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And speaking of what’s happenin’ in 2017…. Make your reservations NOW for Beatrice, Nebraska—it’s in Gage County, in case you were wondering—to get the best look at “the Big One” as the astronomer-types are calling it—a 2.35 minute totality of the complete solar eclipse, being brought to us here in the United States at 11:37 a.m. (CDT) on August 21. Solar eclipses happen all of the time but are only visible in certain locations, often not in any country at all, as the ocean is a really big place. This little burg is starting early to make a thing of it—first total eclipse this visible in the United States since 1979—and, admittedly, there’s probably not much else going on in Beatrice, though they do mention in their ad in one of the conservation magazines that I get, that one may also visit the Homestead National Monument of America, commemorating the westward movement.

There will be fourteen states where the totality may be seen—SC, NC, GA, TN, KY, IL, MO, KS, NE, MT, WY, ID, OR—and Nebraska has one of the longest parts of the path across the country. Beatrice Chamber of Commerce folks (and the Gage County Board of Tourism) evidently spotted an opportunity to bring visitors out there to “fly-over country”. They are not alone. There will be a party in Hopkinsville, KY, and one in Carbondale, IL and in St. Joseph, MO. The Astronomical League will be having their big bash in Casper, WY. Most of these locations offer the prospect of good weather (not much cloud cover)—might have to consult the Farmer’s Almanac on this– for viewing on the day. Doesn’t hurt that quite a few of them have quite a lot of wide open spaces and available highways (for traveling to the best vantage points for viewing or avoiding clouds. Beatrice itself is in the Nebraska Sand Hill Country, where 70% of late summer days have favorable conditions for viewing (Would I make this up?).

Make plans now, the next totality this visible in the United States isn’t coming along until April 8, 2024. (The same year that the time capsule down by Garrettsville’s clock tower is supposed to be opened. Exciting year!). That one should go right over us here in Ohio but, as is often cited in the selection of this area for the location of the Arsenal, we do have cloud issues. After that, it’s a twenty-one year wait until August 12, 2045. Your black glasses may not last that long.

While you’re waiting, take note of some items that showed up on the internet (I’m still puzzling over whether or not to be insulted, as I am about the ads for combating obesity, wrinkles and loss of mental acuity. The nerve!). The headline for this piece was “20 Trends You’re Too Old to Wear”. That about says it. Picture for yourself the individuals that you see out and about that fit the descriptions. (Actually, I often wonder if the more discerning members of the public who see me to-ing and fro-ing look at me and think, “Not your best look, sweetheart.”)

I’ll not treat you to the entire list but there are some beauts in the line-up…such as : 1. Stripper heels—Never had occasion to transgress in this fashion myself (They don’t come in extra wide) but they can be seen tottering about in some of the most remarkable places, lawn parties come to mind The list also includes thigh-high boots and to-the-knee gladiator sandals in this category. 2. Teen accessories—borderline cute at 14, not so much at 40. 3. Outrageous socks—ditto the above. 4. Crop tops with hot pants—too much, too little, too bad. 5. Tiaras—unless you’re Cinderella reliving “happily ever after”. 6. Platform footwear—Crocs are bad enough but impressions of draft horses are seldom that appealing. 7. Cleavage resembling the Grand Canyon—the scenery isn’t nearly as amazing as that provided by the Colorado River. 8. Cheap “foundation garments”—Pair this one with Peek-a-boo straps and the combo is a ringing endorsement for industrial-strength Spanx. 9. Messages across your bootie—Are you really thinking that great thoughts like “Boom Boom Room Recruit” splashed across your derriere will impress the PTA? …or anybody? Goes for T-shirts as well. 10. Cowboy couture and/or big-time denim—Like I said about that WWI song…”How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (After they’ve seen Paree)”. You won’t see nuthin’ like that in Paree. Just as well too.

So that’s it in a nutshell. There are plenty of individuals out there who ought to get the message but won’t. Notice also, that these are all about what women should or shouldn’t be sporting as part of their attire. Guys apparently get a free pass from the fashion police; they all think that they’re Arnold Schwartzenegger in Speedos. Spare me!

Do not send your comments or lists for the Y chromosome crowd on this topic to The Villager, it’s a family publication.

And in this same absurdist vein…. A catalogue that recently arrived in my mail had, along with Chocolate Covered Graham Cookies with Caramel , a 300psi Air Compressor and Stain Remover Laundry Sticks, one offering that got my attention : “Totally Nude Aerobics DVD”. The cats would need all nine of their assorted lives to survive that, should I take it up. Or they’ll advertise showtimes in the neighborhood and make enough money to retire to Catalina.