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Total Eclipse at the BAB

August 22, 2017
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We had an Eclipse Roof Party! It wasn’t something we put any planning into, but the roof ended up being a terrific place to view the event. The sky was magically clear, the cool breezes and shade from the ‘Pain in the’ Ash tree made for a pleasant place to camp out.

Tom wrote:


A few months ago, when I first learned that our building was going to be in the totality path, I didn’t think much of it. When Sue said, “We should have a roof party!”, I told her “What’s the big deal? Won’t it look the same from any street corner in the neighborhood?” So, my expectations were low. I figured I would go to work like any normal Monday, and if my day wasn’t too busy, I’d take a late lunch, drive home in time to catch the minute-plus of totality, then back to my desk for my regular grind.

I was so wrong.

Fortunately, friends stepped in.

We hauled up some chairs, coolers, milk crate tables (those milk crates) and set up a picnic in the shade

I don’t even know where to start. There were so many unexpected treats – the eclipse-shaped spots of sunlight, the “banana sun”, the thin crescents… the weird dim light.

The eclipsed sun shapes through the leaves

All of this was slowly building anticipation to the main event. There was the “diamond ring” just before total eclipse. The cooling of the air. And that totality itself… that was just, crazy, right? I mean, to be able to look up at the sun, the same sun that we’ve seen since we were toddlers and told to not look at, and be able to look up and see it with a giant black circle over it? And we were so lucky to see the phenomena of the “snakes” or shadow bands immediately after totality. Apparently, our bright white roof was instrumental in their clear visibility. And fortunately for us, all of those things repeated in reverse!

360 ‘sunset’ visible in all directions

But then of course, we had our friends’ presence. I think my previously imagined “lunch break” visit to the roof would have been exponentially different. A day like today makes a usually introverted and sometimes anti-social person like me thankful for the companionship of good friends, multiplied by the cosmological events of today.

On reflection, having gone out to a nice dinner the night before, and everything eclipse-y from today, I said to Sue after our guests left: “The last 24 hours has felt like a stay-cation!”


Thanks to our roof buddies Marc & Susan, Alan & Dick (who took the train from Chicago just for today) for making us stop and enjoy a unique spectacle like this! It was amazing.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Maurine Pruchnicki permalink
    August 23, 2017 9:37 am

    Just as your sky opened up, contrary to prediction, ours clouded over at the last minute. We did feel the slight cooling and semi-darkness, but none of the eclipse that we were promised.
    We weren’t able to get the glasses so didn’t really “look up”, but I did enjoy watching television and seeing the reaction from the crowds across the country.

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