First, my old sunglasses
I can remember when I first bought a pair of nice sunglasses. I bought my first good pair of sunglasses before going to prison. Set to serve five years. Told I had to serve at least two years of the five year sentence. I was a “drug dealer,” convicted for possession with intent to sell a bunch of pot. There is a very limited list of things one is allowed to bring into prison.
On that list of things allowed to bring into prison were sunglasses. Since sunglasses were one of the few things that I could have, it felt important to have something nice from the world of choices. Prison was located in La Tuna, New Mexico, which is not far from the Mexican border. Deep in the American Southwest where the sun does get rather hot and bright. If you’re going to be outside, having sunglasses is probably a pretty good thing.
I had given up on sunglasses before. Sunglasses were never something I wore. I don’t particularly like to wear something on my face. When I first tried to wear sunglasses I would lose them or they would get scratched. I hate having scratches in front of my eyes. I find that extremely distracting. Keeping sunglasses clean or unscratched, I learned, was really not easy for me. It wasn’t worth it. Therefore, early on I adopted hats, to protect my head and eyes, instead.
Then came a hat.
I wear a wide brim hat. A wide brim hat provides a good deal of sun protection and the ability to shade the eyes avoiding glare. For me, having a wide brim hat was at least as functional as sunglasses. Not allowed a hat at F.C.C La Tuna. Hats weren’t on the list.
Back to the old ones.
Anyway, back to those sunglasses. I was able to keep them through prison. They were Revo sunglasses. I can remember spending well over $100 for them. That might not sound very significant now. Except this was back in 1986 and spending well over $100 for a pair of sunglasses was definitely more than I had ever considered. But since I knew I was going in to prison for a long time in a bright area, and the only thing I could have was one of the few things that would be mine. I decided I’d go for the best pair I could. They ended up being Revos. At the time, they had a lifetime warranty.
I thought that was rather cool and that sealed the deal for me.
Those Revos served me well in prison. Sort of set me up with the elite class of prisoners, comprised mostly of cocaine dealers. They were a status symbol the hacks didn’t seem to recognize. Even though I was a lowly pot dealer, I was still a dealer. I was on that team. There weren’t as many there for pot, in fact I was probably the one of the only pot dealers that was in there at the time. Most of the guys in for drugs were in for cocaine or heroin. It was in the 80’s, Reagan was cracking down on pot as a gateway drug. Same time Nancy was running the Just Say No campaign.
I don’t know what happened to those sunglasses now that I think about them, but then again I’ve had a house fire and lost all sorts of stuff over time. All just a different reality.
That was then…
Why am I telling this story about Revo sunglasses from the way back prison days? Because I just bought my first pair of sunglasses since then. I decided these aged eyes need all the help they can get. A big reason is that I was sailing a bit this summer. I noticed that there were times where the glare was really hard on my eyes. It would have been nice to have a good pair of polarized sunglasses. That stayed in the back of my head and these cold days have me thinking about warmer weather. I’ve been keeping my eye eye out for sale, or a good deal, anything along those lines.
REI is a sporting goods Co Op I belong to. They sent an email about a warehouse sale a couple of days ago that prompted me to order a pair of Native Eyewear brand sunglasses.
Native Eyewear sunglasses
As I wrote, the brand is Native Eyewear. They have a lifetime warranty and replaceable lenses, which I still think is great. I went to the website and checked them out before ordering. I really liked their presentation. They proclaimed a strong sense of corporate responsibility. The frames are made from recycled plastic. Native Eyewear sunglasses are made in the United States. That is also a really big plus for me as I prefer buying things that are made in the United States, anytime I can. At less than half price, I said okay, these are them.
Once I got them, I checked them out, and yes they definitely help with the glare. It was a nice bright sunny day today and the sun was hitting off the water. I went out to the end of the dock and stared right into the glare across the bay and enjoyed those wonderful rippling diamonds on the water. I was able to still make out the boat that’s out there. Features along the shoreline and things like that were definable. My vision is definitely improved with these polarized lenses in bright sunlight. They felt comfortable, so I’m very happy.
I didn’t go into a lot of thought about eye frame design or anything like that. Price and other factors mattered more. They have a rather standard frame. I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would fit my face well enough that they would feel comfortable. Buying things over the internet and through mail order does always present that kind of challenge, but I was very happy to find that they fit well they seem to stay on my face. I will get one of those eyeglass chains for sailing. Don’t want them blown or knocked off. That just makes sense. I need to have some way to hold them on. Just like I have a string that holds on my hat.
Okay, there’s a little bit about my new native eyewear polarized sunglasses. That I will be wearing occasionally.
Thinking about spring.
Why am I buying sunglasses in the dead of winter? I definitely don’t ski. I’m thinking about spring! I have my seeds already, but that’s another story (not going to be stuck with whatever’s left like last Spring). Now have a pair of sunglasses for Spring, as well (that I need to keep from getting scratched).
I have them in their case now. I’m looking forward to being able to be out there, sailing with them on.
I still prefer a hat and will continue to wear it.