Monday’s amazing solar eclipse was still in progress — with about 75 percent coverage in Glen Rose — when a forward-thinking viewer brought up April 8, 2024. That’s when the next eclipse visible in the U.S. will be occurring.
Not only is that event less than seven years away, but Glen Rose and much of North Texas will be experiencing a total eclipse. Viewers and members of the news media from around the world are likely to flood Somervell County and surrounding areas for that eclipse — just as they did for Monday’s event in the nation’s midsection.
But for now, the dozen or so gathered at Grace Baptist Church in Glen Rose enjoyed experiencing the latest wonder of nature — on a beautiful, cloudless day.
“Anything special God does, I don’t want to miss,” said Sandra Leutwyler, who was there with her husband, Young Leutwyler.
Her husband said he witnessed a partial eclipse about 50 years ago in Florida, when he was approximately 10 or 11 years old.
“It looked about the same,” he said. “I enjoyed it. It’s a little cooler out here (during the eclipse). I enjoyed seeing it, and I’ll be seeing another one in seven years.”
Another church member, Carol McCoy, said, “It was better than I expected. It was awesome.”
Larry Lanier and his wife Michael Lanier of Glen Rose, also church members, were on hand.
“It is a wonder of God,” Larry said, following his wife’s comment, “It was amazing.”
A Glen Rose native who was in attendance but asked not to be identified, agreed that it was an awesome sight created by God.
“That’s the neatest thing I’ve seen in my lifetime,” she added.
Earlier, when the viewers began looking at the early stages of the eclipse through their special safety glasses provided by church pastor Dennis Moore, one was heard to say, “That looks like the moon holding water.”
Moore mentioned that the temperature drop was notable during the eclipse. He also noted of the light level at the peak eclipse time (1:08 p.m. Central Time), “It’s like wearing a pair of shades.”
Moore, in addition to being a pastor at that church, is an amateur photographer who is a current City Council member and former Glen Rose mayor. He posted photos of the eclipse on his Mission Street Photography Facebook page.
Moore cut out a protective lens from one of the pairs of ISO-approved viewing glasses he purchased through Amazon, then secured it over the lens of his camera to avoid damaging it.
About 30 minutes earlier, at the local Dairy Queen, Glen Rose High School teacher Pam Reynolds was picking up food with her 9-year-old grand-daugher, Kinley.
Reynolds’ grandson, Camden Reynolds, was a standout shortstop on the Glen Rose High School baseball team and is about to start playing for East Texas Baptist University. She said she had wanted Kinley to view the eclipse using the safe glasses, but they were going to have to settle for seeing the reflection through a pinhole in a box instead.
“We were going to, but we couldn’t find anybody that had the glasses,” said Reynolds, who teaches Life Skills.
Kinley — far more interested in viewing her ice cream cone — indicated she wasn’t sure what the eclipse fuss was all about.
Chances are, she’ll be more interested when the 2024 eclipse rolls around — when she’s about 16 years old.