Monday’s solar eclipse was a visual spectacle for millions of people across the country. Yet not everyone experienced the event the same way. NBC10 photojournalist Jim Friedman spoke to two best friends in the Lehigh Valley, one blind and one visually impaired, who still celebrated the historic day.
Judy Caruana told NBC10 she’s been blind for her entire life.
“I can basically see everything except the message is not getting to the brain because the optic nerve is deteriorated,” she said.
Caruana’s best friend Rita Lang, of Whitehall Township, suffers from Retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that causes vision impairment.
“Basically, so what type of vision I have is what we call a tunnel vision,” Lang said. “I see a pinpoint. So if I’m looking straight ahead that’s all I really see.”
Both friends decided to have an eclipse party in Whitehall Monday to experience it together in their own unique way.
“I was always interested in the solar system,” Lang said. “I was always interested in the complexities of the sky and that it just goes on forever.”
The women stepped outside and put on protective glasses during the eclipse and described what they saw.
“Oh my!” Caruana shouted. “I am seeing something! I do absolutely see the orange. Oh it’s getting brighter!”
Lang told NBC10 she wasn't able to see much.
“I just see a little bit of a shadow,” Lang said. “To me it’s very dark.”
Lang wasn't disappointed however and continued to celebrate with her best friend.
“I’m about to have my strawberry margarita,” Lang said.
“Is it ready?” Caruana asked.
“Almost,” Lang replied with a smile.
The two women then went inside to not only celebrate the eclipse but also their bond with one another that continues to shine.