September 15, 2013

Pining for a time I never knew

It is chilly again this morning, 43F at the time of this electronic scribbling. I spent yesterday trimming up some bushes and putting the finishing touches on a desk I am painting. It was a cheap wooden desk that was bright blue when it resided in my daughter's room back when she was in high school and middle school. Now it is black.

This morning I had the inexplicable urge to do some remodeling around the old blog. It was time for a change. Do not panic, I suspect after a few days the whole shebang will revert back to the simple layout you have come to to expect. In all seriousness, the hardest blog change I ever did was to move the blog roll from the left side to the right side.

What?  Oh, you want to know about the new blog title.  I have always regretted the original nom de journal I chose when I started this collection of rants, musings and trash. I have never been able to conjure a better blog title; one with zing and panache. I like the title of my other blog, the one I never use, but it does not sing to me either. Heck, I have issues coming up with post titles. I guess after eight years it is OK to change. Don't get too used to it, though.

My personality is bent toward nostalgia. I have dined on a couple of occasions at old supper clubs, One in Wichita and one near Dayton. The faded elegance spoke to me of a time gone by, where highballs, martinis, and fine steaks were enjoyed and digested to the accompaniment of dance bands and recordings of Frank and Ella. Where the dulcet toes of Nat King Cole provided a background to the laughter and enjoyment of a night out on the town. The supper club image hails to a time in my mind when men wore suits to dinner and ladies sported furs over their shoulders and long gloves with their strapless dresses, sparkling with sequins.

Then the baby boomers and f-ing hippies ruined it all. The supper clubs became public restaurants, the nightclubs turned into discos. Country clubs became snack bars. The Moose, and Elks, and Eagles are mere bars, where they even still exist. Men do not wear suits to work, hats are replaced with ball caps. Nike T-shirts and jeans are the accepted costume of the day. We have become a society built for comfort. We interact more with our fellow man than ever, but the art of personal contact is slowly being lost in the clutter of electronic communication.

6 comments:

Ed Bonderenka said...

Well that was confusing for a bit.
Suits to work!?!
somehow, polo shirts, t-shirts, and basketball shorts have become de rigeur for managers where I work.
I stand out (except for the Ops Mgr) in wearing a button up casual shirt.
I remember my dad breaking starch in his white shirts to go with his tie and dark suit.
Casual Friday has become "Wow! That's a fine collection of tats you have!"

hey teacher... said...

When I DON'T wear a tie to school the kids are freaking out. It helps set a tone. Some teachers would show up in sweat pants if they could. When you go by their room it tends to be a bit chaotic. Hey, I bet I could get a grant to do a study on that.

Joe said...

I was the last guy anywhere still wearing a suit and tie when I visited customers. About five or six years ago I relented to khakis and a sport coat and tie. Finally I just rolled over and now for the most part wear a polo shirt or dress shirt to see customers. Only one or two requires a jacket and or tie.

My black wingtips are lonely in the closet.

Fred said...

"Then the baby boomers and f-ing hippies ruined it all."

I thank you for that laugh this morning, Sir. I really needed it.

mts1 said...

You've struck a chord in my soul. Yes, yes, yes. A Toots Shoor's could not exist today, where a regular crumb-bum can bring his wife and have a steak and a Jack on the rocks while quietly sharing the room with Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Gleason, Frank Gifford, and Frank Sinatra all killing time there between trains. Partly because the stars are too rich and weird nowadays, and the crumb-bums bring their special kind of weird to the table, too, where the star no longer would be safe in a crowd anymore. The baby boomer and hippies did that too, where an expert on craziness such as Charles Manson said the line of the century, "Used to be, being crazy really meant something. Nowadays, everybody is crazy."

You also no longer have any accomplishment-oriented clubs anymore, like an Explorer's Club where you submit an adventure, like climbing a mountain or sweating a rain forest, and if they approve and you make it back alive with a great story to tell (scars are tattoos with far cooler back-stories), you're given a pennant to hang in the club and a membership card, along with the fellowship of other adrenalin junkies who did something similar.

Then that got reduced to the Playboy Club card, where you just had to pay up, with an extra kicker for the exclusive club key. Now the exclusive club has been reduced to Costco and Sam's Club membership.

The old frat clubs are all dying quickly, and soon there'll be no men's spaces left. A lot of places that became co-ed (as opposed to a woman brought by a member as his guest) eventually became women dominated, and the men just went home. The argument was they were left out of good business contacts made in those places, and that may have been true, but a lot of gentlemen's clubs (drawing rooms back then with billiard tables and libraries, not strip bars of today called the same name) had a rule that talking business was forbidden, and a man who only knew business was not well rounded and not "club-able."

Barbershops aren't even all that anymore (hippies again ruining stuff), and are uni-sex salons where some chubby girl in Spandex stirrup-pants shaves the back of your neck in a straight line, makes three snips in the air over your head, and declares "done" and you hustle out so the mom with 3 screaming kids can get in next.

Shawnee Supper Club. I can get used to that. You rent lockers where I can bring my scotch, gin, and supplies to keep handy?

Joe said...

Sit back, have a cocktail, light up a hand made puro and converse.

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