Yolanda Simonsis is a 38-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

What Was Your Eclipse Experience?

This spot is generally reserved for industry-related commentaries, but today I simply must share my personal eclipse experience. . . because who's going to stop me?

This past weekend, my husband Bob and I made a geeky pilgrimage to Carbondale, IL, to witness the sun's total eclipse first hand. We weren't alone as you might surmise. And it appears that many of my industry colleagues were doing the same, based on some of their communications with me.

Bob and I left Chicago on Sunday afternoon and stayed in Champaign, IL, overnight, then we left early the following morning to beat similar-minded geeks to a desirable viewing location in Carbondale. We lucked out. While there was traffic, it kept moving at 70–75 mph (I won't tell you how fast I was going), except for road construction, which was hellish, but we found our way around it. We discovered quaint and beautiful little communities in Illinois we never knew existed. We felt like temporary incognito Downstaters. No one could hate us for being Chicagoans!

We had no plan though after we arrived in Carbondale other than for our hotel that night. Where should we go? Bob said, "I don't know where we're going. Just head south, and we'll know when we get there whether it's the right spot or not."

Well, don't tell Bob, but he was right! We cruised down some lonely roads looking for the perfect viewing spot for almost an hour. Nothing seemed right until we slowly coasted past a grassy hill with a few open cars, folding chairs, and tripods—a dead giveaway as to this unusual group's intentions. Continuing on the road for a couple hundred feet, we knew we had passed the perfect location, so we made a 'youie' and hesitatingly invited ourselves to join the group.

Who knew? Everyone was from Chicago!

Turns out one of the groups we found most enjoyable included several young men (who graduated from our DePaul alma mater with computer science degrees) who had prepared well for the event. They retold their initial experience before moving higher on the hill of the farmer who owned the land. Instead of kicking them off the roadside that impinged his land, the farmer invited them to enjoy this shady idyllic farm with rolling hills, hay rolls, and a lake in the background. Imagine that! A Downstater inviting Chicagoans to enjoy his land!

We knew indeed that we were in the ideal location. The young men were serious photographers intending to capture this event as perfectly as possible. Their cameras sported sophisticated filters, and they had synced their radios with a station that had timed the event exactly with our location so as certain eclipse phenomena occurred, we were able to experience it without endangering our eyesight.

As the moon began its journey in front of the sun and we began our Druid dance to nature, someone noticed shadows on the ground filtered through the trees reflecting the moon's crescent shape. It was awesome. Try as I might with extraordinarily unsophisticated photographic capabilities, I managed to capture images that will jog my memory for years to come of that approximately 2½-minute sojourn that's claimed the most-observed and most photographed eclipse in history. (The one predicted for 2024—again viewable from Carbondale—supposedly will be even better.)

Compliments of photographer Jonathan Kimball.

I cannot take credit for the photo of the full eclipse here. I must give that distinguished credit to Jonathan Kimball—our new eclipse friend who kindly shared his photo with me. His photographic skills are obviously sophisticated to which this photo bears witness. I thank him most sincerely.

And I will leave this blog open to others who wish to send me their testimonial photos.

Industry Connection

I do have one connection to our industry with this blog. All those geeky glasses people needed to view the eclipse? As you probably already know, they're converted products! In fact, a couple of months ago, a man by the name of Gary Dunn called me and asked for a source of supply for metallized film. I sent him to our Online Buyers Guide where he located a supplier. He was most appreciative of the information. He informed me he was going to manufacture those glasses and hoped to make a tidy profit. I hope he did because if he was successful with his plan, he brought together a lot of dissimilar people who had one thing in common and made us all very happy.

My friends call me


From Our Fans

As promised and with thanks, below are additional photos from our faithful subscribers.

Compliments of photographer Don Shook.
Compliments of photographer Eddie Rabinowitz.

Don Shook, who provided our E-Clips 8/22/17 edition's thermochromic eclipse stamp, surprised himself by capturing this breathtaking image while in the 100% zone with clear skies, friends, and loved ones.

Eddie Rabinowitz titles his photo: Partial Eclipse of the Shoe. He projected this image onto his shoe using an old school projector made of two pieces of white cardboard—one with a pinhole to allow the reflection on the other board to capture the eclipse.

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