In 1769 Thomas Jefferson (founding father, renaissance man, most handsome ginger) prepared his natural observatory at Monticello to watch as Venus made her way directly between the light of the sun and the earth. It was partly cloudy. He missed it, and it only happens every 105 years. Oh, Heavens. Well, TJ, I have some good news. Yesterday, starting at 6:09pm Venus began her extracentennial trek across the face of the sun, and we saw it! The stars aligned, the clouds cleared, the champagne popped (serendipity that the cork showed a star crossing the Sun??), and we covered our eyes and Douglas’ telescope with the small dark squares of welders glass that Daddy bought for the occasion as the tiny dot of the planet moved against the light of the Sun until it dipped below the horizon. It was, well, Stellar.We toasted to the heavens, listened to an amazing playlist that Daddy made for the occasion (“I’m Your Venus”>”Ground Control to Major Tom”>”Here comes the Sun”>”Age of Aquarius” etc. etc.), and watched the skies turning around us.
Thanks to Clay Jenkinson and his amazing Thomas Jefferson Hour, if Mama hadn’t heard his talk about TJ’s thwarted attempt to watch the 1769 transit, we’d probably have missed it.