Fifth grade was a big year for me – I could see! Not that I realized before that I couldn’t see.
I used to sit about two feet from the television. Mom and Dad would tell me to move back. I did, but slowly moved up close again. They’d tell me to move back again and I’d leave the room. I didn’t understand what was so great about TV at a distance.
The school nurse told my mother that I should have my eyes tested. So we headed off to Dr. Root in San Diego – quite a trip in those days from our rural town. I liked the eye tests (still do). We had to wait a couple of weeks for the glasses to be made. Then on the big day, we drove back to the city.
I was astounded – I could see windows in buildings and leaves on the trees and people’s faces. I exclaimed over everything. It made mom feel so guilty for not knowing that I had such poor eyesight. No one else in the family wore glasses. Even now I’m amazed when I see babies in glasses. In those days it was unusual for someone in elementary school to wear them.
On the first day I took the glasses to school and hid them in my desk. When the teacher wrote something on the board, I slipped them on. It was magic! After that I never tried to hide them. I did think I looked awkward in them, but at that age I would have felt awkward anyway.