Where were you in the early afternoon of Aug. 21? To catch the solar eclipse, my husband and I had a picnic in the lounge chairs on the south side of our lawn. As the sun sprinkled eclipse shadows across our patio, we marveled at just how different our yard looked. While Evansville experienced 99 percent totality, that one percent makes a difference in darkness; Evansville did not get completely dark. Rather, a shimmery purple cast fell upon everything. We were impressed.
I know many people who traveled to Carbondale, Illinois, and Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and the greater Land Between the Lakes area, to experience totality. Without exception, all reported viewing the eclipse was an amazing experience — even a life-changing event.
I flew out of Evansville Regional Airport at 6 a.m. the day after the eclipse. The airport was extremely busy; a good majority of the passengers were retelling their experiences viewing the eclipse from various spots in Western Kentucky. When I arrived at my destination, I learned two of the travel writers in my group were returning from seeing the eclipse — in Charleston, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee; both ladies reported viewing the eclipse was super cool.
You can imagine my surprise to see Joe Queenan’s column in the Aug. 26-27 edition of the Wall Street Journal: “Make the Eclipse Experience Great Again.” Like every other big media in the nation, the Wall Street Journal had covered Hopkinsville (known as Eclipseville during the days surrounding the big event) extensively. Then, in the weekend edition following the event, columnist Queenan writes, “Many people feel that Monday’s eclipse was a bit of a dud.” Queenan compares the eclipse to a forgettable Super Bowl, the 2007 game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears. The good news, Queenan says, is that we have seven years to get it right. During the eclipse of April 8, 2024, much of the central and eastern U.S. will be in the path of totality – including Evansville.
“… Still, Mother Nature flubbed this one, and she probably knows that,” Queenan continues.
Sounds like sour grapes to me. Had Queenan, who lives in Westchester County, New York, come to our neck of the woods, he would have witnessed an impressive celestial event. You can bet Evansville will be ready in 2024.
Haunted tourism is big business. All the popular travel websites rank and review the most haunted tourism destinations; growing in this category are haunted town tours — guided walks focusing on a town’s or neighborhood’s ghost stories. The town of Newburgh, Indiana, has held a Ghost Walk for 24 years.
Evansville graphic artist and Halloween enthusiast Rachel Wambach is bringing the spooky tour concept to the city with Haunted Historic Evansville tours at 6 p.m., Oct. 27 and 28. Aided by Kevin Roach, artistic director of Evansville Civic Theatre, and a team of 10 committee members, the group has been collecting stories from properties in the Riverside Historic District and Haynie’s Corner area. Inspired by their research and with their permission, we present “Haunted History” (page 30).
As always, I look forward to hearing from you!
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor