We will soon experience a solar eclipse and there is a great deal of talk about it. The chatter is everything from the kinds of sunshades to wear while watching to the expected large gatherings for group viewing.

We will soon experience a solar eclipse and there is a great deal of talk about it. The chatter is everything from the kinds of sunshades to wear while watching to the expected large gatherings for group viewing.
The National Park System is really gearing up for the eclipse. The Service says that over national parks will have good viewing. Huge crowds are expected to show up on August 21, so the parks are trying to make ready for an overflow.
Most of these parks have issued some advice to visitors. These warning and suggestions include getting to the parks early because parking will likely be bad. Viewers are told to protect your eyes with special eclipse glasses, and everyone is advised to pack a picnic lunch and have plenty of water.
The eclipse will take 2-3 hours from start to finish, but the "total eclipse" will only last about a minute or two depending on where you are in the United States. The longest period of total eclipse will take place in Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. It is expected to last 2 minutes and 41 seconds in that area.
Of course if you are going to be in a national park for the event, take time to explore because all national parks, monuments and battlefields have good stories to tell. You can even become an iNaturalist. NASA is signing up citizen scientists to watch and record animal and plant behavior during an eclipse.
Park rangers are studying all they can find about eclipses, on the science side and the historic side. There have been some remarkable stories about eclipses in the past, especially in the ages when eclipses were not well understood.
The upcoming solar eclipse is going to be a great teaching moment. I'm sure most elementary school teachers are gearing up for it. This kind of event is not usually in the planning books but a wise teacher or parent puts everything on hold to take advantage of something this unusual. There is so much information about the eclipse that it could easily take up a half day of school.
A couple of weeks ago, I missed a very special event and regret that I could not attend.
Floyd Sreaves was buried last Saturday, after dying on August 9. Many mourned his passing.
Floyd was a very nice man and a true horseman. A friend told me her son said he was the nicest man he ever knew. Many people felt that way.
His funeral was at held at Swars Prairie Baptist Church where he attended regularly. Sometimes he would even ride his mule to services. This brought a lot of smiles from his fellow church members.
Floyd's friends made sure there were horses involved in the service. Several of the old horseman's four-legged friends were at the cemetery when they laid him away.
The nicest man that many people ever knew would have liked that.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.