East Texans remember 1979 eclipse while watching today

Updated: Aug. 21, 2017 at 8:42 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - For children all over the country, viewing their first solar eclipse was an exciting moment, but those who had seen an eclipse before found today to be a time of reflection.

This afternoon, a single pair of glasses brought residents together at Tyler's Park Place Nursing Center. Residents looked on at today's solar eclipse while discussing memories from watching the solar eclipse of 1979.

"I think I was in high school, they were talking about the eclipse and I'm like 'eclipse?' And they said, 'yeah, when the sun and the moon go together,'" says Johnie Guthrie, a Park Place resident. "So my science teacher whose name is Mr. Parker, he took us all out to observe it."

Guthrie says that seeing the eclipse for the first time changed his life.

"It made me want to go into teaching, and I became a science teacher, in fact," says Guthrie.

Sharing the glasses with him today was Carol Spano, who remembers her first time watching an eclipse as well.

"I was seven years old and I was in Girl Scouts," says Spano. "It had to be summer because I was wearing a summer dress."

38 years later, Spano is out in her summer dress again, and she says watching today's eclipse brought back fond memories.

"I just know I was real excited about that whole process," says Spano. "It was very interesting to be able to participate and to be a part of that history."

Although today's eclipse has passed, Spano is already talking about her hopes for the next time the moon covers the sun.

"World peace I think," says Spano, "I think the solar eclipse brings us close together because everybody is watching."

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