Solar eclipse takes second stage

Published 11:04 am Monday, April 15, 2024

What they said about the solar eclipse bringing people together is true. I experienced it.

Like so many others, I was interested in viewing the solar eclipse. Maybe not as die-hard as those who packed their bags and
traveled to areas of totality, but interested enough to worry when I realized I had not thought to get a pair of eclipse glasses.

In a bit of a panic, I called my boss and asked him if they would be giving them out at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Ok— so I didn’t thoroughly read the story he had written just days earlier about the eclipse.

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Fortunately, he was nice enough to overlook the lack of attention I paid to his story. He just nicely informed me eclipse glasses would be handed out at the military park just prior to the event.

I thanked him for the information and then volunteered to snap a few pictures if needed.

Fortunately, my help wasn’t needed, since when I looked at my calendar later in the day, I realized I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled in Jackson for Monday, April 8 at 1 p.m.

Apparently, in addition to not paying close attention to the details of the story in The Post, I had not homed in on my schedule.

Drat, drat and double drat as the cartoon character Dick Dastardly would say. Now, what was I going to do?

Potentially, I could get a look at the eclipse on my drive over, I thought, but I had no eclipse glasses. Therefore, I resigned myself to just witnessing everything going dark. Little did I know that even though we would get 97 percent of totality, it was only in areas of the country with 100 percent totality that everything would go dark.

Once I got checked in at the doctor’s office, I found a seat that allowed me to see outside. Remember, I was thinking I would see everything go dark.

While I sat there, I saw nothing. Nor did I see anything when I was in the patient room.

Had I missed it? I knew I hadn’t. I had had access to outside nearly the whole time I was at my appointment, and I never saw it get dark.

Upon heading to my car, however, there were three people standing along the sidewalk of the facility who were staring up at the clouds with eclipse glasses saying, “I see it.”

When I heard this, I have to admit I broke all the rules and looked up. It was only for half a second and the clouds were moving all around the sun, so I really didn’t get a good look, especially since I quickly diverted my eyes.

I did, however, continue to stand with the trio of folks who oohed and ahhed at the sight when the clouds would move out of
the way.

As I stood there wishing I could take another, longer look, one of the three, a woman, must have read my mind. She asked, “Would you like to look?” and then offered me her eclipse glasses.

I jumped at the opportunity and when I had the chance to safely stare, it truly was an experience. And so was seeing the eclipse.

An emotion came over me when she offered the glasses — perhaps it was just the pull of the moon, but whatever it was, I felt this endearing connection to the woman.

She had sensed my longing and acted upon her feelings.

When I had taken a good long look at the eclipse, I returned the glasses and then I asked her name. It was Anita.

I thanked Anita for her kindness and said that I hoped our paths would cross at the next solar eclipse. She said she hoped so too.

A total solar eclipse happened on Monday, a phenomenon I got to share with Anita.

Terri Cowart Frazier writes features for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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