Quandary the Answer Goat: On Edwin Johnson and the harvest moon
What’s so special about the moon on Sept. 27?
This moon’s going to be a big one. Not just because of the hype, either. This is the harvest moon. Aptly named as it marks the time to harvest crops for the season, it historically would include a huge feast to celebrate the bounty. One incarnation of these celebrations is Oktoberfest. The drunken debauchery of Oktoberfest was originally one last chance to get out and enjoy a feast before it’s all over. Basically, it’s a physical manifestation of what we’re all thinking right now: As they say in “Game of Thrones,” “Winter is coming.” Yes, this means snowflakes falling and skiers jumping, but it also means the growing season is over in the Northern hemisphere.
The harvest moon doesn’t get a name just because it has a good publicist, either. It is the full moon closest to the September Equinox, and they are always within two weeks of each other. This year the Equinox is on Sept. 23, followed shortly by the harvest moon on Sept. 27.
So what should you do? Eat, drink, be merry and roam the woods at night.
You see, this harvest moon will be the jackpot of all moons. It’s a super moon and will create a blood moon eclipse. The blood moon is also a fancy one; it is the last of a series of four eclipses that took place beginning April 14, 2014.
Here in Summit, this will be celebrated the same way we celebrate everything else: Outdoor adventures. Rambling through the wilderness in an eclipse doesn’t sound like that great of an idea, but it will be. The full eclipse will occur at 8:51 p.m. mountain time, so there is plenty of time for walking through the woods before hand. The Continental Divide Land Trust will host a hike on Sept. 27 from 6-8 p.m. at Cobb and Ebert Placer. Naturalists Rachel Winkler and Kim Dufty will lead participants. To reserve your spot and for more information contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (970) 453-3875. $10 suggested donation. So enjoy the bounty and the super-harvest-blood moon.
Who is Edwin C. Johnson?
Ah yes, Edwin Johnson: The man, the myth, the tunnel. While often both the eastbound and westbound tunnels on I-70 are referred to as the Eisenhower Tunnel, in reality, the eastbound version is the Edwin. C. Johnson Tunnel. Johnson was a transplant to Colorado, moving here from Nebraska when he contracted tuberculosis, but he soon made an impact on Colorado’s political and sports scenes. A democrat, Johnson originally held office as a congressional representative serving four terms beginning in 1923 before moving on to lieutenant governor, senator and eventually a two-time governor of Colorado. Not bad for a cornhusker.
His biggest mark on the congressional politics scene was maybe not something to be so proud of though: He took over the Senate floor to go on a tirade about an extramarital affair. What’s worse? It wasn’t his marriage or his affair. Yes, Johnson felt very passionately about the wrongs committed by Ingrid Bergman when she had an affair, and it is rumored that Johnson’s tirade is part of why Bergman moved to Europe for several years. Bergman’s biography claims that Johnson marked her as, ‘‘a powerful influence of evil.” He would eventually write an apology (several years later) that was placed in the congressional records. Still, Johnson was a key player in Colorado politics for more than 20 years as his second term as governor came from 1955-57.
Johnson was also a baseball fan and the president of the Western League, a single A league from 1947-55. He would help immensely in getting Mile High Stadium built in Colorado in 1968 and was eventually inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Like most Coloradans, Johnson’s story was pretty complex, but compelling enough to earn him a tunnel.
Construction on his namesake began in 1975, took over 800 workers and was completed in 1979, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
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