by Neva Bodin
Wikipedia says an annual solar eclipse took place February 26, 2017 in South America and southwestern Africa. I saw no publicity about it. However, there is plenty of warning (information) in our fair city of Casper, Wyoming about the eclipse happening here on August 21st. Casper is in the direct path. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1979. The next one will be in 2024. The website— https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/how-often-solar-eclipse.html –is counting off the seconds, minutes, hours and days.
According to Mashable.com, NASA will life stream images of the solar eclipse. Bing images show the path and times it will be visible across the United States. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=solar+eclipse+2017&id=22D8BF2464165D466D3D141574CCFA4991BA4B33&FORM=IQFRBA
The moon will pass between the earth and the sun, obscuring the sun for a brief period and darkness will descend on a portion of the earth. Must have been scary for early peoples.
I found multiple past myths and legends that have originated from the scariness: in Vietnam a frog, in Norway a wolf, and in China a celestial dragon devoured the sun causing an eclipse; Hindu religion thought a deity’s head flew off and devoured the sun; Korean folklore suggests mythical dogs stole the sun; ancient Greeks believed there was an angry god; the Tewa tribe of New Mexico believed an angry Sun left the sky to go to a place in the underworld. Many other peoples believe there will be tragedies and disasters during an eclipse. In India, some believe food cooked during an eclipse will be poisonous. However, in Italy, people believe flowers planted during a solar eclipse will bloom with brighter colors.
One of our local journalists made known his fear in a recent column that our city would run out of beer and toilet paper during the solar eclipse. I tend to believe that. I will stock up ahead of time.
People are renting out their home for prices ranging from the area of $800 to $8000 a night we’re told. The city is wanting to know who is renting out their property and apparently have to approve/inspect it or something.
Many countries from around the world have called our airport re landing their private jets. The city managers/business people are having meetings re feeding and transporting and entertaining the sun-struck visitors. Some felt they would want limousines or fancy treatment; others felt they already had that and wanted to see the old west which many feel we still personify. I think they should transport them from the airport in a stage coach, that carries bottled water of course. A nice blend of new and old—no?
We will stay home, with plenty of beer and toilet paper, and hope the day isn’t cloudy, listen to the expected melee of the city, and jealously guard our property. Our deck should make a perfect viewing place. I have already bought the viewing spectacles.