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Letter: What makes a thing into a souvenir? 

By Wendy Chappell-Dick

Clearly objects can hold memories for people. When we experience a momentous occasion, small souvenirs can bring back the memories of that time and place. The April 8 total eclipse will be a once-in-a-lifetime memory, and it is interesting to see what we will choose as our souvenirs. 

The Black Lab Trading Company in downtown Bluffton is selling T-shirts, and Melinda at PromoHits has made cool drinking glasses (get it - eclipse glasses?) also sold at the Black Lab.  Lima, Findlay and Wapakoneta all have established stores with eclipse-themed bling.

At Ten Thousand Villages we are selling moon-themed wind chimes and jewelry. But what will set those trinkets apart in the long run? When your grandchildren or great-grandchildren are going through the attic there will be little to connect a wind chime with the eclipse in Bluffton, 2024. 

This is where Simon Chan comes in. Local handyman, hobbyist and technology wiz, Simon has been machining charms that can be attached to jewelry, wind chimes, and basically anything else to say “Bluffton, OH, Eclipse 4.8.24.” The logo was inspired by feedback from his young son Noah. Ten Thousand Villages is selling them as a keychain or a little piece of art. Or, you can attach them to another object, giving it meaning enough to become an official 2024 Eclipse Souvenir.