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Great Eyecare Professionals I have known........meet____________!

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    Great Eyecare Professionals I have known........meet____________!

    I'm starting this thread so that I/we can share about people that we have met, worked with, and admired, even from afar, in the optical industry.

    There are many people that we have come across that we have worked with that may have influenced our work ethic, practice style, and perhaps we even quote occasionally.

    The person might have influenced you to join our industry. I remember my earliest eye exam appointments as a child and vowed that when I grew up......I would never fit anyone with ugly glasses!

    Please feel free to post about someone who you remember, and think of, or about. A few paragraphs about them would be nice so that we all can get the drift about what they were like. Describe them, use first names only, or a ficticious name would be good, if you wish them to remain anonymous.
    Eyes wide open

    Ralph Cole of Traylor Optical in Norfolk and Dr. Donald Levin also in Norfolk who began my optical education when everyone else thought I should stick to being a clerk.

    Karlen McLean who convinced me that I could write about this industry,

    Calvin Howell who taught me that there was more to life than work, but that the work we do is important and worth doing well.


      One of the best opticians I ever met was Nick Halagan. He was (is) the ultimate professional. He worked with me for a number of years, and he was an awesome teacher. Although he is 30 years my senior, he can work circles around and teenager, and always has a quick, witty, retort for every situation. The lab banter was awesome when Nick was working!

      Nick had a degree in Physics, but could explain things on a level that anyone could understand. One of his early jobs was traveling around the country, introducing some new-fangled lens called the RGP. The stories he told of those days were fascinating.

      I really miss him.

      Last I heard, he was working out in western Ohio. If you're out there Nick, give me a call!
      Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry



        My Dad is an Optician. I can remember wanting to be just like him while I was growing up. He was my idol, my hero. Heck, he still is! He always encouraged me to do more, to be be better, to do something else with my life. Yet, he gave me the chance to learn the trade in the lab that he ran. The whole time I worked there, he encouraged me to go to college, and do something better than optical work. When life for me took a few unexpected turns, he was always there for me. As it became clear that being an optician was in the stars for me, he accepted that. He told me that it didn't matter what I did for a living as long as I was happy. He encouraged me to be the best damn optician out there. I am still working on it and maybe one day I will be half the optician that he is!
        Last edited by Fezz; 10-05-2010, 06:51 PM.



          I first met Jorg the "sphere polishing wizard", on my first day of work at a optical laboratory. The surfacing lab manager walked me around and introduced me to each station and worker as an introductory to the process steps..then eventually to the station I would be working at; sphere roughing and fining. Working across from us was Jorg, where all of our accomplishments would be brought to polish.

          Jorg was a short, stout German immigrant who handled, nay, carressed each lens as he polished them, explaining to me the steps that he went through to make the lens clear. I marvelled at his skill and dexterity as he commanded each machine to a brief stop, replaced the laps with pads, wetted them, pinned a lens in place, and with a flick of the wrist started the polish process. Strains of "Blue Danube" came to mind as I watched him. I was mesmerised by his ability to stop, change lap and lens and fire up the polisher again, starting a new lens on its way to a perfect polish. They rarely weren't.
          His appearance was not unlike Fester's avatar with gold-rimmed glasses, which he made all by himself in "Chormany". He had soft, small, cerium oxide coated hands that were forever moving, forever hovering, to ensure that the polish flowed freely and that every polisher was running, save the one he was working on. If he had a free moment, he would pace with his hands clasped behind his back, as if his pacing woud speed up the polish process. Occasionally , he would pause, listen and quickly stop an unit. He would reach in and trim a pad or extract an impurity and resume the process.

          Each lens would be summarily inspected at a work light, and with a nod, would end up on the deblocking stack of trays. It kept four guys busy, sweating, to fine enough lenses to keep Jorg busy with enough lenses to polish.

          I started this thread with Jorg because he epitomized the lab work ethic. He was always happy to share a joke, but was always attentive to his station. It was always kept spotless and running from 8 to 12, 1 to 5.
          Eyes wide open