We’re sure that most of you are familiar with the Beatles’ lyrics: “It was 20 years ago today/Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play,/They’ve been going in and out of style,/But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile,/So may I introduce to you,/The act you’ve known for all these years,/Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Older readers are likely out there smiling and humming along to these words penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1967.

But you’re probably all wondering, what’s that got to do with this column? Well, it was (a little more than) 30 years ago today that Dr. Neal Bailey, editor of Contact Lens Forum, asked Robert Campbell, MD, and me (Pat Caroline) to do “something special” with the back page of that publication. Our first article appeared in the August 1989 issue of Contact Lens Forum. It became a monthly back-page column with a wonderful format that distilled published, scientific works into concise, take-home messages for clinicians. This column was appropriately named Between the Lines.

The Back Page Over the Years

In 1991, Contact Lens Forum was incorporated into Contact Lens Spectrum (CLS), and the decision was made to keep the team of Campbell and Caroline on the back page. In October 1993, under the guidance of then CLS editor Joseph Barr, OD, MS, the Between the Lines format was changed to the present Contact Lens Case Reports column. While the title changed, our treasured position—on the back page of CLS—remained the same.

In March 1998, Mark AndrĂ© joined me as co-author of the Contact Lens Case Reports column. Today, more than 20 years and nearly 250 Case Reports columns later, it’s time for us to turn the page and say goodbye to this column that has been a part of our lives for so long.

New and Familiar Faces

In January 2020, the back page of CLS will have a new face—actually, new faces. Taking over the Contact Lens Case Reports column is Greg DeNaeyer, OD. Greg, as many of us know, is one of those rare individuals who has been able to combine superb clinical skills with outstanding research experience. In our minds, there is no one better to carry on the legacy of the Contact Lens Case Reports column.

However, Greg will be sharing the back page with two individuals who can’t bear to be away from their treasured CLS. Every other month, former CLS columnist Craig Norman and myself will author a new column titled The History of Contact Lenses. This is an endeavor that Craig and I have wanted to do for years. It is the next step in our life-long journey to preserve the history of our profession.

As many of you know, Craig and I have established the first free-standing Contact Lens Museum in North America. The museum chronicles the evolution of contact lenses, starting with early glass scleral lenses and continuing with such developments as the first polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) scleral and corneal designs, original soft lenses from Czechoslovakia, and the fascinating evolution of lens care products.

The Contact Lens Museum contains more than 3,000 historical items documenting the history of this field over the past 130+ years. Craig and I can’t wait to share some of that history with CLS readers.

A Toast to New Beginnings

So as Mark and I say goodbye to the Case Reports column, we look forward to the wonderful future (and the past) of this ever-evolving contact lens industry. CLS