105-year-old eclipse buff excited to see his 13th eclipse on April 8

Retired engineer Laverne Biser has built a lot of things, including his own telescopes.

"I was interested in astronomy all of my life, ever since high school," Biser said.

Biser is an eclipse aficionado. The 105-year-old has seen a dozen of them, and the total solar eclipse on April 8 will be his 13th.


"My first solar eclipse was 1963. I’ve got a list of them right there on the table," Biser said. "1963, 1972, 79, 84, 88, 91, 94, 98, 99, 2012, 2017, 2023."

And he remembers them all.

Thanks to photos and keepsakes, he has memories of traveling the world with his two children and his late wife to view the events he describes as "a fantastic thing to see."

"The first one was at Dover, Foxcroft, Maine. I drove on my vacation. I drove up there to see that," he recalled. "You see one, you want to see them all, and everybody yells, ‘Hey, look at that.’"

Biser, who lives in Fort Worth, said he’ll be with his daughter in Plano on April 8.

"Over here, I’m at the edge of the pattern and it doesn’t last very long. Over there is closer to the middle. It’ll last three or four minutes over there. That’s where we’re going to go. My daughter is there in Plano," Biser explained.

Though he’s good at the tedious process of building a telescope, he’s happy he won’t need one this time.

"If it stays clear, and you keep watching it, just watch it and use your glasses when it’s a partial eclipse," he said. "But when it goes total, take those off and look, and it’s something beautiful to see. It’ll excite you."