I did, however, find my second letter, written back in 1990. This letter was written during a very strange point in my life. I wrote this letter as I was packing. I was packing to go to college for my freshman year, and also packing because we were moving out of my childhood home. A few months later, I would be struggling with difficult curriculum and pneumonia.
Dear Ray Ban,
As a lifeguard, I know no better friend than my trusty Ray Ban sunglasses. Nothing cuts through the sun’s glare better. In fact, I have become so dependent on your product that it is uncommon for me to be seen without my sunglasses—even in the winter months. Furthermore, the ladies almost always give a second glance. For this, I thank the entire Bausch and Lomb organization, from head lens grinder, right down to the lowliest nose guide putter-onner.
Recently while lifeguarding in an outdoor facility, an emergency situation arose. I set my glasses down on the arm of the guard stand in order to rescue the drowning victim. In all of the excitement, I discovered that the emergency was merely a false alarm. It seems that the routine game of Marco Polo was dramatized by an aspiring young actor who faked a drowning.
Nevertheless, I watched my coveted Ray bans fall to their fate; I was alarmed to find that my “impact resistant” Ray Ban sunglasses could not sustain a simple five foot fall. One lens shattered, and the other lens was severely scratched.
I consider myself lucky that the incident was a false alarm, yet wonder what might have happened if the incident were real and several barefoot lifeguards ran through the shattered glass. I know that it would have kept them from doing their job; just as it did to me (I stepped on a shard). As I fought back the tears, I realized that in essence, these are the trials and tribulations of a lifeguard. Another day, another peeling nose and chaffed thighs from these damned banana hammocks.
Just recently, the warranty on my Ray Bans expired. Regardless of this fact, I believe this defect should have never occurred. Consequently, the foundation of my faith in Bausch and Lomb products has been severely shaken.
Enclosed is my pair of scratched and dismembered Ray Bans. I would appreciate replacement of this pair. If this proves to be an impossible task, then please use my pair for any durability tests that you see fit to perform. By doing so, Bausch and Lomb will remain the leader in the eye care industry.
Thank you very much for your help in this matter.
Letter sent to Bausch and Lomb on 9/29/1990:
Dear Bausch and Lomb,
Recently, I sent a letter outlining my dissatisfaction for the performance of my Ray Ban Outdoorsman Sunglasses during an emergency situation. As a lifeguard, I rely on my sunglasses to provide the swimmers with their blanket of protection. In a way, I feel much like the young man who stands at the edge of the cliff and stops the little children in the tall grass field before they run over the edge. The children—some of them—wind up being wasted effort, growing into “phonies.” Someone should write a book about this scenario. Perhaps someone already did.
Graciously, you sent me a replacement pair—but whoever it was did not leave their name. Anyway, next time you find yourself in Trenton, stop by—I’ll take you out to lunch. Of course, since I have no way of knowing who actually sent the glasses, I’m sure everyone and his brother will visit. That’s why I’m going to develop a secret password. When you come by, if you utter the word “sunglasses,” I will know it’s you, my anonymous friend. I just bought ten (10) lbs of ground beef, so if you bring six or eight friends, we can cook out.
Ray Ban has come to my aid several times since the incident. Nothing cuts through the glare better during an emergency. In fact, I’m not one to toot my own horn, but thanks, in part, to your product, I was recently named “King Lifeguard of Southeast Michigan.” Picked over 100,000 other contestants, my stellar performance in the “Lifeguard Trivia” portion of the contest was only surpassed by my performance in the rescue drills. The award was presented by none other than TV’s David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider/Baywatch). He’s a pleasant man—I never realized that over in Germany, he’s highly regarded as a rock star. Feel free to use that tidbit if you ever find yourself on Jeopardy, and under the category of “Hasselhoff Trivia.”
After the awards, David spoke into his watch, instructing “Kit” to meet us at the warehouse. He invited me for a ride and I saw firsthand what Kit can do on an open road. We laid a patch outside the courthouse, and the lawman said not to try that again! After a few sliders, milkshakes and French fries, we called it a night. I polish my award every waking day. I owe it all to Ray ban! Thanks again.