By: Margo Fontaine

I recall many memories over the years at the American Optical, some good and some not so good, but interesting....! There have been many people who have walked through those various buildings and tunnels. Some walking to their respective locations of employment and others walking toward a rendezvous with their secret admirer. When I say secret - so they thought, but most of us knew but just didn't let on. I won't even go there....

One time which stands out in my mind was when I was working for the Legal Patent Department. Bob Griese of the Miami Dolphins who was promoting sunglasses for AO called the office to speak with the attorney handling his contract. Surprisingly enough, I knew nothing about sports & the name certainly didn't mean anything to me. I asked his name and when he told me, took the message as if he were just another caller & told him I would get the message to the appropriate person when they came out of their meeting.

When I did eventually give the message, the lawyer looked at me like I was an idiot & said why didn't you pull me out of the meeting for such an important call - now he probably won't get back to me as he's a very busy man & I'll have trouble reaching him. I told him, so... who isn't busy and besides what's the big deal as that's exactly the procedure we always use?

When he told me who Griese was it still didn't impress me but I was told should he call again, be sure to find him whether he was in a meeting, the bathroom, or wherever. I agreed but the next time Griese called, he was able to reach the attorney on the first try so I never got to apologize (even though I didn't feel there was anything to apologize for - I did my job). The bliss of sports fans!

Griese did eventually come to Southbridge to tour the AO facilities & many of the AO employees were impressed, but I didn't happen to be one of them so it was like any other day for me. There were plenty though that thought it was one of the greatest days at AO to see a celebrity among them. Now had it been Michael Landon, I would have been the first in line to see him!!!

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