London family travels to Missouri for eclipse


Lester Barnhart and Lynda Heyl of London had front row seats to Monday’s solar eclipse, the one-day event which captured the country’s imagination. The family made the more than 400 mile journey to St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday to stay with their son Brian, formerly of London. They were also joined by Brian’s sister, Laura, also a former London resident. From there, the family traveled to the small town of — strangely enough — Barnhart, Missouri to be in the “totality” of the sun and moon’s path.

“Sometimes, you have to wait for the stars to align to get a whole family together. We just had to wait for the moon and the sun to align,” said Brian Barnhart.

“We live just outside of the official band,” he added. “The news said if you live anywhere close, to make the trip so that you are right in the path. I definitely think it was worth it to see.” Barnhart now lives and works in St. Louis as a financial consultant.

The total eclipse happened over Missouri right after 1 p.m. and could be seen for nearly three minutes. Although the family was staying in St. Louis, they would’ve missed the full experience had it not been for the trip to Barnhart.

“Seeing the full solar eclipse exceeded all of our expectations,” Barnhart said. “ Cicadas and crickets around us were similarly awestruck as they started their nightly songs in their confusion of the darkening sky.”

The family enjoyed their time in the town which bears their name, describing it as being similar to London’s neighbor, Summerford.

For the London residents who weren’t able to make the trip out to see the celestial spectacular first-hand, another total solar eclipse will cross the U.S. on April 8, 2024. The path of totality for that event will fall right across London and stretch as far north as Toledo.

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Laura Barnhart of Indianapolis, Indiana, formerly of London, left, and Lester Barnhart of London view the total solar eclipse in the town of Barnhart, Missouri.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2017/08/web1_LesterandLaurapiccol.jpgLaura Barnhart of Indianapolis, Indiana, formerly of London, left, and Lester Barnhart of London view the total solar eclipse in the town of Barnhart, Missouri.

The Barnhart family from left are: Lester Barnhart, Clara Barnhart, age 2, Cynthia Cryder, Daphne Barnhart, age 4, Brian Barnhart, Adam Speer, Laura Barnhart and Lynda Heyl. The family posed in front of the post office of the town which bears their name. They traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to stay with son, Brian, but made the extra trip to be in the path of totality.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2017/08/web1_BarnhartGrouppiccol.jpgThe Barnhart family from left are: Lester Barnhart, Clara Barnhart, age 2, Cynthia Cryder, Daphne Barnhart, age 4, Brian Barnhart, Adam Speer, Laura Barnhart and Lynda Heyl. The family posed in front of the post office of the town which bears their name. They traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to stay with son, Brian, but made the extra trip to be in the path of totality.

By Michael Williamson

mwilliamson@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.