Ed Dannelly was right about that

Published 1:29 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

Back in the 1970s when I began work at The Andalusia Star-News, the illustrious editor-publisher Ed Dannelly questioned me. “You don’t wear glasses?” I did not. “You will,” he said, nodding, and walked away. He was right. Within a few years, I discovered my arms were not long enough to hold anything where I could read it. I found myself in an optometrist’s chair for an eye exam. When he made a machine click a few times, it was if he had snapped on a light in a dark room. I could see the letters in front of me perfectly. I left with a prescription for glasses.

That was such an “eye opening” experience that when I got home, I raced right to a bookshelf and pulled out an encyclopedia to find out when people first started using eyeglasses. To my surprise, the invention of eyeglasses is credited to the Chinese. Legend has it that they used them as early as 500 B.C. You might know that Benjamin Franklin is credited with inventing bifocals. He came up with the idea that he could save himself the trouble of changing glasses when looking from near objects to distant ones.

As I pondered that, I wondered if the people who wore glasses during those early times had the same problem I ran into almost immediately when I got glasses—losing them. When I mentioned this to my parents, my mother laughed and pointed to Daddy. He said that during the first few days after he started wearing glasses with bifocals, he had a difficult time adjusting to them. He took them off and laid them on the hood of a car while waiting on a customer at the service station he managed. The man drove off with the glasses on the car. He only drove a few hundred yards away to a grocery store. Daddy raced over and retrieved them. He was so thankful they hadn’t slipped off and been crushed.

My glasses once remained missing for three weeks. I realized my loss when I returned from a trip to Bellingrath Gardens with several friends. The driver searched her car high and low. I dumped my purse out several times, hoping I had overlooked them during the previous searches. Nothing showed up. I dug into pockets of the clothes I had worn on that trip. Again, no luck. I spread the word at church and work, hoping they would turn up. They did not. I hoped I would sit up in bed one night with the mystery solved. It did not happen. I finally found them tucked inside a shoe on my closet floor. Then I remembered I put them there when I gathered up some items in the living room to put away in the bedroom one night.

That’s ridiculous–glasses tucked in a shoe. I’ll bet even Chinese scholars and brilliant ole Ben Franklin lost their glasses at times, but never in a shoe.