|Ed Hill, an engineer from Barrington, with his girlfriend June Mannion, a pediatrician, viewing the eclipse. “It’s bucket list,” said Hill|
CARBONDALE — As if a total eclipse of the sun weren't dramatic enough.
Or, maybe, as if a meteorological phenomenon as common as a solitary cloud could be jealous of all the attention being lavished on a rare astronomical wonder, and might try to crash the party and spoil the fun.
Or, maybe, because a struggling small town just can't catch a break in this sagging economy, and fate just couldn't wait for the eclipse to even be over before it started dampening Carbondale's sincere hopes that all this national exposure will spark lingering interest in their beautiful community, with its surrounding forests and trails.
But as the point of totality approached Tuesday, clouds gathered in to what had been sunny skies for days and threatened to wreck the Great American Eclipse, here in an area that was so proud of the length of "totality"—the time the moon would completely cover the sun so it could be looked at safely without special glasses—that it was ballyhooed on the eclipse-viewing glasses being handed out by Southern Illinois University: "2 minutes 38 seconds of darkness."
Talk about hubris. People came here and not other places in the country so they could view totality a few seconds longer. And now it looked like they wouldn't be able to see it at all.
At about 12:30 the waning sun, an ever-larger bite being taken out of its right side, was obscured by a rogue cloud, with an even bigger gray barge of a cumulus-nimbus waiting in the wings. There wasn't wind enough to ...
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|An eerie darkness fell during totality.|