Total Eclipse of the Heartland


While many Americans couldn’t name the 9 planets of our solar system (yes, Pluto will forever be a planet to me!), that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a good eclipse.  The midday darkness coming Monday — “The Great American Solar Eclipse” as it’s being marketed, is the first in my memory to have a title.  First we named hurricanes, then Weather Channel boosted ratings by naming winter storms, by next year they’ll be naming rain showers.  

Total Eclipse of the Heartland

The path of totality (complete blackout) runs from Oregon through South Carolina. The rest of us will still experience it but with less darkness. The fact the media is even covering this eclipse is amazing, given that it’s not happening in Washington D.C. or New York.  

Speaking of the Media 

Contrary to what you’ll likely hear on CNN, the dark sky on August 21 is not Donald Trump’s fault, nor is it to be blamed on the Russians.

I Saw The Not So Great Eclipse of ‘79

The last total solar eclipse to cross mainland USA was back in the old days — before they were branded occurrences. In school we cut squares in cardboard to allow viewing the sun on poster board without risk of eye damage. It was a complete failure. Being a practical 4th grader, I’d foreseen problems with my Origami science project and had the farm’s welding mask as a backup. 

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Locales along the path of totality are reporting brisk tourist business. I don’t like to travel unless I’m being paid. And I sure as heck wouldn’t travel to see a black sky. I’m from northern Indiana where the sun goes away around Halloween and we don’t see it again ’til Memorial Day!   

How Long?   

According to NASA — and they gave us Tang, so you should trust them — Carbondale, Illinois will have the longest blackout at 2 minutes 43 seconds. Solar Eclipse Seekers are exerting tremendous time and effort for less than 3 minutes of pleasure? Admittedly, we’ve all been guilty of this.  

Planning Your Great American Meeting? 

Putting on a successful event is like viewing the solar eclipse: you want it to be memorable and you can’t redo it. That’s why you should book Damian Mason. He’s a proven veteran of the stage, eclipsing nearly 2,000 presentations everywhere under the sun. His programs are informational, inspirational, and entertaining.