Hundreds witness the amazing phenomenon Monday Morning in Monrovia
By Susan Motander & Terry Miller
On Monday, Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse, frequently referred to as the “Great American Eclipse,” was visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. In other countries it was only visible as a partial eclipse.
In Monrovia, hundreds showed up at the library to witness the phenomenon using make-shift devices which used a pinhole to project the eclipse, as well as wearing the approved safety glasses.
One young woman, Justine Sanchez, 21, took time to share her eclipse experience with Mark Twain at Library Park. In a word, Justine said her first eclipse was “awesome.”
Another long-time Monrovian, Joel Tooley, sat by the cooling waters of the library fountain while giving the two thumbs-up viewing the eclipse which, by the way, was only partial here but nonetheless incredible.
Monday’s lunar eclipse turned into a real community event in Monrovia. The City had purchased 1000 pairs of NASA approved sunglasses and distributed them through the Library. According to one librarian, a large number were provided to Clifton Middle School and more were distributed from the desk in the days before the eclipse. On Monday the last 150 or so were given away on a first come, first service basis.
Here is where Monrovian showed their true community spirit. There was a general sharing of those glasses among the almost three hundred who turned out to watch the eclipse together as a true community. There also seemed to be a general consensus among the adult to ensure that all the children wear wearing the protective eyewear…and the children seemed to pay heed to the warnings of the adults.
There was also almost a party atmosphere. Children stared up at the sky watching the celestial phenomenon … one little girl did so while carefully hula hooping.
Several families came out together. One young mother, Carla, brought here three youngsters: David Daniel, 3, Marianne, 2, and Marcus (still in a snuggly) 3 months. Carla explained that she used to live on the border of Monrovia and Arcadia, but had moved recently to Glendora, but still came to Monrovia because of the quality of the programs at the Library. David and Marianne nodded when asked if they liked the eclipse, Marcus had no comment.
Another family, Joseph and Prim Desai with their grown daughter, Hazel (who admitted to playing hooky from work) brought a device hand made by Hazel for viewing. It seemed to present the best image of from one of the pin prick/paper devises. Proud mother Prim commented, “I think her device eclipses all the others.”
It doesn’t take a village, just a city like Monrovia.