© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
“The Cut” is a weekly reporters notebook-type essay by an Ideastream Public Media content creator, reflecting on the news and on life in Northeast Ohio. What exactly does “The Cut” mean? It's a throwback to the old days of using a razor blade to cut analog tape. In radio lingo, we refer to sound bites as “cuts.” So think of these behind-the-scene essays as “cuts” from Ideastream's producers.

Nothing will eclipse Cleveland's moment in the shadow

Host Mike McIntyre and three guests discuss the April 8 total solar in eclipse in Cleveland during the Sound of Ideas Community Tour stop at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 1.
Matt Crow
Ideastream Public Media
The April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse was the subject of the Sound of Ideas Community Tour stop at the Great Lakes Science Center April 1, 2024. Left to right, Mike McIntyre, executive editor of Ideastream Public Media; Destiny Thomas, astronomer at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Kirsten Ellenbogen, president and CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center and Mary Mertz, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

What a week for Cleveland.

The NCAA Women’s Final Four is here, with two games Friday and the championship Sunday.

Then comes the total solar eclipse Monday afternoon, with Cleveland, Akron and a ton of other Ohio cities in the path of totality, which, coincidentally, also was the name of my band in high school.

You’ve got to hand it to city boosters. Securing the Final Four and the path of totality in the same week? That is some high-level civic salesmanship. It was close, but we beat out Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the path of totality.

You’ve heard a lot, perhaps too much, about the eclipse, and you are bound to hear more as the darkness draws near. But there’s one subject no one seems to want to talk about. It drew murmurs and maybe even a few low-key boos when I asked it of the experts at the “Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Total Solar Eclipse” event at the Great Lakes Science Center this week.

What if the weather doesn’t cooperate?

It’s Cleveland, after all. April in Cleveland.

First of all, don’t worry. Regardless of the weather, Cleveland will get to see the brightest shooting star in the history of women’s college basketball, and perhaps one day in the history of women’s professional basketball, in Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.

Second, always have hope. As aerospace engineer Lancert Foster of NASA Glenn Research Center noted on the community tour, if the weather in Cleveland is bad, just wait five minutes and it will change. (Also, there will be another rumor about the Browns moving out of Downtown and I-480 will come to a standstill for no apparent reason.)

Some people are trying to give the hope a little help. A few folks told me they’ve got clear skies on April 8 at the top of their prayer list. Destiny Thomas, an astronomer at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, told us at the community tour that she and her coworkers were thinking about choreographing a dance, kind of the opposite of a rain dance, to chase the clouds away.

Third. Chill. We’re having the party rain or shine. Even with cloud cover, nearly four minutes of night time in the afternoon is going to be a cool, communal experience.

That third one is the charm. I learned this 33 years ago when I got married.

My wife-to-be and I sweated a ton of details and then on our wedding day, we just let it ride. Stuff happened we hadn’t planned. For one thing, we ran out of bubbly and ended up at a drive through beverage store where the bride popped out of a limousine sunroof to order more bottles. We laughed and danced all night with our friends and family and smashed cake in each others’ faces (unplanned) as the cranky caterer looked disapprovingly at us and the mess we’d made.

We also made lasting memories.

So whether your team wins the national championship, or not, whether Caitlin Clark rains threes, or not, and whether the skies are clear for the eclipse, or not, let it ride. Don’t be the cranky caterer, be the happy couple.

Make lasting memories.

The "Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Total Solar Eclipse" will air on 89.7 WKSU Monday at 9 a.m. And we’ll have live NPR and local coverage of the eclipse from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Totality in Cleveland is 3:15. Also, check out all of our coverage at ideastream.org/eclipse.

"The Cut” is featured in Ideastream Public Media's weekly newsletter, The Frequency Week in Review. To get The Frequency Week in Review, The Daily Frequency or any of our newsletters, sign up on Ideastream's newsletter subscription page.

Mike McIntyre is the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media.