26 cousins gather in Festus for solar eclipse

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FESTUS, MO – When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that`s a busy morning,

Especially for the Domino’s drivers and cooks keeping up with the eclipse viewing demand.

“We`ve had a lot of area codes for numbers that are not Festus,” says Brittany Confer, Festus Domino’s General Manager.

Gathered on a hilltop in Andrew J. Habsieger Memorial Park the out of state license plates helped paint this picture.

“One of our cousins who lives outside of Paris wanted to see the solar eclipse and be in the path of totality so our other cousins in the Midwest researched and found Festus and here we are,” says Yen Ha, New Yorker Attending Family Reunion.  “We brought all our picnic gear.”

Twenty-six cousins from across the globe gathered for the once in a lifetime memory, people who`ve been sharing memories all their lives.

Including this intrepid uncle who built a pinhole viewer with a scope.

“I googled it,” says Haison Lu, Wisconsinite Attending Family Reunion.  “I didn`t invent this, NASA invented this.  I tested it out and it worked.  That`s great.  This is my first time but I did try it out the day before.”

So, did Jim Han who built this telescope when he was only 15.

“When I built this thing, I ground the mirror myself,” says Jim Han, Wisconsinite Visiting Area.  “It`s an eight-inch mirror but I had it professionally reground to get a better image.  There`s a lot of figuring out how long the tube has to be and where to put the holes.  But it was an educational experience for a high schooler.”

Under the Festus water tower some had seen this sight before.

“’I did when I was a child but I don`t remember what year.  I remember when it got really dark and cooler,” says Judy Smalley, Watching with friends.

Just like Monday afternoon at 1:17pm.

“’Oh, my goodness look it`s so bright,’ says an eclipse watcher.”

For two minutes 36 seconds we all shared a memory.

And for 26 cousins, this is one family reunion they’ll never forget.


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