Just another sunny day
As the moon made its transit across most of the sun, dozens of Claremonters camped out in the library parking lot to watch it happen.
Southern California wasn’t lucky enough to experience a total eclipse of the sun, but that didn’t stop residents of all ages from spending time outside to watch the once-in-a-lifetime moment occur.
The library was fully equipped for the viewing party, setting up chairs on the sidewalk, handing out free eclipse glasses and even offering up a live stream of the total solar eclipse on a projector screen inside.
Amy Crow, the director of the Claremont Library, said they had the date of the eclipse on their calendar since March, but in the last couple of weeks the event began to swell in popularity. The library gave out 300 eclipse glasses to amateur astronomers of all ages.
Lonna Meagher and her 5-year-old son, Luke, were on hand to witness the cosmic event. When asked how he felt about the eclipse, young Luke could barely contain his excitement, holding up coloring book worksheets that taught him the difference between a partial eclipse and a total eclipse.
Patty Bowman, a friend of the Meaghers, noted the library event was a great opportunity to teach children about it.
“I’m so glad they have this event, the kids are learning about it,” Ms. Bowman said.
Frances Najera and her two kids, 5-year-old Cassandra and 2-year-old Enrico, were also on hand to watch the moon pass in front of the sun. Ms. Najera noted the library was out of glasses by the time they arrived, but other viewers let them borrow theirs.
“I liked it, the moon was small,” Cassandra said. “I never saw it before.”
In addition to the eclipse glasses, some viewers made their own makeshift viewing devices out of paper plates and boxes. Larry Tungate, who is visiting Claremont from Indianapolis, Indiana, made a viewing device out of tin foil and a box of Honey Nut Cheerios for his granddaughter.
He likened the event to two other cosmic phenomena he experienced in his lifetime—Haley’s Comet and Hale-Bopp.
Howard Maculsay, a Claremont resident and a member of the Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers, brought out his telescope-like viewing device, called a Sun Funnel, for the public to use. The Sun Funnel uses a funnel and a screen material to project an image of the eclipse without having to look into the sky.
“The fun part is seeing the kids,” he said. “They all light up.”
Grace Rivera, 83, had a more philosophical approach to the solar eclipse. She hoped that in the span between today and the next solar eclipse, the world would be in a better place.
“I just want our world to be at peace. I pray and I hope for it every day,” she said.
She noted it was wonderful for the library to allow people to enjoy “god’a natural wonder.”
“It’s just beautiful seeing all the children here,” Ms. Rivera said. “That’s our future.”