Second time’s the charm

HERALD photo/Roger Cline
Roger Cline
Staff Writer

Evelyn Carter of Big Spring waited a long time to witness Monday’s solar eclipse. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible from the east coast of the United States clear to the west coast was in 1918...two months after Evelyn was born. Missed it by THAT much.
“I’m very excited about it,” Carter said. “It just doesn’t happen very often, that’s for sure.”
Carter’s daughter, Susan Durham, said her mom was born Aug. 9, 1918.
“So she just had her 99th birthday party,” Durham said. “The first solar eclipse that completely crossed the US was in 1918, and that was June 8, 1918. Now that she’s 99, she can actually watch the eclipse. She’s so excited about it, since her favorite subject as a teacher to teach the children was about the solar system.”
Carter said she’s always loved learning about new discoveries about our sun and its satellites.
“I enjoy keeping up with it, and I’m excited about this happening today,” she said.
Carter was born in Nebraska, and spent most of her life in Mer Rouge, La. She moved to Big Spring three years ago, Durham said.
“No one was left (related to Carter in Louisiana), so she ended up coming with us to Big Spring,” Durham said. “We’re from Louisiana as well, but my husband took a job at the hospital here, so we moved down here.”
Carter has lived through a lot during her 99 years, Durham said.
“In World War II, my dad was in Leyte in the Philippines; and he also was in Okinawa. So he had the war experience, unfortunately,” said Durham. “So my mom’s been through a lot, but she’s had some peaceful years since 1946. My father passed away in 1993, so she’s been widowed, but she’s loving Big Spring and Marcy Place, They’ve made it very comfortable for her here.”
Donald Trump is Carter’s 18th president. Durham related voting in presidential elections to the eclipse.
“She wouldn’t miss (the eclipse) for the world,” she said. “Also, she was, I believe, the oldest person in Howard County who voted in the last presidential election. I guess we better not say who she voted for, but she would not miss that either.”
Although she might have slowed down a touch physically, Carter is still mentally strong, Durham said.
“She was a teacher for many years, and then she was actually a land broker...she was a realtor and a land broker,” she said. “She’s been very active. She reads numerous books a month, so that’s why her mind is so sharp. And her advice to everyone to reach 99 is to eat lots of sweets. Do not cut out the sugar. She did not drink very much, maybe an Old Fashioned every now and then, but that was it. But she certainly ate bacon, sugar, everything.”
Carter got a good long look at Monday’s eclipse, using glasses with darkened lenses specially made for eclipse viewing.
“I can see it real good!” she said during the event.