Sunday, February 6, 2011

JFK: Authentic in Brick Reds

I think it was Toad…correct me if I’m wrong, who said that since he’s never been on Nantucket, he’s reluctant to wear Nantucket Reds. There’s an authenticity play here folks, and Toad is anything but a poseur. And I for some reason, even though I’ve spent time on Nantucket, now feel the need to confess that I owned the Murray’s magic togs long before I ever set foot on the island.
I happened upon a treasure trove of JFK Kodachrome while looking for visual props (where the eff would I be without visual props?) to complement another Trad Indifference story. And the gem of the harvest was Jack in Brick Reds.
JFK effortlessly swathed in the sailcloth talisman of New England prep/trad sprezzatura.
George Frazier IV knows a thing or two about Nantucket. Even though he doesn't spend time there anymore, it’s an inextricable part of his journey. He summered there with his parents and brother, retreated to Nantucket when necessary and he bought his Reds at Murray’s. George shared with me a story that is fraught with Nantucket authenticity and connectedness. I wish that every email paragraph I got was as rich…

“…I got disgusted with New York (believe me: it's a different place when your parents are picking up the tab), and moved to the cellar/servants' floor of my mother's house in Nantucket one winter. My wife-to-be was working at Murray's, and when I went in for my semi-seasonal Brick Red (what Nantucket Reds were called in the Beginning, and by me even now) fix, I met my wife, who had just graduated from Newcombe (now Tulane), and was killing time after her family had left its summer digs to return to Louisiana. I knew her elder sister and brother (summer folk from Louisiana were a rarity on Nantucket in those days; the only people I know of who spent their summers on Nantucket way back then were Northeasterners, with the exception of a family from Santa Barbara, one from (gasp) Texas, and the above-mentioned Louisianans). In any event, I fell in love with New Orleans and moved there….”

I reckon you can’t manifest any greater Brick Red authenticity than Mr. Frazier IV. A trip to the Toggery and voilĂ  …a wife and a life…still being lived in full, in New Orleans. 

Onward. Waiting for Red times again.

ADG II
(Thanks very much to George Frazier IV of New Orleans, for permission to reference our correspondence)


15 comments:

K.S.A. said...

too early for reds? Spring can't come soon enough.

Just Some Guy said...

Great pic. Thanks for sharing. I've got my reds and other fun stuff in a box just waited to be unpacked. Can't wait

Preppy 101 said...

Sweet story, Mr. Maxminimus. I love the Reds - alas, I'll feel so lame if I wear them now since I've never been to Nantucket - only in a limerick as told by some not-so-smartie pants 4th grade boy when I was at Andrew Jackson Elementary School. He got in BIG TROUBLE, too, by the way. :-) And let's just face it, JFK makes anything look good ;-) xoxo

ilovelimegreen said...

Yes, JFK was able to make ANYTHING look good.

ADG said...

Our high today was 46 degrees. I didn't wear reds but I came close. Faded pink cords and Aldens with no socks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics and the pass-along. I may have been living in Arlandria when I learned the term for Lousianans who grow up in the swamp and emerge in Weejuns and Lacoste shirts: Preptiles. I've never been to Injuh and I wear khokkis all of the time. Never been to San Fran, but not ashamed to wear Levis. Never been to Tuxedo Park... Can't ALWAYS go nekkid

Patsy said...

The Camp Hyannisport tee shirt caught my eye. Caddie Camp - there was one in Hyannisport and one on Nantucket at Sankaty Head. I think the one at Sankaty Head is still there.

The Devoted Classicist said...

Nantucket Reds can successfully transfer to other locations, too. Like many other wardrobe choices, it is how they are worn that is the ultimate factor in the evaluation.

ADG said...

Ok....stop all of the JFK swooning here girlies.

"....it is how they are worn that is the ultimate factor in the evaluation..." I totally agree. Actually, your logic prevails for all style/aesthetic choices one makes. Authenticity is manifest mostly in the degree of aplomb associated with confidently manifesting ones choices.

Sankety Head...keep the Kama Sutra out of this post please.

Preptiles....classic.

Toad said...

Toad's aversion was to wearing canvas pants in high summer. One would die a miserable death in such fabric in Mayberry.

Cannonball said...

where did you find said trove?

Flo said...

Bean's "Breton Reds" ca 60s, 70s [yes, you were in preschool ADG] was a far superior trouser to any darn reds made today. An absolutely lovely hand and weight, neither poplin nor twill. Blessedly year 'round it was, went with everything, the just-right shade of deep burnt red [no, not "rust"], with none of the BS status identified with regional resort wear. Now that you've got me going, Bean also had an inimitable tattersall shirt ca 70s and 80s, made me weak at the knees, long sleeve BD, came in two colourways red/black and tan/blue on white ground, again a beautiful hand that laundered and wore like iron, oh come back LL Bean.

ADG said...

Toadie...gotcha.

CannonBoy...JFK library archives.

Flo...sad that there are very few things left at Bean worth buying. And interesting that Murrays Reds are made in Georgia.

Richard M said...

GF IV knows the rules; magnificent sartorial pedigree, and a gentleman of note.

Anonymous said...

This shot brings back some awesome memories. As a caddy in the early 70's I remember sitting where that yellow bag is in the photo, above me on the deck, Jackie O. sipping a bloody mary chatting with a friend. I wish I cared enough to listen in, but at fourteen I was more concerned with tips for unloading bags from Bentleys and scoring that 18 hole double bag "Loop". Rose walked the first hole about once a week and seemed to really love the course. The Kennedy's also hosted an annual cookout at the Compound for the caddy's. Wish I saved the all green caddy garb which did not include anything red. I could go on and on .....

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