Total solar eclipse totally lived up to the hype

061621,,,R MACAFEE...Warren...06-16-21...Tribune Chronicle/Vindicator sports editor Greg Macafee...by R. Michael Semple

When Monday started, the anticipation was building toward the total solar eclipse that was happening later that day. We had a great coverage plan for the event that spanned across both Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

Our Ed Runyan was in Lake Milton at Halliday’s Winery for its eclipse event as it was one of the only places in Mahoning County that would experience totality. Then, Dan Pompili ventured to Youngstown State University where the Rich Center was hosting an event as well. He spent time with people gathered there as they enjoyed a day of celebration with friends and family.

As far as Trumbull County goes, we had Bob Coupland at Mosquito Lake, Mason Cole in Mesopotamia and Daniel Newman at Warren G. Harding’s Mollenkopf Stadium with photographer R. Michael Semple. Chris McBride also ventured around downtown Warren speaking with local businesses and visitors that had traveled from as far away as Washington, D.C. We left no stone unturned in terms of covering the once-in-a-lifetime event as much as we possibly could. I thought we pulled it off well and what made it even better was that Mother Nature was on our side.

When I rolled out of bed around 6 a.m., it was raining outside and I was awfully pessimistic about how the day might turn out and it only seemed to get worse as I drove to work. But, as time went on the weather started turning, the sun came out — a rarity for Northeastern Ohio lately — and it turned into a perfect day for an experience that most of us will remember for a lifetime.

As you read in this space last week, I was quite skeptical about the eclipse and wasn’t sure that it would live up to the hype that surrounded it. I mean, it was being treated like a natural disaster.

“Fill your gas tanks, have paper copies of maps, charge your cellphones fully and have a plan,” is what was told by officials in our area and around the country.

I understand being prepared. I also understand that there were a lot of unknowns surrounding the eclipse. However, with nonessential county employees being given the day off, schools canceling classes or letting students out early and people spending thousands of dollars to travel and see it, I thought it was a little too much.

The total solar eclipse lived up to the hype though and the build-up to it was awfully enjoyable.

We started tracking the eclipse in the early afternoon, peeking out the window with our glasses every so often to see where it stood and how it was progressing. We also watched the national TV news coverage as the networks shared how other places around the country were experiencing it.

I could see how cool it was going to be right away as I started seeing the live feeds from locations that were in the path of the eclipse and realized that it was something that I shouldn’t have been so skeptical about. It was a neat experience, and I needed the moment to understand that.

At about 3:05, we stepped outside into the parking lot — some ventured onto the roof — of our building in Warren and gathered with our eclipse glasses. Once totality took place, I was amazed by the glow of the corona and the sight was something to see and awesome to enjoy.

But I think what hooked me the most about the eclipse was the sudden changes as the totality approached. The temperature dropped slightly and a breeze passed by, it obviously got darker and there was a very eerie feeling surrounding the event. It gave me goosebumps.

Once totality happened though, I was mesmerized by the eclipse and tried to take it all in. I took a photo or two, which didn’t turn out too great, but they were something I can always remember the moment by.

While it was awesome to experience, I don’t think I’d ever travel for another one, but if you have the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in the future, I’d fully recommend it.

Have an interesting news story? Email Greg Macafee at gmacafee@tribtoday.com.


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