Just a few words from somebody who has been around for a while (well quite a while). I have seen many changes in my life, the world and in the optical field. Some of these changes have been good and some changes that I would rather never happened. Oh for the days when you did not need a thousand-dollar hand held device to stay in touch with the world around us. You could sit down for a meal with family or friends and have a conversation without the annoyance of interruptions from phone call, texting or children playing games on these devices. I guess I could go on for a while with this, but the purpose of this article is to try to find out what has happened to the optical profession, as I knew it and what it meant to me then and what it means today. In the not too distant past, the Ophthalmic Dispenser not optician was a professional licensed individual who was related to the medical field and held in high regard. The doctor’s patient and the doctor came to you for advice to give the best possible vision, there was no doctor dispensing and your opinion was always respected. Big business did not try to control the optical field and do away with the mom and pop operations because profit was the motivating force behind patient care. Education was the key to success in the profession even though optical schools per se did not exist yet. Knowledge was shared with colleagues and the ophthalmic dispenser trained the novice coming into the field so that they could be the best at what they do. WHAT HAPPENED! Yes, we have schools and they are good, to teach the theoretical part of education and even some of the practical, but nothing, nothing replaces the knowledge learned from your peers or seasoned ophthalmic dispensers who have been there and done that. Yes, we have continuing education, which is a required means of retaining our license. Yes, we can go online to obtain these credits, but that is not enough to be the best ophthalmic dispenser or give the proper care to the public. WHAT DO WE NEED? In the OLD days, we would look to our optical organizations for the needed education and knowledge. There were monthly meetings where we would share our optical experiences, cement old friendships, and make some new ones. I miss it, as I am sure others do. This brings us to the crux of this missive. We have the means to make this a better experience. O.A.N.Y. the Opticians Alliance of New York. O.A.N.Y. brings the latest and best of continuing education and the latest legislation news. But also brings the best optical people together to share all the latest techniques and tricks to make your profession the best for you. COME TO A MEETING, BRING AN ASSOCIATE AND MEET THE LEADERS IN THE FIELD, SEE WHAT O.A.N.Y. IS ALL ABOUT. Page 3 From the Old Geezer By Peter Bacotti, Past President