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


Turling said...

Oh, yea, being a CPA I've been on the opposite end of your phone call many a time. I would say it's just as hard giving the news, but let's be honest, no it isn't. It does suck, though. That's why I don't do it anymore. Oh, that and the 100 hour weeks.

The Leopard said...

The great thing about your blog is when you take us on your Time Tunnel trips down memory lane. Listening to th Main Ingredient I am transported back to my own fraternity house at TCU in the mid-70's and I like that memory, sipping a gin and tonic made with an entire bottle of Gordons Gin in a fish bowl with a crazy straw listening to the Oogum Boogum song, good times, good times, thank you.

Anonymous said...

You know, after I posted my comment, I instantly regretted it. Not because I didn't mean it, I did; but because I've read this blog for 3 years now and I never commented. I've loved every post but only commented when I found something I didn't like. For that, I sincerely apologize.

Like I've said, I've learned a lot from your blog. You'll get a kick to know that under your tutelage I've successfully waged a campaign for my beach music loving bride-to-be to fall for Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love" -- its going to be our first song. Had you not posted about it some time ago, we wouldn't have the pleasure of making such a fun, unexpected, and just plain good song, OUR song.

This blog is really something special and its a welcomed highpoint to my early mornings while I struggle through the first year of my "chosen profession."


Anonymous said...


I don't usually get too excited about shoes. But the ones pictured in your copy of the Esquire ad above,were truly inspiring.

All The Best !

old said...

ADG - As usual an provocative and interesting posting. Unfortunately I don't concur with your song preference. Prefer Aaron Tippin's You've Got to Stand for Something over that Motown Jive.

Always the best, OSP

Anonymous said...


If LFG has advanced to the "grunting" stage, she's that much closer to being your buddy once again!

And let's break the lock down just one more time for a pair of crocs...

Anonymous said...

I believe Oogum Boogum was featured in THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO. And, guess who has a new movie out? That would be Mr Stillman. I haven't seen Damsels in Distress, but if I can wade through your "Who Dese" posts, I am fairly certain the same spirit of loyalty will drive me to watch Mr S's newest work and look for that kernel of "more like your life than your actual life" that he always delivers, just as you do...

Diggin the Main Ingredient- and Benton Wood

Just sign me
(one of the)
Rural Haute Bourgeoisie

Mink80 said...


Listen to no one but yourself. You are doing just fine. Love everything you write. Rock on. In the Belgians.

Mink80 said...


Listen to no one but yourself. You are doing just fine. Love everything you write. Rock on. In the Belgians.

Scott said...

Personally, I think "Everybody Plays the Fool" is a better track. Just me. But I think I'm going to put together a whole playlist of that early '70s Soul stuff. What in the hell happened to music anyway?


LPC said...


NCJack said...

I was in college in 1970, and well recall the,,,uhhh...sartorial splendiferousnessaciousness. Bet about a third of those shoes had platform soles. Never had any my own self, but did have some bellbottoms that were dangerous in high winds, and a sportcoat with lapels in different zip codes (I made 'em look good though)

Anonymous said...

While the toy soldiers are fabulous beyond words, this gave me the best laugh I've had in ages:

"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."

I laughed so hard I was literally crying. Thanks, ADG, for making my night.


Reggie Darling said...

Great post, ADG, and just what I needed to read at this insanely late, insominia-inspired hour. I'm with you with TK. Stuff was awful and icky, but damn if I didn't enjoy looking at it, and secretly sort of liking it, the way I do cheap candy and convenience store snacks...when noone is looking!

ADG said...


ScottieMan…how does it feel to be home? “fool” is a great song too. And I’ve got TONS of the old stuff digitized. I’ll burn some on a CD and send it. Or maybe I can email the files to you. We’ll see if they make it over to you. Sometimes the format gets corrupted when I send them. Same with my naked pictures.
Personally, I think "Everybody Plays the Fool" is a better track. Just me. But I think I'm going to put together a whole playlist of that early '70s Soul stuff. What in the hell happened to music anyway?

LPC…I swear I LOVE YOU, Prunella. But in that friendly, measured, appropriately cadenced fashion—devoid of the excessive and mawkish treacle that High WASPs find off-putting. Thanks for your eight words. Really.

NCJackie…Ok, so you’ve got me by a decade or so. And I accept, with a chuckle, your assertion that you did the best you could to look good in those dorsal fin lapels and bell bottoms. Picture this…when I DID get big enough to go to the men’s department, the lapels and flairs on the size 36 Regular suits were the same scale as on the larger sizes. Wrap a hundred pound kid in one of those babies and you’ve got a travesty.

AnonElizabeth…glad I made you chuckle. Now send me a dollar.

ReggieDarlingTossity…I only drifted off a bit before you posted your comments. I’ve been up late mostly because my seasonal allergies have me completely off the hooch. I’m missing my martinis. And I totally GET the convenience store junk food thing. My Southern version of is the little mom and pop, independent country stores…they had the best junk food and tchotchke. Who am I kidding? There wasn’t any tchotchke in Green Sea, South Carolina. But you can bet your ass there was a Kinkade or two.

ADG said...

TurlingTosser…We’ve had the same accountant since we started our little consultancy fifteen years ago and I love her. She’s now in her early sixties and reminds me of my third grade teacher, Mrs. Anderson. She’s always in a skirt—NEVER slacks and she’s proper and focused and pragmatic and experienced. What I mean is that her general demeanor and deportment reflect her morals and values as a CPA and therefore—not that I really would anyway—you would NEVER even hint to her about pushing the accounting envelope for your business beyond the proverbial good judgement-ethical line. And I’m happy to pay the taxes actually. We ended up with a bit of a year-end windfall…something that we haven’t had in a while so the big check to the IRS is because I got a little more than was planned for. It’s all good.

LeopardSkin…the time tunnel thing is easy for me to do…and fun. And I should probably stick to those themes anyway. And I can visualize exactly what you’ve described. I’m happy to evoke those kinda fish-bowl recollections.

CarolinaSandlapperKAmon…thanks for saying what you did. On both counts. I especially admire your confession that after three years of reading my stuff, your first-time comments took me to task. And I’m equally pleased to know that you stick by your original comments. Your comments collectively, let me know, as Southern author and Mercer College KA man, Ferrol Sams declared about folks in his autobiographical novel Whisper of the River…that your parents “raised you right.”
Where are you in South Carolina? I’ll buy you and your fiancĂ© a cool pop when I’m next down there.

AnonEsquireInspiration…glad to have been of service.

oldAaronTippin…but you can’t dance to Aaron’s song.

AnonCrocShoes…If the LFG grunt was the only measure of whether or not she’s revering me again, I might agree. But for every grunt that I longingly latch on to as a sign of her love for me, there’s fifty seven tisk tisks. Oh, and read the line about how I rustled up the dosh to pay for the Heyde toy soldiers. If we EVER get the MSRP “right” in the crocs…I’ll find the funds. I may have to carry a balance for 45 days on a card that I’d prefer not to. But it’s like my daddy used to say… “You ain’t never gonna have anything lest you learn to live with the mortgages.” Of course he died, at fifty-over leveraged but that’s another story. But you of all people know that being leveraged…just a tad…for a brief period…isn’t neccesarily bad.

AnonymousOogum…OogBoog is a classic…”with your brother’s sloppy shirt…” And thanks for wading through my drivel. You may be Haute and Bourgoisie and such. But you ain’t rural. Your roots, like mine, is rural but you a city boy now. With a Miata.

Anonymous said...

Last night, I auctioned off a sterling silver casting of a raccoon baculum- said to have belonged to a former judge and gubernatorial candidate. You can judge for yourself just how urban my life really is.

Let's just say that city boys in these parts are still pretty rural.

Oog de Boog

Yvette said...

That Kinkade story is quite sad. What is it about success that derails some people?

Anyway, just wanted to add that those Ralph Lauren shoes are to die for. My brother and I were having a discussion over Easter weekend on what shoes to wear with a seersucker suit and these shoes are perfect. I'll have to send him the pix.

I'm also a big fan of toy Brit soldiers. Wish I could afford 'em. They're fun to look at though.

Anonymous said...

Do you know that the singer of "Main Ingredient" was the Cuba Gooding Jr. father??

Young Fogey said...

I can't see a single pair of the shoes from the 1970 Esquire layout that would look out of place in your closet.

Not one.

If anything, some of them are too subdued for you.

And they'd all go well with those socks.

Anonymous said...

Rupert Maas in Clifford Street will give you the verdict on the Orpen; you'll have passed his place on the way to the Row. Unless you fancy schleping it to
Antiques Roadshow?


ADG said...

Herts of the Tite Street Skip: Yes, I know of Rupert and have friends who actually buy from him. I've only looked. There's also a husband and wife team on Mount Street...The Pymms Gallery I think. And I also thought of Browse and Darby on Cork Street...they also deal in that group of artist that you and I like. And if you haven't read "The Duchess of Cork Street" you should.

Alas, the embarrassment of being the "impertinent Yank with a knocked off picture" who emailed the above London galleries has been thwarted. And I'll write a story about it. One of my best friend's wife is the lead art conservator at Colonial Williamsburg. She looked at it on Saturday. It's a well done, of the period, student copy she thinks.

Young Fogey...careful now or I'll send another pile to you.

AnonCubaSr. ...yep. I knew that. can get some of the more modest "Brit soldiers" for twenty bucks. The shoes however, are gonna cost your brother a bit more.

Ooog de Boog...I could not have said it any better.

Anonymous said...

Did your friend examine the back of the canvas and the wooden stretcher, corner pegs and nails? As you know, they can tell you a great deal about age and origin.



ADG said...

Herts...yes she did. And I've got enough experience as an amateur to look rather thoroughly at stretcher bars, canvas, expander shims and nails. I actually have here at home, a modest black-light and some conservation tools.

My friend's wife is really tops in her field and very unpretentious. Yet in her friendly walk through with me and the picture, it became obviously rather soon, why this wasn't Orpen's work. But it is of the period.

Oh, and my college fraternity brother--house mate is the host of the U.S. version of the Antiques Roadshow. Did you see the British Antiques Roadshow episode where the guy did bring his Orpen? It's on YouTube I think.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that your friend is right, possibly the handling of
the flesh tones on the hands and face give it away? Still, it is a nice picture and in a decent of frame-from your store or local junk shop, you could sell it as 'School of Wm Orpen'
Saw that Roadshow, that Orpen was beautiful and obviously by the Master.
Ive a sad story about a Lavery and I'll tell you about my own exploits on the Roadshow, when we meet?