Mystery light

Most of the light in the old board of supervisors chambers in the county courthouse in downtown Stockton came from overhead florescent lights. Oh, there was a large bank of windows on the north wall, but the curtains were usually drawn, blocking some potentially decent light.

The light in the new chambers in the San Joaquin County Administration Building across the street from the courthouse is much nicer. There is plenty of it and of great quality. A huge window, which makes up nearly the entire north wall floor to ceiling, lets in a soft, even light. There are a few overhead lights, but the majority of light comes from the window.

During a recent morning board meeting, a curious light graced the face of supervisor Leroy Ornellas. Unlike the even light on his fellow board members, Ornellas’ features were dramatically illuminated with what looked like a focused spotlight. I couldn’t tell where the light was coming from. He wasn’t in the path of any of the artificial lights, plus the quality of light looked more like a shaft of direct sunlight, but at that time of┬áday, the sun was on the opposite side of the building.

I searched for the source of the lighted spot trying not to disrupt the meeting as best as I could, but, alas, it remained a mystery to me. The corner of the building where the chamber is located not only features the large window, but also many odd and complicated angles. It’s possible that a single beam of light was reflected and refracted from the north side of the structure back to Ornellas’ seat.

By the end of my time at the meeting I still couldn’t determine where the light was coming from, but not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I just appreciated that it was there.

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