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87-year-old woman sees her first, last total solar eclipse

Posted at 7:08 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 12:18:56-04
An 87-year-old Nashville woman said she's been waiting her entire life to watch the total solar eclipse. On Monday, she was able to do just that. 

The overpass on Fern Avenue at the Interstate 65 and Interstate 24 merge was one of the best spots in town. Dozens of photographers like Kenn Stilger set up there early in the morning.

"You've got the whole panorama," said Stilger. "[There were] probably about 20, 25 cameras." 
 
Some people like Lanika Moore came from as far as Philadelphia to watch the eclipse with her family.
 
"It looks like Pac-Man! It does looks like Pac-Man. Looks like somebody took a bite out of a cookie," said Moore.
 
One woman, 87-year-old Della Clark, made sure the families and photographers knew how special the event was. For her, the total solar eclipse was once-in-a-lifetime. 
 
"It was my first time. I'll be 88 in November, and I know I won't be around the next time," said Clark.
 
The octogenarian said the eclipse was highly spiritual for her. 
 
"I'm looking for the Messiah to come back again, and I said the whole world be looking this time," she said.
 
Clark was concerned the afternoon cloud cover would keep her wish to witness the moon's passing in front of the sun from coming true. 
 
"I don't see anything now, the clouds are covering it now! Totally covering everything. We can't see anything," she said and totality approached. "It's getting darker. There it is! Ooo my goodness! It's getting darker! Ooo look at that! It's getting darker!" 
 
Then, as the clouds parted, she saw it.
 
"Praise God," Clark said. "You see this children? This is the great power. The great powerful universe."
 
She made sure everyone on Fern Avenue knew this was special. 
 
"This is power itself ... making me want to cry," she said. "This is nobody but the great power of the universe. Look at the Stars!" 
 
While clouds covered the eclipse mostly, the corona peeked through for long enough for Clark to see what she had waited hear for. 
 
"The birds and the crickets - it seemed like they was in confusion. They didn't know which way to go," she said.
 
Clark said the moment gave her new energy. 
 
"I felt good, I felt a strange feeling. I felt wonderful, happy, whatever it is," she said.  
 
Although the next total solar eclipse to cross over the United States has been predicted for 2024, Clark said she expected to be in a much difference place.
 
"I'll be up there where I can really see it," she said.