Sumter Residents Look Forward to August Eclipse, Recall the Eclipse of 1970

May 8, 2017

This summer’s total solar eclipse is a rare event for the Palmetto State.  Normally a total eclipse doesn’t return to the same spot for close to 400 years, but this will be the second in only 47 years for the folks in Sumter and the surrounding area.  Hap Griffin remembers seeing the last eclipse as an 11-year-old on March 7, 1970.  He said he still recalls how "blown away" he was in the backyard of a friend.   Nearby, the Rev. Joel Osborne climbed a forest tower to take in the awesome celestial  event, and it was a push along his spiritual journey, he said.   Both men are eagerly looking forward to the upcoming eclipse on Aug. 21. While Griffin, an amateur astronomer and astronomical photographer, plans to take in the event in Wyoming, Osborne chuckled "if I can get back on the tower, I’ll get back on the tower…if it’s still there."