The Saga Of The 22-Year-Old Pair Of Sunglasses

In 1988 I did stupid things with the ridiculous amount of credit I’d managed to acquire. It seemed there was no card I didn’t have and it all began when on a lark at the age of 20 making about 13,000 a year as a courier for a travel visa company I submitted an application for an American Express card, listing my title as a Regional Consular Liaison.

To my surprise they didn’t laughingly reject my otherwise unqualified ass. Neither did Nieman Marcus three years later — and it was at their flagship store in Beverly Hills during a spree I couldn’t afford that I bought all sorts of stuff I didn’t need — including these throwback Ralph Lauren Polo-brand sunglasses. I loved the styling for some 12 years, up until  the frame around the right lens cracked in 2000, as can be seen in the image above.

The condition I long thought they’d also been in was Gone. After several years spent fruitlessly searching for a repair shop that could restore them, I was pretty sure I’d pitched them in the trash, perhaps as far back as 2004 when I’d moved in with Susan. But yesterday while looking for something else entirely I found an old eyeglass case at the back and bottom of a drawer, opened it up and there they were.

I prefaced with all that because back in August Los Angeles magazine came out with its annual Best Of issue and while I flipping through it I found a brief on just the place that just might be able to do the trick: Paul Gross Eyeglass Repair, a literal hole-in-the-wall shop inside a dry cleaners in Glendale. I tore that page out of the magazine and saved it — albeit somewhat forlornly given the high probability I had thrown the glasses away.

Then with the shades so serendipitously rediscovered I went looking for that piece of paper I, of course, misplaced. Eventually I found it, and I’m planning a visit to the place to see if a resurrection can be made to happen.

UPDATE (9:22 p.m.):

Et voila! How nice it is to have my old friends back after a decade. Funny thing though … Paul tried to talk me out of it saying where the break was he couldn’t guarantee the soldering job would last. How much, I asked. $25, he said. I told him that for sentimental value alone I’d probably pay $75 just to have these shades whole again, even if for just a day (though I’m going to treat ’em with ultra care in hopes they last longer than that).

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."