PURGEYVILLE – Longtime Purgeyville resident John Somers can only shake his head. “I’ve been living here for well over 65 years and have never heard of anything like this happening.” He pauses for a sigh and then adds, “And I hope to never hear of it again.”
Wary residents in this small town of 2,000 are preparing themselves for a visit from the Moon tonight when it reaches its closest perigee to Earth in 150 years. Despite a surge of tourists in town to witness the event, many residents are on edge and are pondering staying elsewhere during what could be an uncomfortably close perigee.
Astronomer Sage Rosemary offers a summary of tonight’s main event. “Tonight the Moon will come so close to the Earth that it will actually enter our atmosphere and miss hitting the ground by only a few feet before it swings back into space to resume normal orbit. We have not had a perigee like this since 1868 when it was witnessed by Cole McDonald, who was out standing in his field when he got bonked on the head by the Moon. He survived, although he was much, much shorter.”
Residents of Purgeyville are planning to observe tonight’s perigee with festivities featuring live music and fireworks along with a re-enactment of the McDonald head bonking.