J Peterman Days,a Valentine Toast, and Cupid’s aim

I was looking at some photos the other day and saw one that jogged my memory. You see after a few years in the business world,this young turk bought himself an old beige Jaguar that broke down a lot but as its interior smelled of English leather, I didn’t mind waiting for the tow truck which came frequently. British machines are bloody quirky but they have that old panache.

I glanced down this morning and there on the floor was the reminder of when Melanie gifted me with a genuine Haliburton briefcase that was damn near greater than our net worth at the time. She loves me. I still have that red case and it is my trademark of sorts scratched as it is.

Back then before kids and mortgages, when I got a few extra coins in my pocket, I started shopping out of two mail order stores in the early 80’s that I dearly loved. I liked ordering stuff. I still do. The joy of tearing open the box with wild abandon when it arrives.

One such store was the original Banana Republic founded by the Zieglers in 1978. It was a travel-themed clothing company with the bulk of the sales coming from its unconventional catalog. It had some truly unique items accompanied by the real treat, fictional travel stories from exotic places. I couldn’t wait for the mail man each month. Banana Republic competed directly with my other favorite, the J. Peterman catalog later made famous by the TV show Seinfeld. But this J Peterman was real and really neat and not far up the road in Lexington. They ran a recurring ad in The Wall Street Journal, which was my first newspaper subscription. I read that paper from cover to cover in those days of yuppiedom. Youth and money is a dangerous mix.
Rising from the ashes of financial ruin, J Peterman still has a great on line store and some products and their descriptions are mentioned below. I still useauthentic West Indies Bay Rum and shaving cream that you actually apply with a brush from time to time. “Men have liked Bay Rum since Spanish Main days. They like it for the least complicated reason in the world: it smells good.”

I wear a duster sometimes in lieu of my Bogart style trench coat because as J Peterman says “it’s unintentionally very flattering. With or without a horse.” It has lots of pockets for my stuff. I love the wide long brimmed Hemingway fishing cap that comes in XL for bucket heads like me. Papa “probably bought his in a gas station on the road to Ketchum, next to the cash register, among the beef jerky wrapped in cellophane. Or maybe in a tackle shop in Key West.” I like my stuff to havea story behind it.Speaking of which there’s the Gatsby shirt with no collar at all named for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s billionaire dapper hero…Or anti-hero? Striped of course, in gallant hues, bold like their namesake.

Actually I am trying to connect my nostalgic stroll down MemoryInterstateto Guy Finley’s more meaningful advice that I present today because I love you. “The victories, the defeats – – everything passes in time only to come again and dress the moment in its approved costume. All that remains constant is the stage, in and upon which the continuing saga unfolds. Be the stage.”

Then there are the props. Let’s see. I’ll stop by JR’s in Statesville the end of this week and find some interesting little additions for my humidor and Bluegrass Liquor Store to check out the single malt scotch selection and raise a belated Valentine’s Day Toastto my Grandpa Lindsay’s clan and to all of you-

Here’s to all those that I love.
Here’s to all those that love me.
And here’s to all those that love those that I love,
And all those that love those that love me.

Ipredict that Cupid’s arrow hits you right in the left lower cheek.


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