The Southern Tier and the Solar Eclipse

The Southern Tier and the Solar EclipseImage provided by the Lions Club, who is collecting solar eclipse glasses for use by others around the world.

By Wendy Post —

We were hopeful, glasses in hand, waiting for the earth, moon and sun to align, a phenomenon that won’t take place for another 20 years. Predictions for a clear sky in early weather reports sent sightseers to areas within the direct path of the eclipse. But alas, cloud coverage dominated the scene, leaving many in darkness only for the several minutes in which the alignment occurred.

The path, which was published prior to the eclipse, showed a direct view from Jamestown to Buffalo, N.Y. and beyond. Some booked hotels in the area, while others planned eclipse events, which seemed to dominate the day.

Kathy Kenney, a Rochester, N.Y. resident, was involved in assembling an eclipse party at Innovative Field, formerly known as the Red Wing Stadium. According to Kenney, approximately 10,000 showed up, glasses in hand, to view the eclipse.

But like elsewhere, cloud coverage limited visibility, with darkness the only thing at hand.

The Southern Tier and the Solar Eclipse

Rachele Armstrong grabbed a photo on April 8 as the clouds cleared in Philadelphia, Pa., and just days after she felt the New Jersey earthquake and its aftershock. But that’s for another story. Photo credit: Rachele Armstrong.

Up further on Lake Ontario, and in the Braddock Bay area of New York, Forest Hill Restaurant opened their field and doors for a BBQ of sorts, folks gathering in golf carts, and even fireworks across a neighboring bay. But like elsewhere, the cloud coverage prevented a full view of the sun.

“People didn’t care,” said Patty Williams, a Rochester resident who travels to Owego, N.Y. often to visit family. “Everyone was having a great time, and everyone’s problems went away for a day,” said Williams.

Back in Owego, the Owego Donut & Beer Co. served Solar Eclipse donuts throughout the weekend, offering viewing glasses to those that purchased one of their culinary delights.

Restaurants around the area included specials on their menus to include eclipse burgers and moon pies, items with an eclipse connection. The radio stations were also tuned in, playing Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse”, and other popular tunes. It was all in good fun.

As for the experience, when the alignment happened and darkness shadowed the earth the animals appeared most affected, with reports of pets going to bed early and birds acting strangely. In fact, Williams told of how the seagulls came across the bay in Rochester after the solar alignment, numbering in the thousands.

“It was like something out of a movie,” said Williams.

And now that the eclipse has come and gone, some may be wondering what to do with the eclipse glasses. In a reuse effort, you can now donate them. Simply find a Lions Eyeglass Collection Box near you. Locally, a box is located next to Sweeney’s on Route 434.

The glasses will be recycled and used by people in other areas of the world, where there will be an eclipse in the next few years.

Finally, if you are looking for some eclipse photos, check the Internet; those that got a full view were quite anxious to share their shot. Until next time.


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