Just as the solar eclipse was reaching its peak, the clouds parted in Grove City.

And as the moon (mostly) blocked out the sun, the event was like a celestial Rorschach test -- people who gathered at the Grove City Library to watch the event could find all kinds of ways to describe what they were seeing.

Cora Young, 6, of Grove City said that when the moon went in front of the sun, "it looked like a tiny, skinny banana that was upside down."

Her sister, Amara, 9, said the sun was "a little orange dot with black all around it."

Their mother, Micki, described the eclipsed sun as being "like an arched eyebrow."

Everyone likely would agree with how Amara summed up the overall experience.

"It was really, really cool," she said. "I'm probably always going to remember this."

The Young family, including Eric, the girls' father and Micki's husband, were among local residents who attended a solar-eclipse program offered through the library, complete with pre-eclipse coverage from NASA, a story or two and eclipse crafts, including making pin-hole viewers using paper-towel rolls.

The library also handed out its remaining supply of eclipse-viewing glasses.

"We've really been surprised at the interest the eclipse has generated," said Ashley Raschella, the library's youth-services assistant.

All 800 pairs of the initial supply were handed out on the first day they were available, Aug. 14, she said. Another 200 were available at the eclipse program.

"The eclipse has really captured people's imagination," Raschella said. "It's just an event that happens so rarely, it's bound to excite people."

Raschella said she had hoped the eclipse would be educational as well as fun for youngsters.

"I hope it helps them understand the concept that the Earth revolves around the sun and the moon revolves around the Earth," she said.

Cora Young said she understood perfectly why an eclipse occurs.

"The sun sits right here and the Earth sits right here," she said, using her hands to show their placement. "And the moon is revolving around the Earth, and when it goes right in front of the sun, that's when the eclipse happens."

John and Kathy Branson also attended the library program. They were in town visiting their son's family.

As former teachers in the South-Western City School District, the Bransons said they were pleased to see so many children coming out to watch the eclipse.

"I taught science at Finland Middle School from 1971 to 1975," John Branson said. "As an old science teacher, it's wonderful to see so many youngsters showing an interest in science."

"It's even more wonderful to see so many families out here together to experience the eclipse," said Kathy Branson, who taught reading and English at Pleasant View Middle School.

Kathy Branson said she had the chance to see a partial eclipse at age 13, when she lived in Kentucky.

"I used a homemade shadow box to watch it. It's something I still can remember," she said. "We had neighbors who had two children who were ages 5 and 7, and it was even more exciting for them. Even as a young teen, I appreciated watching how thrilled they were. I imagine the same thing is happening for a lot of the kids out here today."

James Souslin, 15, of Grove City, said he decided to go to the library's eclipse program "because I thought it would be fun and something I wouldn't want to miss seeing."

As a youngster, "I was really fascinated by space," he said. "I'm not as interested as I used to be, but this wasn't something I wanted to pass up.

"I'm just curious to see exactly what an eclipse is going to look like," Souslin said as the eclipse began.

The next solar eclipse is expected to be visible in the United States in April 2024.

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