Coolidge Park Crowd Gets Twilight, Cricket Chirping As Solar Eclipse Arrives

Monday, August 21, 2017
Group from Jackson, Miss., has an elaborate eclipse-watching setup at the Mountain View Inn in Cleveland
Group from Jackson, Miss., has an elaborate eclipse-watching setup at the Mountain View Inn in Cleveland
- photo by Bill Peterson

A crowd at Coolidge Park and the nearby Walnut Street Bridge got twilight and cricket chirping as the heralded solar eclipse finally arrived at mid-afternoon Monday.

As the moon moved across the sun around 2:30 p.m., birds quit chirping and began to roost. Crickets started going full force. Lights on the Market Street Bridge began to flicker on.

The event, sponsored by Comcast, included music and free eclipse viewing glasses.

Just before the main event came the song "Solar Eclipse of my Heart." Then the music stopped as the crowd looked skyward. As the sun came back out, the deejay put on the Beatles "Here Comes the Sun." 

Just to the north of Chattanooga, there was even more darkness where throngs had gathered in the tiny town of Spring City and elsewhere.

On Monday morning, northbound traffic on I-75 near Ooltewah was reported at a standstill for those wanting to get to locations with 100 percent darkness.

The parking lots were empty at many Chattanooga businesses as owners took off to watch the big show. Not many customers were coming in to those who did open - for the most part.

Roger Mayo at Eyeglasses Inc. on Lee Highway said he was closing early and heading for his son's house. It is in Soddy Daisy, but is just at the southern edge of the 100 percent zone. The son took off from his delivery job as well. His wife was off because the schools closed.

It was a hectic situation along Highway 27 and Highway 58 in the hours prior to the eclipse. One business owner was charging $40 for a parking spot. Signs were posted along sections of the northbound highways telling motorists it was not ok to pull off by the side of the road.

Crowds gathered at the Mountain View Inn in Cleveland at its high perch. One crew from Jackson, Miss., had an elaborate setup, including a tent and special cameras. One car had a sign that read "Totality or Bust."

 

County Clerk Bill Knowles said his offices would stay open, but he set up TV monitors in public areas from 1-3 p.m. He was also furnishing a pizza lunch to staff in each of the offices.

 

The Clerk and Master's Office was closing between 2 and 3 p.m.

 

- Photo2 by Bill Peterson


Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant; By Mail

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The best story this Thanksgiving comes from the New Jersey Turnpike where a very attractive young woman ran out of gas last month. Kate McClure had little cash on her as she began to walk towards the closest gas station in the pitch-black dark. But she didn’t get far before a homeless man, his beard ragged and clothes filthy, told her this was a bad place for her to be.  ... (click for more)

Tyner Rams Advance To Class AA State Final

ROCKWOOD – It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Tyner Rams will be playing for a state football championship in Class AA next Friday afternoon in Cookeville. Facing the Rockwood Tigers here at Tom Pemberton Stadium Friday night, the Rams showed what they’re really made of as they drove for the winning touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to ... (click for more)

Streaking Alcoa Wraps Up 34-0 Semifinal Win Over Red Bank

Powerful Alcoa, a perennial state championship contender, defeated visiting Red Bank, 34-0, Friday night and returned to the TSSAA title game for the fifth straight year. The Tornadoes (12-2) dominated Friday’s Class 3A semifinal contest just like it did in two regular-season games against the Lions (11-3). Alcoa beat Red Bank in 2016 and 2015 by a combined 76-0. Alcoa, ... (click for more)