It’s Fancy Friday, which means I get to post on whatever catches my fancy. This week there were three events I wanted to touch on. One a bit of living history. Two others, the passing of living legends.
On May 17th, Donna Summer passed away from cancer. I remember her as being pretty big in the ’70s and then in the ’80s she came out with her own album. Yup, I got it. And I recall playing it on the stereo. We’re talking vinyl record here, so yes, I’m dating myself. But, boy, did she have a powerful voice. She was an awesome inspiration for women of color, for all women. She died too young, but she lives on in the songs she left behind.
Three days later, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees was also lost to cancer. The Bee Gees were a huge music force when I was growing up. I recall the dances in the gym and dancing to the disco tunes. It was a time of John Travolta, Disco Fever, the Hustle, and bell bottoms. For me, at least, the Bee Gees are a symbol of that time period.
As history ended, it also unfolded. On May 21st, an annular eclipse took place. In Japan, for some parts it was 932 years since they were able to see this type of eclipse. In the Tokyo region it was 173 years. I had completely forgotten about it until some of my students metnioned it. I went out to pick up the solar glasses that they strongly urged people to wear to prevent damage to the eyes. So on Saturday, two days before the eclipse, my youngest son and I went in search of the solar glasses. They were supposed to be available at the bookstores. Each bookstore we went to was sold out. Even the 100 yen store was sold out. What to do…?
I turned to Amazon Japan. I love this place. Seriously. They never fail me. I sat on a bench outside the bookstore and got online with my iPhone. Sure enough, Amazon had some solar glasses. I ordered four–one for each of my sons and myself–and paid a little extra to have them delivered the next day. Did I mention that this was Saturday, two days before the eclipse? Yes, cutting it to the wire is my specialty. The glasses arrived on time Sunday.
Monday morning, my oldest left early to cross Tokyo to see the eclipse with his classmates. My second, didn’t have morning baseball practice, so he went to school to catch it with his friends. As for my youngest, the school had sent out a mail telling us parents that we could come to the school to see the event with our child. So a little after 7am I went with my youngest to the school and hung out in the playground trying to catch glimpses of the ring.
Unfortunately the weather was pretty cloudy, but around 7:30 we had a clearing of the clouds that allowed for some great visibility. With the glasses you could see that the sun was blocked except for a ring that lined the outer edge. Without the glasses, it just looked like the sun covered by clouds. You will get extraordinary pictures if you look online. But here are a few photos of this amazing event.
This is my picture taken without the solar glasses on. Can’t say it looks like an eclipse, but trust me, when those glasses were on it was the real thing.
My son taking in the view: