Leila Case: It was a celestial phenomenon

Published 1:56 pm Saturday, August 26, 2017

Did you watch the eclipse last Monday afternoon? We did and didn’t leave home — we just walked out into the backyard and had a wonderful view of the moon sliding past the sun. It was an amazing spectacle and wonder to behold. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me. Of course, the eclipse did not reach totality here, but I thought we were extremely fortunate to have slightly less than 92 percent coverage.
What made the occasion more special is that son Mark wanted to share the experience with us and stopped by. John Barrett joined us, too. Mark and I each had a pair of NASA-approved safety glasses. I bought mine from Furlow Charter School and his came from the Crisp County school system where Anne Barrett teaches; we shared with the others.
Just for fun, we exchanged glasses to see how the eclipse looked through different lenses and we were surprised to discover the crescent shaped sun was a different color — gold through Mark’s lenses — white through mine. Another aspect we didn’t expect were the crescent-shaped shadows the eclipse made on the pavement as light filtered through the shade of the trees.
Also, throughout the entire eclipse (an hour and a half here), everything grew quiet and still outside. There was not a squirrel in sight running helter skelter or birds chirping. The fading light must have confused them into thinking it was quitting time.
Monday’s eclipse is now history, but we’ll talk about the phenomenon for years to come. I feel so blessed to have seen it because I don’t remember watching the 1979 eclipse at all. Hopefully, I’ll still be six feet above when the next one rolls around in 2024.
While we stayed home, others journeyed to North Georgia.
Mike Saliba and his son-in-law, Beau Bruce of Marietta, drove to Clayton Monday arriving in time to enjoy a delicious lunch at Rumor Hazit, sitting on the deck waiting for the eclipse. Unfortunately, clouds rolled in just a few minutes before totality, but all was not lost.
They jumped in the car and drove south where the sky was clear and they saw the total eclipse for the full period of more than two minutes. Mike said he had never been more amazed at a natural event and it was absolutely beautiful to see the corona with his naked eyes. Mike’s daughter, Angie, couldn’t join them because she is a school counselor in Cobb County and reported only 51 students out of 1,200 attended school Monday.
Paul and Linda Degelman and David and June Ewing spent the day at the home of friends in Cashiers, North Carolina, along with other guests, including Malcolm and Phyllis Argo and Mary Urda of Decatur, formerly of Americus. David set up his big telescope so that a clear image of the eclipse could be projected on a canvas and observed safely without glasses. However, like Mike, there was cloud cover that hid the images from view. Then, as predicted, the temperature dropped and day quickly turned to dusk; then light gradually returned and the clouds parted in time to see the eclipse in reverse over the next hour.
Also in Cashiers this week were long-time friends Judy Tott, Betty Hewitt of St. Simons, JoAnn Pope, Ann Harris, Bobbie Duncan, Virginia Watson, and Mara Durham, going especially to celebrate Judy’s birthday. JoAnn said they watched the eclipse in their neighborhood and it was spectacular. Other highlights include visiting with Jane Sullivan at her condo as well as with former resident Pamela Stepp, dining out and shopping. Sounds fun to me. Oh, while they were in the mountains the guys were in St. Simons at the beach home of Bill Harris Sr.
And my granddaughter Caroline Herndon of Americus watched the eclipse in Clayton with her brother and wife, Zachary and Jessi Herndon, and baby Lachlan, of Atlanta, at the summer home of Jessi’s family.
We have more to shout about this week. Our grandson Beau Barrett is now a Certified Public Accountant having passed all four parts of the tough CPA exam. We, of course, are proud as punch. He is with the Macon firm of McNair, McLemore and Middlebrooks & Co. LLC. Beau is the oldest son of my Mark and Anne Barrett of Leslie and grandson of Carole Zabadah Brown. I’m very blessed to have watched him grow up, take him to golf, tennis and swim lessons, cheer as he received his Eagle Scout Award, graduate from Crisp County High School, walk across the stage at Georgia Southwestern to receive the bachelor of science in business and earn the master’s degree in business accounting from Georgia Southern.
Congratulations to grandson, Aaron Shivers and his wife Brook, of Leesburg, who welcomed baby daughter, Lydia Rose Shivers, into their family. She was born last Friday at Phoebe Main, Albany, and joins her brother, Reid Shivers, 21 months.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.