Have you ever been so tired that you just dropped your kit and fell into bed?
Ever done the East coast-West coast thing and awoke at 430 PST ready for coffee? The Fairmont knows about this phenomenon and thus offers room service 24-7.
I always bring diversity to my reading queue when travelling. I knocked out a few pages of both my right and left brain books for this week’s travel…
Differential Diagnoses: A Comparative History of Health Care Problems and Solutions in the United States and France and Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast: Sketches from the Author’s Life in Paris in the Twenties. After reading a few pages involving comparative healthcare economies it quickly becomes time to read about Hemingway et al in Paris.
So Fall is upon us and I figured that an oldie abut summer time togs would be fun. You better have your Reds put away for the winter. (And Gail-Northern Cal....I promise that I didn't steam my blazer for hours at the Roosevelt!)
Ok folks. We’re gonna tackle a subject that is loaded with lore and forthwith, tethered by my rules. Now I love lore but am not much of a rules guy. I’ve had a brooding-low grade problem with authority that goes back to toddler-hood. I’m the poster child-passing all evidentiary muster that spanking is not efficacious. However, in general and particularly, must be rule bound. Now these are my rules and I’m sure that there will be those that take issue with one or two of them but that’s ok. This is my Code and you aren’t bound to it. However, if you don’t and I see you out and about-I’ll make fun of you.
I remember my first pair-I got them long before I set foot on Nantucket and even longer before the internet. My friend here in Old Town; N.S. came home with them and I quickly called Murray’s to order mine. Murray’s has been peddling these sailcloth babies, made in Georgia by the way, since the 1940’s. I like the incongruence of their manufacture in an inelegant rural Georgia plant and the final destination being elegant-preppy-casual-salty New England. Mr. Phillip Murray above pictured is the gent that started it all.
Rule Number One: The ONLY source of true-authentic Reds is Murray’s on Nantucket. Sure-you can find similar togs and analogous fabric but you’ll be a poseur if you aren’t willing to admit publicly that your ersatz trews are just that-ersatz. And by the way, that’s ok. I own some hybrids too but make certain that you own up to it.
Rule Number Two: Only ONE Nantucket Red element may be worn at a time. Your rig must NEVER contain two-ever. As a matter of fact, if you break this rule you should be banned from wearing any Reds item ever again. This rule is so crucial that I’ve gotta add an amendment-after wearing even ONE Red item on a particular day, a one day NO REDS sabbatical must result. Please, avoid the “I’ve been to Nantucket once in my life and I bought every freakin’ thing I could find even loosely associated with Murray’s original Nantucket Red sailcloth pants and look-I have all of it on right now-as a matter of fact my wife and I just ordered a Nantucket Red Mini Cooper with Nantucket Red sailcloth upholstery and convertible top” visage. And this rule is coming from the redneck fuzzy dice guy who rarely practices restraint. The belt in the photo is from the Nobby Clothes Shop on Nantucket. Nice enough place. They'll sell you a pair of "Breton Reds". Don't.
Rule Number Three: You MUST allow your Nantucket Reds to fade over time. I know this is contradictory to my behavior of getting the “Jos.A.Bank” out of my patch madras sportcoat(wait till you see what our latest step was in that effort) but this is a different proposition. If you add a tad of bleach and wash them repeatedly they just don’t look the same as ones that have faded from a couple of seasons of regular washing. Your trou will scream…. “LOOK at me; I have on what I want you to believe are ten year old Nantucket Reds but really-I just got them in the mail yesterday!!” The shoes are Sperry-the shorts are from Brooks courtesy of LFG and the sweater is Ralph. All good pieces but rule bound as well. The sweater is a summer only ....just off the beach-sunburned-time for a cocktail covering.Only.
Be patient. Allow them to become what they’ll become. Like your children, their journey will be seasoned with wonderment, pride and a tinge of disappointment. Disappointment you say. How? It happens when you are at happy hour in Newport or similar environs and you see someone whose Reds are either older than yours or have faded differently. There’s beauty in the flaws and differences-just like in kids and adults for that matter. Don’t be jealous of what you don’t have. You've no idea what the owner of those Reds has gone or is going through. If you can snake his date though, that’s a different matter. Any of you guys remember date snaking? Any gals willing to admit that you’ve blown off a date midstream for a more exciting evening’s option? The shorts above were involved in date snaking in the early 1990's. Shut up.
Rule Number Four: Put ‘em up after Labor Day-all of it-including the socks and the shoes and the belt and the sweater and the….whatever the hell else you bought. The shoes are good. The shoes worn with any other Red item-not good.
And finally-a suggestion-not a rule: I don’t rush the aging process but I do buy them one size too large and boil them one time in a big crawfish-crab type pot for about a half hour. No bleach-no soap. Nothing but boiling water. Why? It does a better job of getting the excess first round of sizing and dye out of the togs than machine washing them. It also shrinks them in toto appropriately for the requisite hemming and waist alteration as needed. Hem ‘em a little short with cuffs or if you are a Nantucket Redneck like me-have one pair cuffed and one pair frayed-no hem. Reds belt with seersucker-good. Reds belt with seersucker and the socks and shoes-you are blackballed. Banned for life.
Here's an example of one Reds component. Only one. Along with vintage patch mad and an old Champion sweatshirt and some gal I picked up.