By Mike Foley of the Loveland Reporter Herald
I don't think she knew she had a problem; at least not until her fourth-grade teacher told her mother, “She can't see the blackboard, ma'am, she has to walk up to within a foot of the board, and then has to squint to see what I've written on it.”
It was news to Mom, who replied, “It's just because her cousin has glasses, and she wants a pair too.”
The teacher convinced the doubter, and an appointment was made with an optometrist. On the fated day, she was taken in hand and delivered to the dispenser of optical correction for an exam, and when it was completed, the diagnosis was given; “She is nearly blind, missus, and you must keep an eye (is that a favorite phrase of opticians?) on her vision.”
She was fitted with glasses and the well-known “Coke Bottle” lenses became part of her look. Not too tragic for an 8-year-old, but as she matured and became a teenager—a beautiful teen I might add—those specs did nothing for her looks.
During those high school years she was gifted with a nickname; “Magoo” taken from an extremely nearsighted ‘50's cartoon character, “Mr. Magoo.”
She became a cheerleader, but wasn't elected because of how she looked with her glasses, not on your life. They were hidden away lest they be spotted by a classmate. She'd take her chances, and continue to make those trips to the blackboard—she never revealed how many toes she stepped upon on those treks.
Those closing words of the eye doctor continued to haunt her. ... Read more