Get your solar eclipse play by play here

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Editor’s note: Lowell’s column this week is an accounting of Monday’s total solar eclipse from Atmore.
Well, here it is Monday the day I always write my weekly column for The Atmore Advance.

But, today things are a little bit different. First of all, I have delayed the start of the column a few hours because I am waiting on the arrival of the total solar eclipse. However, for us it will only be partial in nature.

I wanted to do a “play by play account” as the event unfolded, taking time out along the way to describe that which would be occurring. In fact, I expected it to take about three hours to write the column.

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But, right now I am totally disappointed. I was led to believe things would become totally dark. But that is not the case.

Exactly what is this eclipse? It can best be described from an Internet source.

“A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun as seen from a location on Earth. During a solar eclipse, it gets dimer and dimmer outside as more and more of the sun is covered by the moon. During a total eclipse, the entire sun is covered for a few minutes and it becomes very dark outside. The temperature outside also drops.”

So now that we know many factors involved in the event, let me tell you how I planned to watch it.

According to TV reports, the eclipse was only 30 minutes away. Yet it is still very light. I will have time to set up in my snug office in my home getting my Internet lines cleared to send up my writings to The Advance main office. I have a good view of the heavens above through my office window. I have my protective glasses ready. And I have a hefty ham, tomato and lettuce sandwich with an ice cool glass of Pepsi ready to consume.

The sky is still light over Atmore.

(Thirty-minute time lapse) Now it begins. I can see partial blockage and a slight decrease of sunlight. But not total darkness. (Time lapse) I notice a few vehicles have parked along the street in front of my home. I can see folks sitting in the vehicles. I am sure they will be getting out so they can get a good view of it. A couple of them are wearing dark glasses.

It is getting a little bit darker. I expected to hear our cat scratching at the front door. He always does this at night letting us know it is time for him to come. He is really being fooled right now.

I can see the TV from my office and Fox 10 doing a play by play account. No way do I tune to that anti-Trump reporter, Shep Smith, on Fox News now. A loud sounding motorcyclist has just stopped along the street. I cannot hear my TV. I wish he would leave.

He just left. I think some viewers yelled at him to shut it down…

It’s still light outside. Do I hear Bryan and Farrah’s kids in the pool next door? I guess they are excited about what should be taking place. Their dog Beautovin is barking up a storm. He is easily spooked.

The TV says we are in full eclipse in our area. But, where is the darkness? Where is the awe that was reported to surround the event?

That partial eclipse I witnessed in 1984 up in eastern Kentucky was nothing like what is going on now…WOW…It got real dark up there.

I witnessed that eclipse as I drove through the mountains from Pikeville to Williamson, W.V. when everything went dark. I will never forget a sign along that highway near the Tug River. Cannot remember the exact wording, but it reminded us this was that section of land between these two states that the Hatfields and the McCoys fired bullets at each other on each side of the Tug river.

I am still waiting for it to get dark. The phone is ringing. Whitney and Mandy are calling us at almost the same time wanting to make sure Ouida and I are OK. I told them nothing has occurred that would frighten us. They said the same in their area.

Boy, that sandwich sure tasted good.

Oh yes, the eclipse is unraveling as fast now as it occurred at the offset. Yes, daylight is now upon us.

I suppose it is all over. Must get up and let Alex, our cat, out. He is scratching at the door. Bet he is wondering “why such a short night?”

It will be a long time before another one occurs.

Again, such a huge disappointment.

Be back with again next week for more nostalgia accounts from events and people of the yesteryears.