August 21, 2017

The Great American Total Eclipse and My Dad

In 1970, the Clemson University Physics and Astronomy Departments traveled to Lake City, SC to observe a total eclipse.  They brought their families and turned it into an event that I've never forgotten. My dad was the head of the Physics Department at the time.

My Dad, Henry E. Vogel


Today's eclipse brings back bittersweet memories, but I'm experiencing another element of emotions this time around. Today is the 12th anniversary of the day my dad passed away. It's only fitting that this is the day of the Great American Total Eclipse of 2017.

I tried to cut a video clip of this day from a family movies DVD, but I ended up (due to technical difficulties of the 6-year-old and 10-year-old variety) giving up.  (Addendum:  I was able to capture the video and the link is at the bottom of this post.)

My memories of this day in 1970 consist of being severely warned not to look at the eclipse without the special films created for this purpose. I, also, recall that the youngest children wore eye patches to protect at least one eye in case they didn't fully understand and looked at the wrong time.  As one of the numerous kids, we ran around playing, but I do remember the "twilight" setting in.

Here are two images I photographed off of the TV while locating the clip.  The white spots are not stars, but dust on the camera lens.






Meanwhile, my two technical difficulties and I are going to go enjoy this event.

Love you Dad. I know you would have loved that today the eclipse is in full totality over Clemson, and thousands of people will be gathering on campus just a few hundred yards from your old office in order to view it.

Addendum:
I finally managed to pull the clip (after we enjoyed the 2017 eclipse)!  Here it is:  Total Eclipse 1970

And here are a few images from today.






2 comments:

Gary said...

Your "2 technical difficulties..." That's funny. I thought you were going to talk about the total eclipse of your dad.

Barbara V. Evers said...

Gary, to some degree I did talk about Dad and the eclipse. BUT my two technical difficulties Made it hard to stick to the original plan for this post! Hope you enjoyed it.