Tom Sorensen

A total eclipse of Andre the Giant

Pro wrestler Andre the Giant.
Pro wrestler Andre the Giant. AP

The last eclipse I saw before Monday was decades ago. I was standing outside with a notebook and a pen, and standing between me and the sun was Andre the Giant.

A pro wrestler, Andre was listed at 7-4 and more than 500 pounds. He was so nice, often laughing and enjoying life. His ended in 1993; he was 47. To be invited to his memorial at his 46-acre ranch near Ellerbe, about an hour and a half west of Charlotte, was an honor.

At the ranch, nobody ever gawked at the big man. Champagne (French, like Andre) was served at the memorial, and the biggest names in wrestling attended. Often so loud at live shows and on TV, the wrestlers were reserved and respectful. Everybody liked Andre.

Andre was my favorite eclipse. But I liked Monday’s, too.

I read and heard several people complain about the eclipse. In related news, the same people likely complain about the quality of hurricanes, tornadoes, pestilence, locust attacks and floods.

What, did they want their money back? I merely covered my sunglasses with magic solar proof silver stuff from the Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Association. OK, I didn’t do it. A friend did.

Maybe you spent $50 or $100 on your glasses. If so, I have two tips.

First hang onto them. The next eclipse is scheduled for 2024.

Secondly, if you plan to watch the eclipse in Columbia, Greenville or Charleston, and want to avoid traffic, you probably should leave now.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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