The Photographer:

By Specs4ever

Living within a short drive of the Mexican and US border is handy for a number of reasons. One thing we do a lot of is drive to Mexico for lower cost prescription drugs, and for dental work that is about a third of the cost of comparable dental work in the USA. Sure, it is a pain having to listen to the dentist and the dental technician jaberwoking back and forth in Spanish, but as I said, the price is right, and when a person is on a limited budget, this is a big factor.

The last time I was there for some dental work I got the bright idea that I might also be able to purchase contact lenses for a better price, without a prescription. I also had a pair of glasses that I really wanted to have the lenses fitted into a smaller frame. I had been given these lenses, which were fitted rather poorly into a wire frame by a friend of mine in Michigan, and they were biconcave, about –14.50D or better, in good old CR 39 plastic. I had then fitted them into a large old 80’s men’s plastic frame that made them look really coke bottle like when I wore them. Last year I took these glasses to a nearby city, but 4 different one-hour optical stores refused to even look at them. I even showed them where the frame was almost cracked through, and if it broke completely I would be in trouble if I had to take out my contacts. But these stores were more interested in selling a complete new pair of glasses. So I grabbed a couple of young ladies frames that I wanted new lenses put into, along with these men’s glasses. I wrote out a prescription for glasses as well as a few prescriptions for contact lenses that I wanted, and off I headed for Mexico.

I knew which optical store I was going to try first, and I was fortunate that the young lady spoke excellent English. Of course the others there all had to get into the act, but I finally managed to find a frame that they thought they could have my lenses sized into. Then I produced the 2 young girls frames, along with the very strong prescription I had written out for them. I was surprised at how cheap the 3 pairs of glasses were going to be, so of course I authorized the work.

It was going to take a few days for the almost –20D girls glasses, but my other glasses were going to be ready in a few hours. So, I wandered around the small city, bored out of my mind, tired of being accosted every few feet by yet another hawker for a pharmacy, or a dentist, or an eyewear place. It reached the point where I had been by some of the hawkers so many times that they recognized me, and finally stopped hitting on me.

I wandered down a street that I hadn’t been on before, probably because there were hardly any shops on it. As I got to the end of the street I turned left and walked back towards the center of town. As I was walking a clean looking, casually dressed gentleman came up beside me. He asked in excellent English if there was anything that he could help me obtain. So, I explained to him that I was just waiting for a pair of glasses to be ready, and we walked along chatting for a few minutes. I commented that he must be finding it hard to get his commissions with such a low volume of tourist traffic, and he told me that he didn’t get commissions from the stores he sent people to, just tips from people. He also told me that he had a family of five to support, and pickings had been terribly slim the least while. He was so clean looking, and sincere sounding that I reached in my pocket, pulled out a few bucks that I had placed there as change from my last purchase, and handed it to him. I knew there was only 3 or 4 dollars, and I felt a little guilty, as I could have handed him a 20 without breaking the bank but I am not into enabling beggars, and while he hadn’t asked for anything, I would have regretted handing him more. But when he thanked me, and told me that he had to earn at least $ 15.00 a day to even come close to feeding his family, I almost wished I had given him more.

I went on home after my glasses were ready, and I was very pleased with how they looked in the new frame. The only thing was that they had polished the edges like the original lenses, which I hate the appearance of, so I took the lenses back out and carefully sanded them to remove the edge polishing.

The next evening I did GOC wearing these glasses. As I wandered around the house, I got thinking about the Mexican gentleman, and his family. I hadn’t even asked him the ages of his children, or if they were boys or girls. And, as I thought some more I wondered why I hadn’t thought to ask him his name, or how to contact him. You see, an idea was forming in my mind.

On the internet there is a site devoted to girls wearing high minus glasses. A couple of years ago I had sent the owner of this site a few pairs of my old high minus ladies glasses that I no longer really cared about. Actually, I had done this thinking I would get more pleasure from seeing these glasses on some of his models than I would get from just looking at the glasses in a box hidden away at my home. And I was correct. My only problem, and it wasn’t really a problem, was that I had made a suggestion that he select one pair of glasses for each girl, so that when the pictures were posted, it would look like it was possible that this girl actually needed the glasses she was posing in. But, it is hard to find models that will appear in strong glasses for what we are able to pay, since we earn no revenue from doing this. All we get is the pleasure of people enjoying the stories I write, or the pictures he takes and posts. So, I enjoyed his work, and I was glad I had donated my old glasses to him.

But, I wondered, could this Mexican gentleman find me some ladies who would consent to pose in very strong glasses. I figured if I paid him a hundred dollars, and I paid each of the girls 15 dollars for 6 pictures, I could likely get over 120 pictures for my collection. I likely could get even more if I took 8 pictures, but still paid them the fifteen dollars. Then I realized that I had to cross back through US Customs. I would be very limited to the number of pairs of glasses I could hide on me at a time. Maybe I could get 10 pairs through. If I stayed over, and did it for 2 days, maybe I could get 30 pairs through in 3 visits. It was a good thought, and I was anxious to work on it further.

I knew I couldn’t get away the following weekend, so I spent a considerable time selecting about 30 different pairs of glasses from my collection. Finally I had what I considered a reasonable selection. When I looked over my selection I had a total of 34 pairs. 19 pairs were suitable for young ladies between the ages of 8 and 18. One pair was for a very young child of between 2 and 3 years of age. 2 pairs were suitable for young men, and the remaining 12 pairs were all for older ladies. Some of the glasses were glasses I would never wish to part with, so I was more than a little hesitant to take them through the border with me. Sure, it likely would have been a simple thing to go to Customs on my way into Mexico and declare all 34 pairs to US Customs as US goods being temporarily exported. However, I am a little hesitant to place my little hobby in the forefront, and by doing this I would be announcing to the world that I was more than a bit weird.

So, when the following Friday rolled around I left work early, and did the drive to the border. Before walking into Mexico I booked a room at a nearby motel, and just before 6 pm I wandered across the border. They were rolling up the streets. Almost all the stalls were closed, and there were only a couple of hawkers still standing around talking. I went up to them, and I asked them if they knew a gentleman in his early 40’s, looking clean and presentable, and with a small birthmark on his neck. They looked a bit puzzled at my request, and then they became very wary. I assured them that I intended no harm, but I wanted to talk with this man. I offered each of them $20.00 if they could either bring me to him, or bring him to me. I guess money talks, so they told me they would tell him I wished to speak to him.

I waited what seemed to be an eternity, but was only in actual time a little under an hour. The gentleman I had met a couple of weeks before appeared before me.

“I understand you wish to speak with me Senor,” he said.

“Yes, I have a job for you that I hope you can do. I was impressed with your attitude towards life when we chatted a couple of weeks ago, and I thought if anyone can help me, you would be the person.” I replied.

“I believe I told you that I will not do anything illegal,” he told me.

“What I am proposing is not illegal. Are you interested in listening to what I have to ask?” I asked him.

Well, of course he was interested. So I explained to him about the internet, which he had heard about. I told him that people from all over the world look for things on the internet. And, while I was a little embarrassed to do so, I told him that I was one of a number of people who liked to look at pictures of ladies who wear strong glasses. Then I explained to him that there were very few pictures of these ladies. I knew that he would not understand if I told him that I was going pay to take pictures of ladies wearing strong glasses, and then post them on the internet for free, so I told him that I could probably sell these pictures for up to a dollar each, depending on how many pictures a buyer wanted to purchase. This he understood.

So, I told him I needed him to find me 19 or 20 young girls between the ages of 12, and 20 years of age. I also wanted a very young girl who was either under 3 years of age or was a very small person, as well as 2 boys of around 10 to 12 years old. Then I needed 4 older ladies – in their 60’s, as well as about 8 ladies in their 30’s. I explained that all I wanted was for each person to put on a pair of glasses, which they couldn’t possibly see through. I would select and adjust the glasses to fit their face as well as I possibly could, and then I would take a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 8 pictures of each person. For posing for the pictures, if they did exactly what I asked of them, I would pay each person fifteen dollars. I expected to take a couple of days to do this, and I was willing to pay him fifty dollars a day for assisting and locating the ladies.

“You will not be alone with any of the girls?” Juan asked.

“No, I will not be alone with any of the girls. All I will be doing is taking pictures.” I replied to his question.

“When do you want to do this?” Juan asked.

I would love to start by 9 am tomorrow.” I replied.

“I can’t get that many people that fast.” Juan told me.

“Could you get me 7 or 8 so that I could get started?” I asked.

“Maybe. My cousin Philippe has 4 daughters. I have 3. If his wife, and her mother would come that would be 8. Maybe my son could be one of the boys, but he is 14. My wife would make 10. Then I could see if I could find some more by lunchtime.” Juan said.

“Sure, that would be fine. Here is a cash advance of fifty dollars for you, in case you have to give any of the girl’s some money first. Where will we meet, and do you have a place we could use to take the pictures. I need something inside, but with lots of light.” I said.

“I might be able to find you such a place, but it will cost more money.” Juan replied.

Why was I not surprised? “ How much money?”

“Another 20 dollars a day.” Juan said.

I agreed, and Juan told me that he would meet me there at 9 am the following morning. So I returned to the US side, and drove to my motel room. I slept fitfully but when the light of a late spring day came shining into my room I felt refreshed. I got up, had breakfast and drove my car to the parking area beside the border checkpoint. I had decided which 10 pairs of glasses I was going to take through first. I took a pair of 1960’s myodiscs in a very fragile plastic frame. These glasses had very thin lenses, with circles that were only 20mm. I had purchased them off E Bay for quite a reasonable price because the owner had advertised that they had a reading segment in the middle of the lens. I saw the pictures, decided that they had to be myodiscs, and was fortunate enough to be the high bidder. Later when I checked I found that the lenses were around –21D for each eye. I didn’t want anything to happen to these glasses. I took the 2 boys frames, and I took another 2 pairs of ladies frames, one with a prescription of around –15.50D in a black oval wire frame, and another pair of large eye sized wire frames with a prescription of –18D in both eyes. These glasses looked super thick as an optician friend of mine had made them up for me. The lenses were more than a half of an inch thick, and they had run out of lens before they could grind the bowl, so these glasses looked like a really thick pair of myodiscs. Then I took 7 pairs of frames that were suitable for girls in their teens to wear. These glasses were selected because most of them had lenses that I could easily switch into other frames. To allow me to carry 2 of the pairs of glasses I had to remove the lenses before I could get the temples to close, the lenses were that thick.

It was easy crossing into Mexico. I just carried the glasses in a plastic shopping bag. Would it be as simple coming back?

I was a little early, but so was Juan. He led me to his house, a nice looking slump brick house with the typical single pitched tarpaper roof that was common in the area. The house was larger than the other ones in the area, and looked very well kept. As we approached I saw a lady sweeping out the dust with a straw broom, so I assumed that this was Juan’s wife, and that the house had dirt floors. What surprised me also was that there were solar panels on the roof, and a swamp cooler was attached to the wall.

“This looks like a very nice house Juan.” I said.

He beamed with pride. “Yes, my brother Manuel is a block layer, so, my cousin Philippe and I made the bricks, and Manuel put them in place with the mortar. Then we cut some trees for the roof, and we got some old boards from a building they were tearing down to use under the tarpaper. Manuel and Philippe also have homes just like mine.”

“When will the ladies be here?” I asked.

“Philippe’s family couldn’t come until this afternoon, but Manuel also has 4 daughters. So I asked Manuel’s wife if she could bring the girls over. You might like to take some pictures of Manuel’s wife with her own glasses. Roseanna has very bad eyes, and wears thick glasses.” Juan said.

Here was something I hadn’t bargained for. “ Sure, I can do that, but I can also take some pictures of her in a pair of my glasses.”

Juan and I went into the house, and as I had surmised the floor was dirt, but the place was neat and there was lots of good light from the front windows. I met Juan’s wife and his 3 girls. His son was around somewhere, but didn’t appear. I placed the glasses that I had brought on the kitchen table and I put the lenses back in the 2 frames. I laid all the glasses out, and was a bit sorry that I wouldn’t be able to use my treasured myodiscs, which I had carefully returned to my shirt pocket. Juan’s wife and daughters began trying on different pairs of glasses, and with my help we found 4 pairs that looked good, and fitted them well. Juan’s 14 year old son showed up, and with the help of Juan’s wife who boiled me some water I managed to heat the earpieces of the largest pair of boys glasses enough to make them fit him properly at the ears.

So, since the boy obviously wanted to not be here at all, I managed to take his pictures first. When we finished I asked Juan if I was to give the money to his son, or to him, and Juan indicated that it would be up to his boy if he wanted to share the money. So I gave the kid the fifteen dollars, and I think both Juan and I were pleased when the boy went over to Juan, and talked to him in Spanish. I saw the boy give Juan the money, and I saw Juan hand the kid back a five. Then I chose to take the pictures of Juan’s wife. While I was taking the pictures of the last 2 girls, Juan’s sister in law Roseanna and her 4 girls showed up. I had Juan explain to the 5 of them exactly what I wanted. They were to put on the glasses, and they were to look through the lenses as if they really wore these glasses. They would not be able to see through the lenses at all, and it was only necessary to wear the glasses, and look through them for the few minutes I was actually taking the pictures.

As I took the pictures of the last of Juan’s girls I noticed that the 4 girls were trying on different glasses. It appeared to me that the oldest girl, and the one a little younger looking switched a couple of pairs back and forth, and when I finished with Juan’s girl I noticed that these 2 were wearing the glasses, and were both talking in Spanish.

I met Roseanna, and sure enough she wore a beat up old gold colored wire framed pair of glasses that looked to be holding a pair of lenses that had a prescription in the low teens. The frame she was wearing was so old that someone had soldered a piece of brass, or copper wire across the top of the temples to strengthen the frame a bit. The lenses were definitely the old style regular plastic from the early 80’s, and I surmised that Roseanne had gotten these glasses when she was in her late teens or early 20’s. I knew exactly which pair I wanted her to wear so I selected the large framed ones with the –18D prescription. They fit her well, and it didn’t take long to snap my 8 digital pictures. Now it was time to start on the girls.

The oldest girl looked to me to be around 16 or 17. She had selected one of the 2 pairs that the temples wouldn’t close on. I called her over, and she walked over to me still wearing the glasses. I took the pictures I wanted, and I called over the next younger girl, who appeared to be maybe 14, possibly 15 at the most. She had on the other pair that wouldn’t close, but these glasses had a prescription of –19D in the right eye, and –18.25D in the left eye. Still wearing the glasses, she also walked over to me. It was easy to take her 8 pictures as well, and then I had to select the frames I wanted on the 2 younger girls. The 2 younger ones were not as easy to take the pictures I wanted, as they kept trying to look over the lenses. But I took about 12 or 13 pictures, and I hoped I had gotten at least 6 good ones.

I noticed that the 2 older girls were still wearing the glasses they had on for the pictures.

“Juan, you can tell the girls that they can give me my glasses back now. They don’t have to wear them any longer.” I said.

Juan spoke to the girls in rapid fire Spanish. When he finished talking he turned to me and said, “ The girls want to know if they can keep the glasses. They say they can see so well through them that they don’t want to take them off.”

I couldn’t believe it. Was it possible that these girls were extremely nearsighted, and had never worn glasses? I had been in an optical store once, purchasing a frame for the very same lenses that the younger girl was wearing, and of course I was asking them questions about very strong glasses, as if I knew absolutely nothing about why my daughter’s eyes were so bad, and why she had to wear such strong glasses. I asked if my daughter’s prescription was really that bad at –19.00D right and –18.25D left, and they both assured me that indeed her prescription was extremely strong. I then asked them what the strongest first prescription they had ever seen was, and they told me about a boy aged 16 who had required a first prescription of –18D. So, it was possible that these girls were very nearsighted, and really needed these glasses.

My entire picture taking had only taken us until 11 am, and we still had a couple of hours before Philippe’s family showed up. So, I decided to take Roseanna and her 4 children for eye examinations. It was pretty obvious to me that Roseanna had passed her high myopia on to at least 2 of her girls, and Roseanna’s own glasses were so old that I figured that she would likely require a new prescription as well. Of course there were a few protests, but finally the five of them accompanied me to the one optical store where I had purchased my other glasses 2 weeks earlier.

Elena, the oldest daughter went in first. When she came out I looked at her prescription. The glasses she had chosen to wear for the pictures were –14.75D right, and – 14.25 x –0.50 x 180 left. Her own prescription was marginally higher, and was –15.50D x –0.50D x 90 right and –15.75D x –0.75D x 180 left. So I paid for a new pair of glasses for Elena. Felicia, the younger girl went in to the doctor’s office while we were choosing Elena’s frames, and by the time we had Elena’s glasses chosen and ordered, Felicities was back with her prescription. She required –18.00D for each eye, with no astigmatism. I knew I had a pair of –18.50D glasses with me in my car, across the border, so I explained this to Juan, who told Felicia that I would bring her another pair of glasses later that afternoon.

Then Rosanna had her eyes examined. She had –14.50D of myopia in each eye, and another –2.50D of astigmatism, so I paid for a pair of glasses for her as well, as I knew I didn’t have anything in my collection with that much astigmatic correction.

So, I went back across the border with most of my glasses, and I traded for another dozen pairs. I met them back at the optical store, where the optometrist checked out my –18.50D glasses to see if they would do for Felicia to wear. The p.d. was a little off. My glasses had a p.d. of 58 and Felicia required a p.d. of 60, but the optician took a pair of pliers, and widened out the bridge a little. They told Felicia to wear these glasses a little bit away from the bridge of her nose, and they figured that these glasses would do. The optometrist told me that since this was Felicia and Elena’s first pair of glasses it was quite likely that their prescriptions would increase within a short period of time, as their eyes got accustomed to being able to see properly again. The 2 younger girls had gotten their eyes checked while I was away, and it was not a big surprise to discover that they both required glasses as well. But their prescriptions were much lower. The youngest needed –2.50D, and her older sister needed –3.25D. So, I ended up spending a total of two hundred and seventy five dollars more than I had budgeted.

In the afternoon I managed to get quite a few more pictures. Juan had been able to locate a few more ladies, and I had to make another trip back across the border to switch for more glasses. Finally, by the time the sun was setting I had managed to take pictures of all the glasses I had brought. So, I left Juan and his family, with a promise to return the following weekend to allow me to take pictures of Roseanna and Elena in their new glasses. This trip wasn’t going to cost me any more money though.

I had brought my laptop along, so that evening back in my motel I downloaded all of the pictures. Using my photo-editing program allowed me to doctor up any of the shots that were not quite right, and I deleted a few pictures of some of the younger girls who were looking around the strong lenses. But, even having to do that I ended up with quite a respectable number of pictures of girls wearing strong glasses.

The following Saturday I drove back down. Elena and Roseanna and the 2 younger girls had all gotten their new glasses. I had to take pictures of all of them, and even though I had taken a few of Felicia in her new glasses the weekend before, I managed to get a few more good poses of her. Actually I noticed that instead of wearing her glasses pulled slightly away from the bridge of her nose as the optometrist had suggested, I noticed that Felicia was wearing them pushed right up tight. Juan, and his brother were very grateful to me for helping out the children, and Roseanna.

I managed to fumble my way through setting up a website for the pictures I had taken, and I got a lot of good feedback from all of the pictures. Since I had been very careful to use only one person for each pair of glasses it looked as if all of these people actually wore glasses. There were some pictures of Felicia and Elena, and even Roseanna wearing my glasses, as well as their own glasses, and no one could tell that the stronger glasses in Rosanna’s pictures were actually not just a stronger pair. So, a number of people kept e mailing me to see if I could put them in contact with these gorgeous Spanish GWG’s, and I just sent them back a message saying that I could not intrude on the girls privacy.

I visited Mexico again about 6 months later, and Felicia and Elena seemed to be doing quite well with their new glasses. I suspected that their younger sisters could probably use stronger lenses, as I noticed the younger one doing some myopic squinting, but I thought I would wait for a while before I volunteered to spend any more money.

It had been a year since my initial photo taking session. I noticed on my last visit that some business people had managed to refurbish an old hotel on the Mexican side. So this time when I visited I decided to stay at the hotel. I checked in on Friday night, and Saturday morning I met Juan, and Manuel and their families at a restaurant where I bought them all breakfast. After breakfast I took all the children to the optometrist, even Juan’s 3 girls and his son. The severe nearsightedness that Manuel’s family had definitely been inherited from Roseanna’s side, since none of Juan’s children required any form of correction. Elena and Felicia were able to go a while longer before they had an increase, but as I suspected the 2 younger girls required another diopter of correction. So, I had new lenses put in their old frames.

That night as I lay in my room at the hotel I heard a knocking at my room door. I opened the door to find Elena and Felicia standing there.

“What are you 2 ladies doing out so late at night?” I asked.

“We came to thank you for all you have done for us. Everything has been so much better in our lives since you bought us our glasses.” Elena said in very passable English.

“You have already told me thank you. How much more thanks can you give me?” I asked.

“We came to spend the night with you.” Felicia said.

“Oh no, you don’t have to do that.” I replied in shock.

“Our father said we should.” Elena said.

“Well, you don’t have to. Actually you young ladies are more like my granddaughters. I couldn’t do it with either of you, and feel good about it.” I replied.

“Well, can we at least stay with you tonight. Our father will not like it if he thinks we did not repay you.” Elena responded.

“Well, it is a king sized bed. I could sleep between the two of you.” I said.

So that night I carefully removed a pair of extremely strong glasses from each girl, and placed them on the night tables on each side of the bed. All three of us slept very well, and the following day after breakfast I sent my 2 bespectacled beauties back to their home, their virginity still intact. I plan on returning the following year for their next eye exams, and it wouldn’t bother me at all if I had to buy each of them even stronger glasses.


June 2006

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