Friday, April 27, 2012

Madras—Moderated Part Two

So back to madras—in moderation. The record shows that if the sartorial amplifier goes to ten then I’m surely gonna figure a way to get it to eleven. The stories are legendary at Flusser house and with Rykken about their flat-out refusal to make things for me. Things that because of color, pattern-scale or “add-ons” … they just simply would not let me do.
When I had the suit above made many years ago, Alan Flusser looked at the trouser cuffs, the sleeve cuffs and the flap pockets…topped off by a flapped ticket pocket and facetiously asked if there was anywhere else on the garment I might want another “flap”. Hell, I thought he was serious and so I requested a rundown on what the additional aftermarket add-on flap options might be. Maybe a spoiler or a pop-up windscreen across the shoulders. Oh hell, why not a cape? And I remember Puerto Rykken in a sigh of resignation one time declaring that if there was an option for triple-vents on a sportcoat…I’d request it. I thought about it for a moment and declared that I’d prefer more like a quadruple or pentagonally vented suit. Then you’d have strips of fettuccini flat noodle-esque grass skirt danglers on the rear of your jacket. A much more interesting manifestation of movement … kind of a grass skirt swish-swishing on the lower back third of an otherwise classically contrived contrivance. And who the hell wouldn’t want that?
Easter Sunday seems to be the church house goin’ day when more people decide to attend and they roll in marginally better dressed than usual. I think Jesus chuckles. Jesus Chuckles—he was a wrestler back in ’68—from one of the border towns—near Brownsville. He beat Wahoo McDaniel, or was it Junkyard Dog, like a borrowed mule one night at the Florence, South Carolina fairgrounds. My daddy bankrolled the rumble. 
Oh—clothes and Easter Sunday, that’s it. Bottom line is that Jesus cares not what we wear to His house but I always at minimum wear a coat and most times I’m gonna cinch-up with a tie.  There’s one of my previous handlin’ contrivances above.
But what about madras? It may be too early in some parts for madras inclusion on Easter Sunday. Or some might say that it’s too casual and festive for church. Are you kidding me? Have you seen some of the swathings or lack thereof in the pews lately? I’ll halt the rant right here and refer us back to the point I made about Jesus not caring—as long as you are in the pew. And I wore madras on Easter Sunday. Restrained.
I know not from where this reservoir of restraint in me filled. Alchemy, astronomy, juju, the Powerball Lottery…I’m not the guy to much believe in such. And I have a constant need to pray and almost beg for reassurance of my fundamental faith(s). Alls I can say is that from somewhere, a little madras voice spoke to me…mighta been Wahoo McDaniel…and the voice said in an earth toned-muted-muffled-breathy-throaty  whisper … “you’ve got enough redneck tacky loud “look at me-look at me” madras. Let’s contrive something more moderated-modulated and muted—something kinda earthy.” Then I realized that it couldn’t a been Wahoo McDaniel ‘cause he didn’t have near that kind of vocabulary. Mighta been Junkyard Dog. So contrive and bespeak mutedly I did. Ok…I’m lying. Who in their right mind would bespeak madras? Why pay that kinda dosh for the highest level of artisanship on such a perishable and rarely worn fabric? I felt like I was pushing it when I had Fluss House make my seersucker togs. So I made-to-measure-d it instead.
Fuzzy GTH patch and O’Connell’s loud, horn-tooting bleeding madras abounds in my closet so the impetus and legitimacy for muted moderation wasn’t feint. It made sense. But as usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Three-two roll with open patch pockets and peak lapels…you know…my ADG standard house model? Of course not. But the idea of simply doing a standard Mad Men era three button sack coat which would have exemplified madras in its heyday didn’t trip my trigger. I just had to add something that would make it my own. You know—a tad of fuzziness.
Ticket pocket? Nope. Throat latch? Nah…who needs a throat latch on a summer jacket? Maybe just a ticket pocket? Bellows pockets? Yep, that would be the ticket. Poachers.
Are you freakin' kidding me? Poacher pockets on madras? Surely you jest, ADG. It makes sense on your now scorched and singed cavalry twill rig. And of course it complements the old Ralph contrivance above. But you ain’t gonna be bird hunting or truffle sniffing in madras. Madras bellows…the idea is wrong on every level—from every angle. Get it?
Got it. And get ‘em I did. Just for the sheer wrongness of it. There’s an inextricable defiance of convention—a redneck, un-clubbable aspect of my essence that I’ve learned to embrace. And the sooner you get used to it, the easier our ride is gonna be. Shut up. I don't bird hunt or truffle sniff in my winter coats with bellows pockets either. So sue me.
Muted tones and a sensible tie…Bohemian Club style. Come on…I wanted it to look slightly unconventional—not like a Shriner.
Just enough waist suppression to further my anti Mad Men sack coat look. Don’t try it—unless you too, have washboard abs. This entire fuzzy diced boondoggle of absurdity becomes more bastardized if you attempt to pull it off, or put it on for that matter, with a beer gut. Shriners. Think Shriners. And then just don’t do it.
Lightweight cream gabardine trousers. The old Colony Model from Ralph. I needed to anchor this thing with a sensible trouser.
Go ahead. Hurl your attacks. I’m ready. Ready for all of your tisk tisking and ridiculing that’s really a thinly veiled call for help. Help with your fear. Fear of…Fuzzy.
Let me close with a word or two on madras pronunciation. I reckon the proper pronunciation of the city was “muh-dross”. Same when ordering said curried grub at an Indian restaurant. Regardless of your bloodline, the American region or city of your birth, the clubs you belong to or your academic pedigree…the fabric ain’t pronounced “mod-russ” nor is it “muh-dross”. It’s mad-riss. Stop with the affectation. You’re trying too hard. Your effort to fancify and highfalutinize the good ole American word for this trad obsession reeks of poacher pocket affectation. Pronounce it regular like or I'll smack you. On the noggin. With a vozz.

Onward. Poachin’
ADG II sans young’un.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Levon of Arkansas

Just one more, honor of Levon Helm. Levon was the only American member of The Band and that’s really nothing to denote I reckon. But he was from Arkansas and to me that makes some difference. Do you know anyone from Arkansas? There’s an unpretentious nature…an air of humility (leave Bill Clinton out of this) that seems to host an Arkansas accent. I have good friends from and a few still in Arkansas and even though my research sample size is small, I stand by my bias.

It’s different…just enough…from the Texas twang. It’s nothing like that south Louisiana marbles-in-your mouth—cultural bouillabaissed obtuse tongue. Or the IQ attenuating “y’all aint from ‘round here are ya?” treacle of the Carolinas’ (the elegant Charleston lowcountry South Carolina accent being an exception).
 I saw briefly last night before the drugs kicked in, a scene from one of those television shows where they trace the ancestors of a celebrity. It was Oklahoma’s own Reba McEntire and she was in England, standing in a 17th century church graveyard, pondering the interment spot of her seventh great grandfather and his life in Cheshire. A rather staid and stoic English historian was standing beside her and the contrast was, well…American. Reba’s fiery red hair seemed to be the only color amidst the sooty stone Gothic backdrop for her contrived self-reflection. And then she spoke. Let me just say that the Okie accent and Reba energy doesn’t do for a Cheshire graveyard what Levon of Arkansas did for The Band.
What the flip does this have to do with Levon Helm and maybe, if ADG will ever get to it, The Band? Be patient. I know what you are thinking—this is just another one of ADG’s maudlin-mawkish flounderings…shrouded in some kind of regional accent themed wallow. Nope. But I do admit to meandering from time to time. I think that this one American—this Arkansan—Levon Helm, did more than anyone to make valid the eclectically gritty, unpretentious and mixed genre nature of The Band—not that Canadians can’t be gritty and granular. And Levon says that he never really considered himself “a singer.” Are you kidding me? Whose voice do you mostly hear on all of  The Band signature songs?
Have a brief visit with Levon courtesy of the video clip below. Maybe you’ll sense some of the same things about Levon Helm that I have. And just in case you don’t watch the video, here’s a couple of keepers for you…

“Nothing’s a guarantee. It’s the old one day at a time. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be I guess.”

“What’s it like to sing on an album with your daughter?”

“…I wanted to get well enough to do that…”

Cancer, bankruptcy and two Grammys are part of his last decade’s oeuvre but I still intuit a can’t be faked level of gratitude, humility and sincerity in Levon. Levon of Arkansas. Levon—the roux from which The Band was made.
And Levon Helm didn’t drape himself in decorative scarfs.

Onward. ADG II of Old Town. Linguist in a scarf.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Levon and Choices

Here’s a message from Levon’s wife and daughter. It’s from his website.

“Dear Friends,
Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.

Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage...

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.
From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy”
Levon is gonna know something—probably a lot sooner than most of us. Haughty as hell for me to say so and my arrogance dawns on me amidst these sentences. For all I know, Levon is gonna outlive me. But according to his wife and daughter, Levon has settled into his departure journey.
Choices. Levon had to make some huge ones about a decade and a half ago. Cancer was gonna take his voice—at least the surgeons were gonna take his voice when they carved away the offending visitor. Cancer and the choices demanded by it are perverse that way. Even with all of the advances in cancer treatment, often times a big part of the cure manifests collateral trauma. Scorched earth tactics…Hail Mary’ed at the always pernicious—other times aggressive and high minded visitor.
Levon chose not to be put to sleep while surgeons, scalpels-at the ready, waited to carve on him. Being put to sleep and not knowing who or what you will be--on the other side. Shit. Levon opted for radiation instead of a laryngectomy. Choices. Trade-offs of this magnitude have an uncanny ability to focus the mind—to make shit that was so pressing…so important just fifteen minutes prior to the need for choice—absurdly irrelevant. I’m not a betting man but if I was I’d put my money on the fact that Levon was pleased with his choice. Look at any photo of Levon from the last decade and even amidst his frailty, his light—shines.
Choices. I sent the following email to a friend yesterday and now as I re-read it, it resonates differently amidst the news that Levon, his choices made, is on the home stretch. Here it is…

“It seems to me that it’s about being at peace with your choices—at least that’s how I read it. (it –the email that prompted this—my email in response to my friend) And I’m talking about big choices. Life changing selections—decisions of forever. Most of me says that you’ve made and probably won’t renege on the big decision(s) regarding the necessary changes needed to assure that your journey, your purpose and thus your legacy are best realized. It doesn’t mean they’ve been easy decisions just because you’ve set (hopefully) rather firmly, the thin stakes in the ground and the twine between them that mark the foundation for the better you. Further…

… even though the boundary stakes are set and twine marked—framing the next series of choices—it doesn’t make them painless even in their obviousness. The tactical maneuvering and the cascade—the tumble-down of other decisions, agreements, compromises and sometimes painful trade-offs are the things that you are now amidst. And just because they are all necessary to build the new trajectory, they aren’t always easy.

So I hope that your maneuvering continues, even with fits and starts and hiccups and setbacks, on a positive and purposeful course—so that you too, will be forever mostly complete…or at least happy with your choice.”

So here’s to Levon. And to choices.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Moderated—restrained—muted? I’d say the preponderance of evidence suggests that these aren’t general characteristics of my sartorial manifestations. And why should madras ever be moderated? It is by its very nature a casual, happy and festive textile. There isn’t a mourning madras or a funeral cortege replete with an age-old time tested and tradition bound black madras. There’s  no evidence that Prime Minister Gladstone, in his exasperation about the reclusive and mournful Queen Victoria refusing to carry out state obligations, demanded of John Brown to “get that damned Queen out of Mourning Madras and back on her duties!” 
The closest I've come to finding what might pass for mourning madras is the shirt above from Union Made. It MUST be made in Union shops...assembled in various factories across the realm, each one completing a vital step in the ultimate aggregation of said contrivance--similar to the Airbus and the Mini Cooper business models in Europe. Several constituents, Union moderated of course, contributing to the final outcome. Why? Because the MSRP on this one is five hundred and thirty freakin' clams. 
Madras should be happy and my best evidence to support the assertion is one three year old, happy madras clad Miss LFG, on the cusp of having her head of corkscrew curly hair just explode in abundance—after two previous years of head hair sparsity. She’s a little madras gal in full—obviously excited, seat belted safely therein, game face on for a g-forced circular go challenge to her motor-sports skills. At the ready—in madras.
“So what’s this about moderation? If madras is supposed to be happy and casual and fun and colorful and you, ADG are known to contrive some of the fuzziest of fuzzy versions of it, where does the moderation come in?” Well first let me say that my noggin full of drivel to posit on madras has become so voluminous that this now has to be a two-part installment. I’m not sure of the original source to whom the above photo should be attributed—I think the first time I saw it was on Bunny Tomberlin’s old blog—but none the less, it helps me make a point. Too much of a good thing—even in my Trad-Redneck point of view—ain’t a good thing.
 Further…I banned madras for the summer of 2010. You can read it here. Draconian, extreme and tyrannical I know. But desperate times call for desperate measures and when madras ended up in the beach-front head shops and skateboard emporiums …or is the plural “emporia?” was time for a madras sabbatical. Every joint had some version of madras hootchie-cootchie and to me the most egregious misapplication was madras cargo shorts. 
You know, the ones that when worn even by tall people, come below the knee and thus make every wearer look—I don’t know—like they ought not to be wearing them. Throw on  a mini-brimmed straw fedora with your madras that could be purchased from the same place and you’ve got yourself a “Brooks Brothers was bought-out by a Collins Avenue—South Beach investment group” bling-bling look.  Or substitute the straw fedora with a baseball hat—turned either direction and you’ve got a “J.Press Pimped and Punked—Pawn Stars—Swamp People” thing going.
Yes, I’ve let this issue work me up inordinately. Mainly because I remember my third grade year at Royall Elementary School in Florence South Carolina. I wasn’t a clothes horse back then. The only swathing-shodding event that I cared about was my annual back to school clothes getting trip that always included a pair of Acme cowboy boots from Phil Nofal’s fine shoes on Evans Street. One pair a year—always in the fall. Otherwise, I didn’t give two hoots and a damn what was chosen for me.  I don’t know how you grew up but when I was in the third grade, my mama told me most everything. Everything. Including…What I was going to eat, what I was going to wear, where I was going on a particular day and what exactly I would do when I got there.  It was all wrapped in stereotypical Southern mama love but it was anything but a dialogue. Socrates’ ass was nowhere to be found in this approach to interaction.  
I wore the clothes that my mama bought  me—after seeing me come out of the dressing room and assuring herself—with the affirmation of the saleslady at the Children’s Shop—also on Evans Street—that the waist was loose enough and the cuffs—turned up enough to stop below the kneecaps—would last through the entire school year.  
But I do remember getting madras pants and an alligator belt with a silver buckle monogrammed with my initials that year too. The alligator strap courtesy of the Children’s Shop. The silver (plated I’m sure) buckle courtesy of and engraved by Jones-Smith Jewellers, also on Evans Street. And the rig looked just like what the big boys were wearing…and I that I was the shit. And I was. In madras. Shut up.
So you see, my decision to ban madras a few seasons ago—to give it a rest—to let it wash out of the always transient fashion fascinations of the blingerati—was based on some deeply held Evans Street memories of how it should be worn. That's Evans Street above--probably a decade and a half before my pediatric clothing needs were met on the High Street. Now back to can get crazy with it. Fuzzy it up somewhat and surely allow it to be a key plank in the GTH trouser line-up. But at some point there must be moderation.
Moderation. The earliest version of madras had a built-in governor that assured such. It faded. The loudest in-your-face colors eventually became a muted, post impressionistic painterly version of themselves. Bleeding madras? You bet. And now some purveyors of madras today are labelling their garments prominently with a bleeding promise. Bleeding madras essentially went away when color-fast dies and advanced textile production processes trumped the role of the original fabric. Scale, production consistency, ease of laundering and care, cost of goods…you know…progress. Progress stemmed the bleeding stuff. Surprise…things are cyclical and obviously there are folks who weren’t around for the bleeding madras phenomenon and want to know what all the fuss was. They must want to experience how it was to have a garment that literally transformed itself over time through an attenuation of color—courtesy of dyes letting-go, making way for a more muted, mature version of the original manifestation.
You might recall my delight when I discovered the new-old stock of bleeding madras over at O’Connell’s a few years ago and I provided visual evidence of the bleed. Read here if you want. I ordered three pairs of them and would consider myself now adequately stocked with the real deal from a time when not only was the fabric legit but the cut of the trousers is of the same era—slightly higher rise and a mildly tapered leg—unlike the low rise skinny jeaned Thom Brown cuts of today’s “heritage-artisanal-legacy” caca. Hush.
So where am I with spring and summer madras 2012? The weather is getting warm and the need for lighter weight clothes and the desire to switch out closets for the season demands that I soon declare a position. And I’ve essentially done so—having worn madras to church on Easter Sunday. So the one man self-appointed madras board for America will render a verdict post haste. Moderation will be the theme for 2012 and I’ll further my moderated madras discourse—with verdict—in another post.
Onward. In an anything but moderated-modulated patch madras robe.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fuzzy Diced Loafers, Toy Soldiers and Good Music

It was suggested a moment ago by a well-meaning and certainly bright young gentleman, that I go back to what this superficial weigh-station of drivel is best suited. He said..."As a "fan," I'm asking you to return to your old posts about fuzzy diced loafers, toy soldiers, and good music. If I wanted politically correct drivel I would watch TV instead."  This might be the best advice I've received all year. And my year--because I live off of the Druid calendar, is almost over. 
But it was also stated that the current level of dismay wasn't limited to just my last post but the one preceding it as well. I suspect that would be the Thomas Kinkade story. Folks, I am not some kind of high-minded art snob. You can find my kinfolk on the People of Walmart website as well as wish I was kidding. And I'm not piling on with those who have used Kinkade as a punching bag for years. I reckon that a lot of that kind of thing had to do with jealousy. The man was wildly successful commercially and I begrudge no one their rewards. All I was saying--and it's been pointed out to me that I'm "no Jonathan Swift"--but what was lost in my hyperbole--was that the man lost his way. It happens. 

And you can believe what you want to believe about the symbolism manifest in those energy inefficient cottages through which every window, a Seasonal Affective Disorder Light Box bolus of illumination radiated. And so can I. While you may see goodness therein, I see a Hansel-Gretel-Hitchcock oeuvre with a bad ending. The light looks too inviting...too good to be true. Someone's in there. Waiting for you. With lubricant.

Ok, so enough of my preamble. I decided to take a moment out of my crazy—allergy sequelae shrouded week and do just what my fan asked me to do. You might wanna go ahead and get a box of tissues before beginning this. For this one my friends, is gonna be a bell-ringer. Or it might just make you a little gassy.
The photo above isn’t exactly representative of “fuzzy diced loafers” but it indeed caused me some horror when I stumbled upon it the other day. The picture is from a 1970 edition of Esquire magazine. My foot wasn’t big enough to wear men’s shoes in 1970 but I recall the pediatric versions of similar aberrations. 1970 kicked off a horrifying sartorial run and I’d say that what men were offered, Corfam and Naugahyde shodding-wise might be considered Exhibit One in the “The Seventies—A Decade of Menswear Poo” trial.
On the other hand, Ralph’s Spring 2012 Spectator offering appeals to me. In a “may I restrain you?” kind of way. May I?
 Toy soldiers you say? I’m on spending lock-down for the balance of 2012 and it’s a blessed dilemma. I underpaid your Federal Government in 2011. It happens sometimes in small entrepreneurial little shops like mine. What also happens includes phone calls with accountants that induce a phenomenon I refer to as the “pucker factor”. Proof of “pucker” manifests when after hanging up with the CPA, you walk across the room and realize that your one hundred and fifty pound Naugahyde with Corfam piping office chair is stuck to your butt.
Oh, this was the paragraph about toy soldiers. Right. Even amidst spending lock-down, I HAD to pounce on this set of almost one hundred year old Heyde bandsmen. They just don’t come up for offer at a reasonable price very often. Not that the price of these was exactly reasonable. 
So how do you pounce amidst lock-down? You sell some stuff and you trade some stuff.
The suggestion for drivel resumption was limited to loafers, soldiers and music but may I add another category? Of course I can. I kid you not; I think I might have a preparatory, preliminary oil on canvas study of Sir William Orpen’s Jockey self-portrait. I’ve had it forever—having paid relatively nothing for it at an estate sale here in Old Town almost twenty years ago. I love the sleuthing associated with collecting but I long ago gave up on attributing this thing to anyone of repute. I kinda wanted it to be by Sir John Lavery but that was a stretch.  
Then recently, I stumbled upon an online image of Orpen’s Jockey self-portrait and the accompanying story about it. I was blown away. Suffice it to say that I’m currently obsessed with getting some kind of authentication—attribution for my little version. Stay tuned. Or not. I don't care.
And finally, you wanted me to posit something about good music? Even LFG, the young lady who only grunts at me these days, admitted that one of the little ditties by these cats above was a good one. It’s one of those songs that was on the jukebox at the fratty house and one that I, delusional and in love beer at three in the morning, thought I sounded good singing…at the top of my lungs…to my date who was cooing back to me. 

Cooing and wooing. At least I think my date was cooing. At least I think it was my date. Might a been cooing and spewing. We did a lot of that at the fratty house. Beer foam throw-up on hardwood floors. Makes the shagging a lot slicker. Here’s The Main Ingredient doing Just Don't Want to Be Lonely. In 1974—early into the decade of bad shoes and even worse suits and sportcoats.

Onward. Flonase—Claritin—Stoli

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hoodies on a Cracker: Fashion and Violence

They've always stood for trouble. Hoods(ies) that is. I mean really. Come on people.
LFG wears one to school almost every day. Hers have come from the typical purveyors of urban-edgy gear. Retailers similar in repute to the tabooed small town head shops back in the sixties…arrogantly poised to commercialize with high margins—evil. Places like airport, resort or hotel gift shops that I frequent when I’m on the road. Audacious I know, but that’s how we roll. And if the Hood wasn't provocative enough, LFG is known to flaunt slogans on the front of hers that shout come-ons like… “Boca Raton Resort and Club” or “Montgomery County Soccer League”. I mean really—she’s just asking for it. And to add insult to injury, the child even wears a few in the irrefutable color of evil—black. Wear a black one and you need not worry about accelerating the inherent Hoodie-evil with a provocative slogan. Bring it on—the little girl in the black Hoodie will cut you. The darling no-gooder depicted above isn’t in a black Hoodie but please—don’t be lulled into thinking that the light colored Hoodie and the accompanying cloy colors are harmless. She’s obviously preparing a garrote for later use. I mean really. Come on people.
I would suggest that we also watch out for the next wave of sartorial venom...straw hats. What we have here is the same little girl, cloaked in woven-plaited sleight-of-hand. Seemingly harmless and frankly, rather cute in a kid wearing Crocs kind of way. But look at those little fists punching through the perimeter of her straw shroud-of-evil. Those are, sadly; fists of rage. I mean really. Come on people.
Not unlike the hijacked rebel flag back in my home state or the co-opted swastika of Nazi Germany, the original design, intent or dare I say, utilitarian functionality of the Hoodie is irrelevant. Eclipsed by the evil impregnated ever so thoroughly in Hoodies one and all. Buy a Lora Piana cashmere Hoodie…or a down-market synthetic velour one from Juicy Couture if you want. The endgame’s the same. Evil—you are. Hoodie should be synonymous with cavity search at will. I mean really. Come on people.
“Justice 04”“Justice 04” Are you kidding me? You ARE kidding me right? That’s gang-code and it spells trouble for some targeted subset of society. What’s troublesome here is that the code is deliberately unintelligible to non-gang people. Not only that, it’s done that way on purpose. Doggedly so. Really…I kid you not. Not this time. What you see here is an angel eating quiche. Rest assured though, that there will be some kind of “justice” rendered later, in surely a scornful and perverse way. “Justice” upon an unsuspecting group with a vague and through no doing of their own—connection to the numbers zero and four. Quiche for now—curtains for some unsuspecting “Justice 04” victim later. Wake up. I mean really. Come on people.
 Shocking also is the reality that this Hoodie…this ever so evil shroud…crosses all ethnic, religious and gender hurdles. Case in point above. Here we have what is commonly known as a Female Cracker keeping company with a culturally Jewish but decidedly mindful...Buddhist. If it had been me, I’d a cuffed that kid and pepper sprayed her right then and there—just to be sure that she didn't cut that Yiddish Dove sitting beside her. CAN YOU NOT SEE THE EVIL IN HER EYES? WAKE UP AMERICA.  I mean really. Come on people.
And finally, I’ll rest my case with this example. One that quite frankly, breaks my heart more completely than the saga of Cracker Girl. What have we here? A display of outfits formerly worn by one of the most revered dandies of our time. The examples run the gamut…representing how the wearer once characterized himself—style wise. “I’m something of a cross between the Duke of Windsor and the Duke of Ellington.”  That’s all well and good but please, let’s not overlook the Hoodie getup on display. The subtle—other than its color—presence is proof positive of the Jekyll-Hyde nature of those who wear the Hood. Don’t trust ‘em for a minute. I mean really. Come on people.
This one shows us that the evil of the Hood…the pernicious nature of the subtle vines of animosity…also meander their way into the hearts and minds of those in their dotage. Who would have thought that Richard Merkin…one of my iconic heroes…my Beacon of Fuzzy Flâneurship…would also don a mere eighteen months before his passing—the Hood of Hate. Additionally disturbing is the fact that even in his decline, he was precise in how he focused his malice. What we have here is a Brooklyn born Jew…a collector of kitsch and torch carrier for such dichotomous things he so loved…Old New York and Coney Island…directing his venom with  laser sharp focus—on the Mexicans. Merkin was about six feet-three. Those from south of the border are generally a foot shorter than, in this case, their predator. As much as I loved him, I would have tasered his ass right then and there. Cuffs and Cavity thereafter.  I mean really. Come on people.

Onward. Hoodless.