Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 3, 2013

50 years, 127,200 eye exams later, Dr. James Poland retires

CUMBERLAND — After 50 years and 127,200 eye examinations, Dr. James Poland has retired from the Lifetime Eyecare Center in downtown Cumberland.

“A labor of love. I have loved my job so much, I never really felt that I worked a day in my life,” Poland said. “I am pleased that I have provided eye care to four generations of countless families, loyal patients not only from Cumberland, but from Meyersdale, Salisbury, Keyser and other area towns.”

Poland, now 80, and still a Frostburg resident, was a student at Beall High School when he began working as an optician for Dr. Walter E. Jeffries in the Mountain City at Jeffries Brothers Jewelers and Optometrists.

“I knew I would go to work with Dr. Jeffries when I graduated from Illinois College of Optometry,” Poland said. That happened in 1960 and would eventually allow the business, transitioning to Lifetime Eyecare Center, to be recognized as the oldest, continuously operating optometric practice in the country.

“I’m leaving the practice in good hands,” Poland said during an interview at the Times-News on Monday. “I would put them up against anybody in the country,” Poland said of those who will carry on.

His son, Jeffrey, and Katelin Zaluski are full-time optometrists and Brian Manspeaker is part-time.

Lisa is our secret weapon, Poland said, referring to Jeff’s wife, the office manager. “She keeps everything together and moving in the right direction.”

Poland said the staff considers themselves to be a family caring for other families.

Before opening the existing offices at 2 Frederick St. in 1997, the Lifetime practice was just across Mechanic Street.

“I told the contractor that if he felt somebody looking over his shoulder as he worked that it was me on the other side of Mechanic Street,” Poland said.

Jim and Judy Poland, married for 56 years, have six grandchildren in four locations; College Park, Mt. Airy, Seattle and Akron, Ohio.

“We’ll do some traveling,” he said of the future, adding that a cruise is in the offing.

Poland’s community involvement is voluminous and includes Ali Ghan Shrine Temple, Frostburg United Methodist Church, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce and Frostburg Elks Lodge. He served on the Frostburg Planning and Zoning Committee for eight years.

In 2009, Lifetime Eyecare Center was named the chamber’s Small Business of the Year. Poland has been the president of the Maryland Optometric Association.

The Frostburg State University graduate was named the association’s Optometrist of the Year in 1976.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014

Facebook
Must Read
News related video