If you live in or around Valparaiso and have seen an optometrist in the area, then most likely you have met Dr. Steve Buck. If you haven’t, you can come into his restaurant, Lincoln Flats, for some hand-picked wine and food pairings, along with other craft beers, and delicious dishes they serve. The Buck family has very deep roots here in Valpo. Not many people know that he owns and runs Lincoln Flats. “You should never assume that people know who you are,” he said.
Back in the ’50s, when Steve was 8, and Lincoln Flats was a shoe repair business, he learned to shine his first pair of shoes. During this time, however, he realized he didn’t want to go into the family business. It was at age 11, he realized what he wanted to do in life. His family took their usual drive out in the country after church on one Sunday, he asked his dad how he knew where they were at. His father explained that the road signs tell you where you are. They pulled up near a road sign and he wasn’t able to read it until he had gotten very close to it. His parents took him to the eye doctor where he got his very first pair of glasses. He was amazed that he was able to see everything with so much more detail.
“I couldn’t believe that I was able to make out every single leaf on the trees. He then decided he wanted to become an optometrist. He graduated from the Indiana School of Optometry in 1975 and has been doing it now for the past 44 years.
Optometry isn’t Steve’s only job though. He is also a father and an advocate for the Valpo community, which he cares deeply for. He was on the Valpo Township School Board for 10 years, and on the center township board for 22 years. Steve also participated in Dollars for Scholars for an entirety of 26 years. His son is an eye surgeon, and his daughter helps his son perform Lasik surgeries. His daughter also helps manage the restaurant. “I wear multiple hats,” Steve said. A statement that also goes for his children.