Appreciating Totality

Good morning and happy Eclipse Day to everyone! Well, it isn’t such a “happy” Eclipse Day here in the Pacific Northwest. Any effects from this major astronomical event will only last in Spokane for just under two hours and we won’t experience anything above 27% totality.

But I can’t complain too much. You see, I had an experience of a lifetime with the Great American Eclipse in 2017. I was working at Coastal Carolina University at the time and I was given the assignment to cover it via our university social media channels. My boss, a videographer, and I were dispatched to a tiny South Carolina town called McClellanville (population 500) that was smack dab in the path of totality.

Goofy photo of myself looking up at the sky (Thanks, Bill 😉).

Once in McClellanville, we met up with Louis Keiner, a CCU physics professor and eclipse expert. In the weeks leading up to the Great American Eclipse, Dr. Keiner provided his expertise to our campus community about what we could expect. All of the knowledge he instilled and anticipation he had planted would culminate on this particular August day.

A look at our “Coastal Crew” from the Great American Eclipse in 2017. Videographer Alexandra Morris is on the front left, University Marketing and Communication VP Bill Plate is front middle, and I am front right. Physics professor and rockstar Louis Keiner is in the back and his daughter, Emma, is wearing the red hat.

It was an experience I will never forget. As Dr. Keiner provided me with minute-by-minute commentary and full access to the incredible photos he was taking, I felt so lucky to be there. Then it happened. Totality hit and a strong mysterious feeling swept over me. During those 150 phenomenal seconds, a couple sentences did manage to register with my overwhelmed brain…

My amateur photo of the sun post-totality.

Oh, this is good. Oh, this is good.

Those repetitive sentences came from Dr. Keiner, a true kid in the candy shop moment for a man who had this event circled on his calendar for such a long time. That genuine joy was almost as good as the eclipse itself.

It was a pleasure to observe and take in the expertise of Louis Keiner.

To those who are fortunate enough to view the eclipse in totality today, I hope you have the same reaction as Louis. Enjoy this opportunity. Don’t Blink.

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