Hundreds gather at Troutman library to celebrate rare eclipse
STORY & PHOTOS BY DEBBIE PAGE
Hundreds of people gathered at the J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library on Monday afternoon to share a unique moment in earth’s history as an eclipse moved across the continental United States.
The much-anticipated event caused a run on safe viewing glasses and a long line to form 30 minutes before the library's 10 a.m. opening to secure a free pair.
The kids in attendance enjoyed making “galaxy slime” prior to the 2:41 p.m. near-totality eclipse. The mixture of glue, baking soda, saline solution, and blue or purple paint stirred up to a stretchy, plastic-like goo that they enjoyed creating.
As the eclipse cast darkening shadows on Troutman, parents carefully monitored their children as they strapped on the cardboard viewing glasses and repeatedly warned them not to look up without the glasses over their eyes.
Others brought homemade contraptions made of cereal boxes or long mailing tubes or sported dark welding goggles to view the celestial event. Folks brought their lawn chairs and blankets and spread out across the library grounds with family and friends, expressing wonder at the celestial display.
Three Troutman police officers also mingled with the crowd enjoying the event.
The Cowan family came with grandchildren in tow for the big event. Karen Cowan was “excited to be a part of history” and to share the moment with her grandchildren.
Lakia Feimster remembered her great-grandmother talking about an eclipse that she experienced as a teenager and was interested in also being involved in the experience.
Mike Tucker and his wife Kyle were also thrilled to be a part of the day's festivities. “This is the event of the century, so to speak, and an opportunity to see something that we’ve never seen before.”
“One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 19:1: ‘The heavens declare the glory of God,’ and we’re going to see that today!” Kyle said.
Iredell Charter School student Darron Kennedy left school early to come with his family to see the eclipse. Though he only likes science sometimes, he was looking forward to seeing the near total eclipse in person.
Branch manager Rebecca Lopez was pleased with the turnout and the crowd's enthusiasm. The phone has been ringing off the hook for over a week with eclipse questions and requests for glasses, she said.