By: Paul Ferron
Approx. Time Frame Late 1970's

American Optical Visitors:

Dorothy Hamill (Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medal Winner)

Bob Griese (Miami Dolphins Pro Football Quarterback)

I recall the visit these two sports super stars made to the American Optical Frame Plant to promote their respective sunglasses that were being manufactured in the Frame Plant at that time.

Our Plant Manager at that time, Cless Robbins, had made it very clear that we were not to request autographs from either of these two celebrities as they toured our facility. Well, that made things difficult for me in that my oldest daughter, Lynn, who was about eight at the time, was a devoted Dorothy Hamill fan and insisted that I get her autograph or she would disown me as her father. Needless to say, Lynn got her autograph and I got the verbal reprimand from the plant manager.

As for the Bob Griese story - the Miami Dolphins had just been beaten rather badly by the then Boston Patriots. As Griese was walking down the main aisle of the Frame Plant, one of our more devoted Patriot fans threw him a deflated football, and yelled, Bob, see if you can handle this better than you did the Patriots the other day. This also did not set that well with the management staff giving the tour, but being Patriot fans themselves, it was sort of laughed off as Griese proceeded to fumble the football.

Bob Griese Meeting at AO Main Plant - Southbridge


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