Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Solar Eclipse

Getting to witness a complete solar eclipse is rare. When I found out a solar eclipse was coming, I researched where the path of totality was as it passed across the country. The narrow band crossed over Charleston, South Carolina. I have a sister who lives in Charleston so I gave her a call. Then I researched the best places to witness the eclipse and I found out about Joe Riley Stadium the home of the River Dogs. The stadium opened early before the game so that fans could watch the eclipse.

Pam and I found solar glasses well over a month before. We drove up to South Carolina with John Naughton and his nephew. The road trip itself was fun with a few short stops along the way, including an amazing restaurant in Savannah Georgia. My sister agreed to join us on game day to watch the eclipse. It felt good to share such a rare event with family.

I expected huge crowds approaching the stadium but parking and getting in proved effortless. Once seated, we got a few hot dogs and waited. Announcers kept track of the eclipse progress sharing video on the jumbo-tron screen. A drone hovered over the field watching the crowd and the players lounged on top of their dugout to watch as well. Hundreds of people watched the sky with their solar glasses. Some kids had built their own solar pinhole devices which projected the eclipse on a white card for viewing. The last time I witnessed a solar eclipse I was maybe 10 years old and made a similar pinhole viewer. A group of students also launched a weather balloon high above the field. Rumors circulated that Actor Bill Murray was in the crowd. A face painter was busy painting solar eclipse themes faces.

It took quite some time for the sun to completely block out the sun. When it did the stadium grew quiet. Even the birds stopped chirping. It was a reflective moment. This crowd seemed small compared to the grand scale of the universe. Gaps between leaves in the trees acted as pin hole viewers projecting crescent shaped images all over the pavement. Just as the day had grown pitch black, it slowly illuminated again. Once the sun was out, the game got under way and went on right until sunset. The sunset was glorious and golden behind the bleachers.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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