The end of an era arrived Wednesday night when I got home, took out my contacts, reached for the pair of glasses I typically wear around the house and had the left earpiece suddenly and surprisingly pull away from the frame.
As best as my myopic eyes could without any glasses on, I examined the 12-year-old, silver, Champion-brand spectacles and feared what Albany Eye Care, my current optical facility, on Friday confirmed: That the breakdown was a catastrophic failure that could not be remedied.
Oh, I tried. But even the miracle of contact cement fell short; the broken piece would not be induced to stay in place.
I know they are only glasses, and not even my primary ones at this point; the pair I wear at work, made by Nike, I got just last July.
But I still sort of mourned the demise of the heretofore sturdy Champions.
I originally bought them at Sears to be my spare glasses and the pair to wear while mowing the lawn, etc., but then I decided they were more comfortable than my main specs so took to wearing them as such.
Among other places, those glasses went with me on five week-long motorcycle trips, ranging as far as Death and Monument valleys and surviving a camping mishap in August 2008; I’d forgotten I’d set them on the bench outside the shower at a campground on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge and mashed them with my foot when I went to dry my leg.
But when I got home a couple days later, the optician at Sears bent them neatly back into their proper shape.
I’ve worn glasses since I was 12, and the ones that just gave out were my all-time favorites. I like the ones I have now, and I enjoyed the tinted Reggie Jackson glasses I had from high school well into adulthood, but the Champions were the best overall package of comfort, utility and appearance (I realize they got a little outdated looking at the end, but not too bad, I don’t think).
OK, before we sign off, I know you’re dying to see the specs we’ve been talking about, so here you go, and longtime readers will remember that the photo below served as the blog profile for a pic for most of 2008 and ’09. RIP, silver Champs; you served me well: