Subscribe for 33¢ / day

Cardboard frames for solar eclipse glasses are stacked in the American Paper Optics factory in Bartlett, Tenn., earlier this summer.

You would think a welder’s helmet would cut it.

It made a whole lot more sense to Gene Willers than the pin-pricked pages of paper that the newspaper recommended as the 1963 solar eclipse neared.

Willers was 13 then, spending his summer working on the family farm near Neligh. He made sure to take some time away from the chores to take in the celestial display just outside the shop attached to the barn, and he believed he was aptly prepared.