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Historical research turns personal

December 14, 2011

This June 1962 issue of AOA News depicts the family of current AOA News Managing Editor Tracy Sullivan Overton.

As so often happens, the future and the past are closely entwined. In researching past issues of the News in the AOA Archives, I stumbled upon a photo quite familiar to me.

I instantly recognized it as one that hangs proudly in the home of my grandmother. It depicts my grandparents, George Sullivan, O.D., and Nicolina Sullivan, with their six oldest children, including my father at age 10.

The June 1962 issue’s accompanying article titled “Optometrist and Family Go Into Missionary Field” describes my grandfather’s decision to leave his practice in Holyoke, Mass., to provide optometric services without pay through the clinics of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in New Mexico.

The story is one told often in our family, but until now I was unaware it was published in the AOA News. And it is one reason why my brother, Rob, plans to attend optometry school next year.

While this is a personal story for me, it illustrates the belief that optometry is a family and that our future is built upon our past.

Tracy Sullivan Overton

There are any number of instances in which the AOA has stood up for the profession in order for today’s optometrists to enjoy their current scope of practice.

And that’s why it’s important to remember that things come full circle. One day, the gains the AOA makes today will forge the path for optometrists in the future.

Thanks for sharing in the golden celebration of AOA News. We value your readership and welcome another 50 years of serving the profession.

Best Wishes to All,
Tracy Sullivan Overton
Managing Editor

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