Message from the Publisher

MY PICTUREWell the Great American Solar Eclipse is over. Did you watch? How many of you didn’t have glasses and had to fight the urge to look? Come on be honest now. I learned my lesson (as mentioned in a previous column), so I had no intention of taking a peek without my special paper glasses that I waited close to an hour in line for. I paid $4 for them; a month earlier they were being sold for $1. That’s what I get for procrastinating.

To those interested in astronomy, this was like the World Series to them. People all across the path of the eclipse gathered to watch the event. Teachers planned lessons around the eclipse and school children came outside to view the phenomenon. Since the last time a total solar eclipse happened was back in 1918, this was a first for many of us.

Triton College, which did a super job of planning eclipse activities, had well over a thousand people come out to their festivities, and I heard of many people who planned trips down to Carbondale where you could view the total eclipse and not just the 86% that our area experienced.

Although it was touch and go with the clouds obscuring some of the event, people of all ages pointed and expressed their excitement with oohs and aahs. Even Tom Skilling the WGN-TV meteorologist was so overwhelmed with the wonderment of the eclipse it brought him to tears.

Some people questioned Skilling’s reaction with, “Why would someone get that emotional over an eclipse”? For some people, it was just another day and no big deal. For others it could be the realization that this might be the last one they’d witness and for younger people the first of more to come.

The solar eclipse is one of those events where years from now you will remember where you were and what you were doing when it happened. Just as I remembered sneaking a peek when I was younger, so shall many others have this event stored into their long term memory bank. It will be a subject of conversations for years to come.
Not only was the celestial event something to watch, but it was so awesome watching everyone craning their necks upwards to see it all unfold. As I watched the eclipse, I thought about how literally thousands of people were looking up to the heavens. Too bad someone didn’t come up with the idea to tell everyone at a precise time to say a prayer.

The next total solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024. With all the hate that’s happening in the world and even right in our own backyards, let’s start planning that mass prayer chain now.


In my last column, I mentioned about how GPS technology was helping me on an everyday basis and how it gives an ETA with the directions. A reader mentioned to me that the ETA was not the time of arrival, but the time to beat! I’ll be honest, I do find myself trying to beat the time; and it brings to mind how my husband always tells me I would have made a terrific New York taxi driver.


Although the days may soon be getting cooler, don’t miss your opportunity to take advantage of all the events that are coming up in and around the area. St. Maria Goretti Parish Picnic on Sept. 10, St. Beatrice’s “Man of the Shroud” exhibit from Sept. 14-16, concerts, Parks Foundation of Franklin Park 5K run on Sept. 23 or the Leyden Township annual Trek to the REC on Sept. 10, charity events such as the Unity in Community Fundraiser on Sept. 9 or the O’Hare Plane Pull benefiting Special Olympics on Sept. 16; and bring the kids out for Triton College’s Fall Family Fun Fest on Sept. 30. Don’t let the rest of summer pass you by. Check out the community events pages and mark your calendars. Attend as many as you can!

Take care everyone and thanks for reading People & Places Newspaper. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Barbara J. Piltaver, Publisher
People & Places Newspaper