Eclipse brings local, visiting viewers together

Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:33 am



People from all over the world gathered in hot spots across the nation Monday to view the first coast to coast total solar eclipse in nearly a hundred years.

Although Albany and Clinton County was just outside the range that was to view “totality” of the moon’s blockage of the sun, the event created plenty of excitement here as well as plenty of visitors.

Reports to the Clinton County Tourism Commission last week were that all lodging units in the county – motels, cabins and lodges – were all rented for Sunday night, with visitors who were either going to view the eclipse from Clinton County or were attempting to get closer to areas where totality would occur on Monday.

One local “hot spot” for eclipse viewing Monday turned out to be the Mountain View Recreation Park, where people gathered to watch the event that occurred during nearly completely clear skies.

The Bobby Thurman family, including Bobby, Teresa, Kourtnie, Bentley and Levon, were among several local residents who were on hand at the park Monday to watch the event.

Park facilities not only offered a clear view of the eclipse from beginning to end, but also gave Bentley and Levon the chance to play a little basketball when eclipse viewing became boring for the two youngsters.

Another group of local viewers included some employees of First and Farmer’s Bank. Among that group, Kristin Hunter and Danielle Lowhorn had fashioned their eclipse viewing glasses into paper plates with decorated cartoon faces.

Another family, Shivrag, Anita and Smriti Mahendra, drove from their new home in Wilmore, Kentucky, near Lexington, to get a better view of Monday’s eclipse.

Originally from India, and recently having moved to Wilmore, the family picked Clinton County because of its proximity to both their new home and to the totality line.

Also traveling to Clinton County were Dean Williams and Mosur Ravishankar, who made the trek from Huntington, West Virginia to view the phenomenon here.

Williams said they made the trip hoping to get as close to the path of totality as possible, without trying to get into one of the more crowded hot spots such as Hopkinsville or Bowling Green.

As they drove south and the time for the beginning of the eclipse became closer, they spotted the Mountain View Park and pulled in to take advantage of the clear view.

Williams had a few extra viewing glasses he passed out to others at the park who had not been able to acquire the special protective lenses.

Schools in Clinton County were dismissed Monday for the eclipse and many local residents traveled south to areas such as Cookeville and Nashville for the viewing, while others viewed from Dale Hollow Lake and Lake Cumberland.

Many local businesses were also closed and several offices in the Clinton County Courthouse closed during the eclipse in order to give employees the opportunity to view what was billed as a “once in a lifetime” event, also referred to as “The Great American Eclipse”.

As to what to do with those funky viewing glasses used Monday to safely watch the eclipse – you could throw them into that catch-all kitchen drawer

Although Monday’s event was billed as a “once in a lifetime” eclipse, another total eclipse will occur in this region in seven years, although the path of totality will be farther from Albany than this week’s eclipse, arcing through Missouri and Indiana in its closest path to Clinton County residents.

That eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024.