Alejandro M. Chavez 

Although we only saw a partial eclipse in Southern California, those who viewed it at the Observatory at Griffith Park cheered and yelled as the eclipse reached its maximum view. People yelled loudly in unison and beat on pans with wooden spoons to scare away the mythical dragon that was “biting at the sun.”  

Everyone was in good spirits and patiently stood in line to take a look through the telescopes that gave a spectacular view of a bright white crescent sun that took on the shape of a familiar moon. We’ll have to wait until 2023 and 2024 to see partial solar eclipses in Southern California again, and much longer for a total eclipse.

Some people arrived as early as 5 a.m, and passed the time talking and making new friends. 

There were very long lines at the observatory to buy solar glasses for $2.99 and it seemed that there were enough to go around. However, some people worried they wouldn’t be available and paid much more for glasses at the bottom of the hill — $10 or more.  

“I didn’t want to take a chance, so I got here really early before the observatory even opened their gift shop and I was happy to pay the price asked by the hawkers at the bottom of the hill,” said Lucy Quintanta, a Glendale resident who said she was originally from Peru.

“I’m a senior citizen, so, who knows if I’ll be around the next time around,” she laughed. Quintana said she had a dental appointment that she was going to cancel. “I’ll have to tell a white lie when I call them,”  she said.  But then she corrected herself. “Why lie?” she asked.   

“What’s a better excuse than to say I don’t want to go to the dentist and miss what might be a once in a lifetime for me. I’ll tell them the truth. I went to see the eclipse!” 

 It was a great place to people watch. 

While staff from the observatory repeated the warning to wear proper eye protection made for viewing the eclipse, there were still those who looked at the eclipse wearing only their sun glasses. 

“That’s even worse. The sunglasses will open up your pupil and let more radiation in,” warned a member of the Observatory staff. 

But, still, some people taped several pairs of sunglasses together thinking that would be enough. One couple wearing welding masks were getting lots of attention, and there were some who tried taking a photo of the eclipse with their phone camera while holding up their sunglasses to the sun.  

One man  made the shape of a triangle with his fingers and looked up at the sun without any eye wear seemingly to capture the energy of both the sun and the moon. 

“Good luck to all of them,” noted a member of the observatory team who tried to walk around the crowd telling people not to stare at the sun for too long even if you had on protective eyewear.

Millions around the world were captivated, and this “Great American Eclipse” was said to be the most observed and most photographed eclipse in history. If you missed it, you have some time to save for an airline ticket.  You’ll have another chance on July 2, 2019, when it crosses Chile and Argentina.  you missed it, you have some time to save for an airline ticket.  You’ll have another chance on July 2, 2019, when it crosses Chile and Argentina.