaud anyone deciding to weather the anguish to see ’em.
 More prosaic concerns include” Who’ll feed my cats, water my crops? And I’d need to buy a new pair of shoes, buy dollars for incidental expenses, sit inside airplanes for 14 hours without a smoke break or a beer, and worry myself silly about whether I’d left the gas on.
On the other hand…um… ‘I have different fingers’. No, seriously, what to tell the grand-kids?

“Yeah, I missed it. Couldn’t get it together. Life wuz tough back in those days. Go look it up on YouTube.”

So there. Carly Simon’s embarrassed to even know me. Not ‘vain’ enough to be worth a song. Back when I was a success-story, I’d have walked, uphill both ways, a hundred miles… for a partial Lunar eclipse!
Only consolation, other than the unspent 6K shekels, is that ‘Angela’ will understand. I’ll always love her for the critical heads-up in her article. I count of the kindness of strangers lately to save me from my fantasies. Read it yourself: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/07/25/no-firm-travel-plans-for-the-solar-eclipse-heres-what-to-expect-if-you-wing-it/?utm_term=.ac0fe9fa2d95.

Oh, and NASA’s live TV link is here: https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive




Total eclipse of the memory

 Lets just start with what I do remember:
Huntingdon, PA. The later stages of my truncated college career. We were there at my bass-player’s ram-shackle farm-house to ‘rehearse’, or party, or something. And as odd as it may sound in this day and age, none of us expected or anticipated the Sun’s ‘umbration’.!
We dropped the acid mid-morning, I’m assuming. That’d explain a few way-points. A brief kissing/melting episode with Roger William’s little sister, gorgeous but troubled, and he didn’t mind. (I later saved her from two suicide attempts, and ‘woke’ her from catatonia with one magical kiss.)
Ok, it was early Spring. That much I knew before Googling. (the point of this essay). Melting snow patches made it hard to find a place on the lawn to lie down.
We all noticed the ‘bite out of the Sun’.
‘It’s getting worse’, Barry Grubb, the stocky bass-player, not much of an astro-physicist, told us.
“It’s a sign!”, he added.
“Of what, that our studio demo’s been accidentally erased?” I think I might have replied. Or, who knows, simply thought to say, not certain by that point that emitting vocal sounds conveyed,’ like, information, man.’
And yes, it did ‘get worse’. Darkness, a cool breeze suddenly, and a feeling of ‘apex-ness’… or ‘nadir-ness.
We survived. And today with the wonders of the net, I’d give my hard-drive to be able to compare experiences with the gang back then. With whom I’ve been out of touch since our exciting but debilitating ‘house-band’ gig at a club a block away from Niagara Falls, NY. Yes, another excuse to do the Owsley, with mega-tons of water powerfully showing what Nature is all about.
Long story, guy; what’s the point?
I’m hoping that anyone with a pulse already knows to cancel all calls on August 21. The track of totality in this next eclipse stretches from sea to shining sea, as if God Himself decided on a one-day reprieve from the Fear and Loathing of the Drumpf catastrophe.

And, equally germane:
I had sadly given up on ever remembering even the year of this event. Now, thank WIKI, I have a date,and even an hour. Yes, March 9th, 1971. Not that this factoid nails down who I was, what I believed in, or a myriad of other relevant questions a grown man ought to be able to answer. Forty-six years later (?)
Seriously, what was I wearing? In whose car did I get there? Did we have snacks? What was Ms. ‘Sweet-Sixteen’ wearing? (yellow and green sun-dress. Stored elsewhere in the ‘Libido file’, thank god)
And the general Question, to conclude, is perhaps:
“What should we know, and for how long should we know it?”
I do use Google to track my path in life. More and more. Anyone else reduced to that?