G is for greeting darkness

Approximately half a million people came to Western New York to see the eclipse. I was one of many who had out-of-town family coming to visit us and to see a once-in-a-life time (or at least, a once-in-a-generation) event. But the weather forecast was not looking good. It was looking like it was going to be overcast all day. So, what did we do? We had to do something because who would travel all of the way from California to stare at clouds? We got up early in the morning and started driving south and then west. We drove into thick clouds and rain in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. We were going to drive until we had outlasted the rain and the thick clouds.

And then, it happened, as we entered Cleveland. The sun shone brightly, making the world feel like a much more beautiful place. In Cleveland, we took what we anticipated would be a rest break before we continued west. The rest break, amazingly enough, was in a cemetery. Not just any cemetery. Lake View Cemetery, which is famous for being the final resting place of President James Garfield, who, unfortunately, was assassinated by a disappointed office seeker in 1881.

Inside the building that serves as President Garfield’s final resting place, there are very detailed stained glass windows that represent each of the thirteen original states, plus Ohio. The floors had beautiful decorations, and there were docents available to tell visitors about the president and about the features of the building,

John D. Rockefeller and his family were also buried at Lake View Cemetery, and they are remembered with this giant obelisk.

We took walks and explored the cemetery. We found a grave marker for Eliot Ness, who was the Treasury agent who caught Al Capone. Oddly enough, he wasn’t buried there. Because it’s just a marker and not actually a grave, it’s called a cenotaph. Eliot Ness was cremated, and his family kept the ashes, until they were scattered in 1997, over a pond in Lake View Cemetery.

What an amazing experience it was to be at that cemetery. We ended up by staying there to watch the eclipse. Even though clouds started rolling in at about 2 p.m., Lake View Cemetery just felt like the right place to be. I didn’t take any pictures of the eclipse because I was so transfixed by the experience. We looked through eclipse glasses at the sun. And it was an amazing sight. I could see that the sun and the moon were separate objects and that they were round and that there were sunspots on the sun. The sky started getting darker and the air got considerably colder. And the sky high above was clear. Wonderfully cloud free. I wasn’t expecting to have that much clarity as the moon moved in front of the sun. And then… totality. We could take off our eclipse glasses and look directly at the corona of the sun. How beautiful was that? We all applauded, all of the groups of people who had assembled at the cemetery to watch the eclipse.

It was, for sure, an experience not to be missed. It was absolutely beautiful. And the cemetery, full of history, was the right place for the experience.

6 thoughts on “G is for greeting darkness”

    1. It was awesome, and you can see another, if you like in just a few years! The next total solar eclipse visible from Europe will occur on August 12th, 2026. And, if you miss that one, there will be another visible from Europe, on August 2nd, 2027.

  1. I also watched the eclipse yesterday at home, and it was an unforgettable and spectacular sight, and I’m sure it was for many of us.

  2. We were in the path of totality several years ago and I watched from my front yard. But your spot sounds much more interesting. Thanks for sharing so much about the cemetery. (This is year we only got about 85% totality and since I didn’t have glasses I watched the shadows were pretty cool.

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