“Hey Grace, you want to head over to The Discovery Museum and get some glasses and watch the eclipse?”
“Sure. That’d be cool.”
Half hour later as our car approached the Discovery Museum we could see that both sides of Park Avenue were packed with cars.
“Wow! All these people are here for the eclipse.” Grace and I were stunned.
As we walked towards the museum, we saw the line was at least 500 people deep. The line was dotted with umbrellas keeping waiters cool. We positioned ourselves in the line and quickly made friends with an elderly couple from Branford.
No sooner were we in line did an employee make the announcement that they only had about 500 pairs of glasses left and we were not likely to get a pair. Grace and I turned to each other not sure what to do – stay in line or go home and watch it on TV. We stayed.
We watched as groups of people left the line each waving or just holding a pair of glasses. I turned to my new friends, the elderly couple, Mary Lou and Joe (although his wife of many years kept calling him Joey) and said “What they should do is give one pair per group or family and then share it.” Mary Lou looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, “Well, I’m not sure that would happen, I’ve kinda given up on that kinda love.” A little taken aback by her quick response I simply said, “Well, ya never know.”
Time ticked on, we made more friends – a social studies teacher from Bridgeport, a pre-school teacher with her 6 year old son Jack who had just lost his first tooth. “The tooth fairy gave me $5.00 whole dollars!” he proudly shared with me. I learned that Mary Lou was a former high school English teacher, now teaching freshman English at Quinnipiac University. Friends help each other out. So when Joey went to his car to get an umbrella to shade Mary Lou from the sun, he came back with two big golf umbrellas. He immediately shared it with the family in front of us. He kept offering shade to those around us. I was really enjoying the line and those in it.
The same employee that we had seen earlier returned. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this but we will not have enough glasses for you all.” There it was, the official news. Grace was off at the telescope line with her cousins whom we happened upon during this mini adventure. “What to do? What to do?” I pondered again. “Go home or check out the museum?”
When Grace returned, I said “The next person I see walking with glasses I’m just going to ask the borrow them so I can check it out.” No sooner did those words leave my mouth did a woman with a rambunctious child appear. “Excuse me, can I bor…” “We are all done with these, can I sell them to you so I can get my girl some ice cream?” she pointed to the disheveled girl who had woven her way through the maze of legs in line.” “Sure! How much?” “Five?!” “OK” I turn to my new friends, Mary Lou and Joey, and tell them, “Five dollars and you guys can get have this ladies glasses.” With a quick exchange of glasses for cash. We put the glasses on and looked up and saw it, the eclipse. Mary Lou and I passed our newly acquired glasses around to those near us. We watched smiles appear as one by one our new friends got a view of the 2017 solar eclipse.
About to head home, I turned to Mary Lou and said, “See, there is still love in this world.” Both Mary Lou and Joey laughed, looked right at me and said “You’re right, there is.”
One pair of glasses was all this neighborhood needed.