Optometry Tools

My Grandfather's Optometry Tools
My Grandfather's Optometry Tools

When I first learned about this assignment, I asked my parents about their opinion on what I should choose as my object. My mom suggested that I use some lenses that my grandfather had used when he was an optometrist. These glass lenses were once used to figure out how strong of a prescription was needed. I first dismissed this idea, my grandfather hadn’t brought them with him when he came to Brooklyn. But, as I learned more about them, I realized that they did, in fact, tell a story; regardless of the fact that they hadn’t traveled from Europe to Brooklyn. So, what story do the lenses tell? My grandfather came to Brooklyn when he was still a kid. His parents were from Ukraine and Austria, and left for a better opportunity. Because of   increasing poverty and Anti-Semitism, they set off to Brooklyn. As soon as my grandfather turned eighteen, he enrolled in the army, and served in World War 2. Once the war ended, my grandfather was left without a job. A G.I bill passed that benefited veterans of World War 2- although this wasn’t at all a perfect bill, it did help my Grandfather and enabled him to start Optometry school. Soon after, he became an Optometrist.        But, what really is the story here? What do they really represent? To me, they represent a new life in Brooklyn. All in all, I admire my family’s work in creating a life in the United States after leaving a place that was unsafe for them to live in. 

Place(s): Ukraine, Austria

– HB

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant