R.D. Miller b.  1937

The total eclipse event this year brought back memories of my first viewing of a solar eclipse.  This year’s path of totality will cross my home town, Glenrock, in central Wyoming.

In 1939 the Great Depression was in full swing and my father had trouble finding work   He had been injured in an accident while working for a pipeline company and had crushed his fingers on one hand.  Being unable to work right away, he lost his job with the company.  He then worked at whatever jobs he could find.

In 1940 my maternal grandfather, who lived in Oklahoma, said there was a large construction job in Tulsa that was short of laborers.  With that, my parents loaded up my younger brother, me and whatever clothes they might need, into their car and headed south.  Dad was able to get on the payroll there and we moved in with my mother’s sister.  But when the construction was complete, there were no jobs to be found in Oklahoma so my parents headed back to Wyoming.

They arrived back in Wyoming in early 1941, just as the CONOCO refinery in my home town was expanding and hiring new employees.  Dad was able to get one of the jobs and remained with the company until 1955 when the refinery was closed.

Thus, in April 1941 we were resettled in our home and, according to Dad, things were looking up.  All of the above is based on conversations with my father, because I was three when we were in Oklahoma and my memories of that time are very few.

My brother Gary (L) and me, about 1943

However, my memory is pretty strong about many events that happened after returning to the place of my birth.  One of the most distinct is about viewing the solar eclipse from our backyard.  It was a partial eclipse where we lived, but my parents still made a big deal out of it.  Dad had gotten some very dark glass, possibly out of a welder’s mask, and I remember looking at the sun through that dark glass. My Dad’s parents lived next door and they joined us to see it.   Of course at the time I did not realize the significance of the event but the memory remains with me to this day.




1 thought on “VIEWING AN ECLIPSE”

  1. What I find interesting is the similarity of the experiences that this blog drags out of those in our generation. I guess looking back is the inevitable product of aging. Probably a good thing, as long as we can keep doing it!

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