A full moon’s beauty

Once I decided to dedicate this column to tonight’s full moon, I was quickly awash with directions in which to proceed.

There was so much talk about the blue moon in August which most defined as the third full moon in any season. (You can look for another in December.) The one in August was bewitching to me because the nights remained clear with both moon and stars mystical to behold.

I know the OBSERVER’s Gene Pauszek suggests a full moon is a bad time to go fishing for it raises the fishes’ appetites so that they feed throughout the night. I don’t know. Seems to me then early evening should be ideal. Catch ’em while they’re hungry, isn’t that the idea?

For romantics like me, there’s always the kids’ song “I see the moon and the moon sees me and the moon sees somebody I want to see.” Come to think of it, nothing says that has to be a full moon, just a clear night. (Personally, I DO prefer it as full as possible.)

I fear not all are as starry-eyed as I.

“Are there no Moravians in the Moon, that not a missionary has yet visited this poor pagan planet of ours, to civilize civilization and Christianize Christendom.” Herman Melville may have had his tongue firmly in cheek but Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) sounded totally earnest when they introduced the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, or HR 2617, in mid-August. They’re seeking to have a national park established . . . yup, on the moon. Yup, run by the U.S.

Fortunately (to my way of thinking at least), the odds of getting the bill out of committee were only 21 percent with a 7 percent chance we’d ever see it enacted. One might indeed, me thinks, encounter mooncalves in D.C.

A daughter’s joke asking if I didn’t want to stake a claim reminded me of Barry McArdle, highlighted in the Cal Alumni magazine in 2007. McArdle, recognized universally (well, at least in Berkeley), had been selling acres on the moon for 30 years by then. Besides being amused (there was a time when the notion truly did seem far-fetched), I had kept the article thinking a certificate of ownership might be a fun gift for a favored grandchild. Somehow I never got around to doing it though, last time I checked, the site was still there and he was accepting orders.

“I claimed the moon in ’71,” McArdle is quoted as saying. “I sold 170,000 acres.” (That might explain his silver Mercedes and Bay Area home.) “I have no legal right to do what I’m doing. None, zero. But here’s the interesting thing nobody has the right to say that I can’t do it, because they themselves don’t own the moon.

“Nobody has verified it,” he continues, “but it can’t be said to be illegal, because who has the right? Is it our government? The Russian government?”

Starting at a dollar an acre, last I checked it had sky-rocketed to five. I wouldn’t be surprised if the price has risen even further. Californians definitely understand the value of real estate and pay a pretty penny for the privilege.

It’s a gamble, no arguing that point and McArdle doesn’t. “But the conversational value alone it’s a conversation piece, a collector’s item.”

I might yet have to order one for the wall in my den.

Then again, I recall the full moon in August. I happened to be out with camera in hand (tho’ of what use is a point-and-shoot for the moon?) and captured that blue moon soaking near shore in the lake.

I don’t need a certificate. I got the real thing.

Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com