Aug 12, 2017

Solar Eclipse Totality, Perseid Meteor Showers and John Denver's Astronaut Dream

"This will be like Woodstock 200 times over." - Alex Young, solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Source: CNN

Excitement is building but some Solar Eclipse viewing plans are in a state of flux. Oregon has issues. Wildfires have closed parks and trails: JournalSentinal. What you need to know: Forbes.

Barring any cloud episodes, there should be no problems in the heartland for the HUGE Solar Eclipse block-off-the-town party in St. Joseph, Missouri - 2 min 38.5 sec, site of full totality is expecting a massive turnout. Four years of planning and preparation for this event. Fox4KC has the story.

Check your location:
Weston, Missouri:
2 min 6 point 2 sec. totality, hopes to see a few Solar Eclipse watchers. Activities planned: Verna Kowertz with Main Street Galleria says shops will all be open for the day. Music and an Antique Car exhibit are part of the itinerary. 

Special events are booked solid. Sorry! Holladay Distillery's Moonshine: Solar Eclipse Watch Party is FULL. Red Barn Farm and Green Dirt Farm events are also sold out.

Parkville, MO: 1 min. 20.7 sec.
Kansas City, MO: River Market - 20.5 sec.
Updated list of events at

More 2017 Eclipse stuff.

Perseid Meteor Shower peaks this weekend, 8/12/17. My favorite one to watch. For 2017, the Perseids are visible from July 17 to Aug. 24. I saw one earlier in the week, a happy accident. Details at

Paranormal backstory: When I first discovered I could channel, sometime in 1998, I was thinking about John Denver, sad that he was gone. And then he connected. I don't remember the full content. I wrote it somewhere in my journal. He told me he loved watching the Perseids.

Confirmed. That made me ever more curious about what information is available from the deceased and how we are connecting with them. John Denver, Perseids: Songfacts. Turns out it was a pretty big piece of trivia.

"One night on a camping trip to watch the Perseid meteor shower, when it was literally "raining fire in the sky," I started writing this very personal song of my rebirth." - John Denver, on writing "Rocky Mountain High"

I had been a long time John Denver fan. Not the fan who knows every detail and closet confession, rather one who thought he was talented and doing (Eco, Conservation) things that I admired. It didn't occur to me to seek out the dirt. The internet hadn't been invented. I did hear grapevine media stories about his character flaws years later.

Finally, I interviewed him while I was working at KCMO 810 AM (Now 710 AM) a year or two before he died. He started out a bit cautious because of freshly circulating headlines about a DUI. However, after I told him his was one of the first albums I bought (with my allowance) and named Grandma's Feather Bed as one of my favorite songs, we closed the distance. I waited decades for that interview.

Regardless of the negative headlines, he was booked for an area concert: Topeka Performing Arts Center 08/13/95. He graciously invited me to the show. I declined. It might seem odd but I didn't want anything to alter my rose colored memories of the singer I idolized as a kid. Some of that dark element/personal challenge is related in this article: Telegraph March 1997.

John was on the list and wanted to fly in NASA's space shuttle program.
The Challenger disaster changed that. Smithsonian

His song Flying for Me is a tribute: YouTube

The day of the launch in 1986, because it was such a spectacular opportunity to think a non-astronaut could be part of the experience, and there had been so much preparation and celebration for the first Teacher in space, I watched the event. Then the unthinkable happened. Astonishing! Unbelievable and heartbreaking. Cementing the gut punch, cameras panned the faces of the families and loved ones who were present in the stands, displaying and underscoring the immediate impact of the tragedy.

I believe John was destined to write his song. It resonates from the heart and his influence is reflected in the comments on this version of Flying for Me.

-- "This song of John Denver is the song that push me to pursuit my interest in astronomy and my support for the United States space program. It is still one of the most inspirational song written by my mentor. May they all rest in peace."

-- "I too was "one who wanted to fly." I applied, along with Christa and 11,000 others, to be the first Teacher-in-Space. The Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition that I direct is dedicated to her memory."

This Documentary Challenger launch failure. Includes highlights on Teacher, Christa McCauliffe. 

John Denver died 10/12/97. About the DUI. Obits: CNN and The Independent.

Perseid info: Newsweek
Catch it on Slooh
Interactive Perseids from Space
NASA Perseid real news. Blog

No matter what turmoil, drama, tragedy plays out in the day to day here on planet Earth, the downtime comes. Chaos ebbs for a precious few hours and the night sky blooms a thousandfold sparks. Somewhere out there we are found. The stars are calling. - Talking to Nightlights

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