Our hunt for solar eclipse viewing glasses

Photo: NASA

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Science Central has run out of solar eclipse viewing glasses and viewing cards for the second time. However, you can still buy some if you renew or sign up for a membership. With only a weekend that separates us from the solar eclipse are there any of these glasses still in Fort Wayne?

The Bobays found some before the drought.

“The eclipse has been on our radar for a couple of months, but it was only a couple weeks ago that the opportunity really became open with our work schedules,” Craig Bobay said. “We’re able to be away on Monday.”

The Bobays are hitting the road to Nashville to see a total solar eclipse with some precious cargo–solar eclipse viewing glasses.

“Went to an Ace Hardware that didn’t have any, then went to Kroger and picked up the last ones,” Nancy Bobay said.

Don’t rush out the door just yet. Kroger, all the Krogers in Allen County, are sold out. So are other vendors like Walmart and Lowes. Casey’s General Store, Circle K, Toys R Us and Best Buy were also listed as vendors of the glasses and all local stores are sold out.

“We have been getting thousands of calls about these glasses they’re very hard to come by,” Jefferson Pointe Marketing Manager Katrina Newman said. “We ordered our glasses, and our supplier came through just in the nick of time.”

Jefferson Pointe will pass out 1,000 free pairs of the viewing glasses at an eclipse viewing party Monday from 1-3 p.m.

But the search is still on to find the place still selling the glasses. Then, I thought I caught a break. When I called the Flying J in New Haven, one of the retailers listed on the American Astronomical Society’s website, I was told they were in stock, and cost $15. It’s a steep price, but to keep my eyesight intact worth it. But, of course, it was too good to be true. When I went to the store employees there said they were not selling them.

A not so happy ending for this procrastinator. Those who planned ahead win again.

“The research I’ve done about it is it’s something really hard to describe unless you actually see it,” Craig Bobay said. “So, I think it’s going to be something we’ll remember the rest of our lives.”

Something you have to see to believe.

We have a whole eclipse section on wane.com for tips and advice about Monday. It includes directions on how to make your own solar eclipse viewer. Another route if you can’t find glasses is to share with a friend. You only need to be wearing the glasses when you’re looking directly at the sun, and it’s a several hour event. Also join the discussion on Facebook about where these glasses may or may not be.