Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ho-ho-ho Y'all and Albert Thurston Braces Redux

LFG and I are firmly ensconced at my mom's and we've got almost zero options for internet access. That's a good thing! So here I sit for a moment-navigating a wobbly connection for the sole purpose of letting you know that lengthy posts are not an option till we get back home. But when we do roll back in, we gots a ton of good fodder for you. Including:

The discovery of my sister's 45's and the ensuing demonstration for LFG explaining what the hell these things are.

My Great Grandfather's mercantile operation at a rail stop known as "Seloc". This is a watercolour that my uncle had painted years ago.

LFG shooting her Daisy BB Gun in the same back yard where I shot mine.

Albert Thurston Braces: Gut Ends No More
“When asked for his reaction to the outbreak of war in 1939, actor Sir Ralph Richardson replied that he had gone straight to his tailor on Savile Row and purchased half a dozen pairs of Thurston braces in case they might be in short supply”. (Excerpted from the Thurston website)

You know how your eye gets trained to like something a certain way? Paradigms become strong. When anything outside of that visual pattern tries to enter, it is met with some degree of resistance. I know, I know…Some of you would say that after viewing a few of my sartorial concoctions, I have no “trained or refined eye”. I accept that. However, I like what I like.

I used to find the gut end Thurston braces at Britches of Georgetown 20 years ago. You could always get them from Flusser until Thurston discontinued them. I started wearing them so long ago that all others seem too obtuse, bulky, thick…slightly “not right”. I like the thinness of the gut cord. I like the obvious inconsistencies in the spacing of the hand stitching. I like how the gut gets a bit darker with age. I’m so visually locked into the immutable presence of white tabs that brown tabbed braces look muddy to me.

With the devolution of dressing in suits for work each day, my supply of gut-end Thurstons will last me for the long haul. There’s one pair hanging in that menagerie that I wore when I got married. Maybe I’ll wear them again on a special occasion….LFG’s graduation(s)…my last meeting with the Federal Parole authorities…

Here’s what Thurston says on their website about gut ends. I think it’s a nice answer, probably not untruthful per se but there seems to be a bit of “spin” here as well…

Why no catgut?
Firstly cats never came into it, but for those who recall the ‘Gut End’ braces of the past may be interested in a potted history. Prior to the 1970’s most ‘Gut End’ braces had the actual gut covered with white gloving leather, but due to the difficulty of obtaining hand stitchers this was gradually phased out.

The gut itself was obtained from specialist manufacturers whose main market was the long line fishing industry, but then along came nylon monofilament…so that was that, no more gut. We have found a modern alternative material which we are covering with white gloving leather, so effectively we have gone back to a product very similar to that which we made in the past. The button holes are still hand stitched and the quality remains unsurpassed


ilovelimegreen said...

ADG - You must get Vincent Price's "I Like What I Know" - a book with your name on it. Better yet, send me your address and I will get a copy for you in exchange for all of the laughs you've given me. (Not about the sartorial world but about connoisseurship and collecting.)
Sorry this has nothing to do with your post per se but when I read today's post, I had to tell you about Price's book, one of the most treasured ones in my library.

Gail, in northern California said...

I guess I'm just out of the loop. What purpose do braces serve? Looks to me like you're already fairly well cinched in on both sides of your pants. Merely decorative?

LFG's face while holding the 45 is priceless --"What the heck is this?" This might even be before your time but do you remember how precious those plastic inserts were for playing on the more sophisticated player? You were dead without them.

James said...

I hope you and LFG enjoy yourselves in the land of Gracious Living. Keep us updated.

Pigtown-Design said...

Hope you're having a blast (or not too much of one with LFG having a gun in her hands and all...). Also hope it's a lot warmer down there than it is here (25f).

tx for the card.

NCJack said...

Glad to see LFG knows how to properly hold an old 45, I remember cringing when people would grab a vinyl record by the grooves

God knows how many high $$ oldies are banging around out there, in boxes in attics

Scott said...

Classics IV. She has good taste.
Ev-ry day with you, girl
Is sweeter than the day before...

Spooky (wink), but my teenagers actually asked me for a lesson on how to use my turntable just last week. I later found evidence that they had been listening to Beach Beat 1 while I was at work. No complaints from me.

BTW, when did you finish up at USC?


Jeremiah said...

Two things many young kids have a hard time catching on to: Turntables and Typewriters. My oldest daughter is almost 14 and still doesn't 'get' my turntable. I remember the first time she ever saw a typewriter when she was about 6... memories.

All of my kids shoot bb guns and more. Most important.

RHW said...

Aw now... There's plenty of interweb access in SC...you just have to look for it. Have a happy New Year!

tishjett@yahoo.com said...

You're wonderful. What can I say?

Your writing is superb, your taste divine. I fear you may be the last of a breed although you seem to have a handful of friends on your favorites.

I hope you have a new year filled with joy, success and adventure.

Warm regards,

Patsy said...

Happiest of New Years to you, LFG and your mother!

ADG said...

LimeGreen….I will send you my address ….thanks! By the way, I once owned Whistler’s book “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” signed by Whistler to artist Walter Sickert’s first wife, Ellen Cobden…with Whistler’s Butterfly signature. It was formerly Vincent Price’s and included a note to Price from the woman who gave it to him. I’m sure I’ll love the book.

Gail...Braces really do “secure” to a greater degree, one’s trousers. I DO remember the plastic inserts. I had 24 older first cousins.


Megtown...We are back and had a ball.

NCJack ...I visited with a buddy of mine while home who has a buddy with eight thousand forty fives.

Scott...You should have seen all the other stuff that was there. Spooky indeed. USC was too big for me. I needed to be a big man on a smaller campus.


RHW...And to you.

Tishjett….I love you but you are delusional. Thanks.


Summer is a Verb said...

A Daisy!!! Next year I'm headlining LFG in my wish list guest post series! Someone custom stitch that gal a needlepoint belt with BB guns and squirrels/rabbits adorning it...XXOO