Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sid Mashburn Washington D.C.

We've finally got a sartorial oasis in D.C. ! 

I spent an hour in one-on-one fellowship with Sid Mashburn last Saturday at the new store. I'll be concocting a story soon but until then, get on over there and wallow in the tasty goods.
And please ask for our man, Dexter Garner, IV. He's making friends and building a client base. Hard to believe there's been four Dexters.

Onward.

ADG-Only Two.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Part Two: Birmingham Alabama—In Alden Pebble Grain

It’s been so long since I published my Part One: Birmingham Alabama—In Alden Pebble Grain that you might want to go back and read it first.

Part Two: Birmingham Alabama—In Alden Pebble Grain
Then I rounded the corner…
But before I begin this final round, I want to offer this quote from TCD’s original email regarding Richards of Mountain Brook…"Richards" took a high school freshman to his Dad's world & instantly verified it was where you wanted to be even if it had not occurred to you before".

“…instantly verified it was where you wanted to be even if it had not occurred to you before…” That’s a strong statement right there. Stronger than new rope. Strong in some kind of teenage existentially ethereal, one hundred percent cotton kinda way. Shut up.
But TCD, in response to part-one of this story emailed me and reminded me that any trip to Richards usually included a stop off at the drug store that’s anchored this little mercantile patch since 1928. AS TCD described this place, it occurred to me that Gilchrist Drug is the J&J Drugs of my hometown. Butcept like everything in Florence S.C. versus anywhere else ('cept maybe Tabor City N.C.), my hometown version is a redneck-y, inelegant comparator.
At least 30% of my caloric intake was courtesy of the J&J lunch counter during my days working at the haberdashery just opposite the J&J. I would go over to the J&J on some Saturday mornings before we opened the store, still capable of blowing a DUI I’m certain. Bill Tassios would patch me up with the same unguent, my Saturday morning “rescue usual” of two ham biscuits and a cup of coffee. I’d grab some breath mints and toss it all back before cinching up my four-in-hand and easing into my Saturday mercantile duties. Unfortunately, the photo above reveals what the J&J storefront looks like these days. Alas.
I’d say that for the first hour or two my internal dialogue was really a flurry of foxhole prayers to Jesus. “Lord, if you’ll make this hangover go away I’ll never get smashed on a Friday night again”. But by eleven o’clock I’d be feeling better thanks to my J&J fix and on the phone to my various cohorts, sorting out the Saturday night plan.
Oops, I digressed again. So  TCD told me that for him, the Gilchrist Pimiento Cheese (yes, you Yankees, Pimiento Cheese is capitalized. It’s a Southern thang that I’m not going to take time to ‘splain to you because you’ll never get it. Suffice it to say that the cheese and the assemblage of it on two pieces of toasted bread is sacred.) sandwich and a fresh squeezed right then and there glass of their limeade was his standing order. 
Here’s a quote from this article that best sums up why TCD made sure I understood the significance of the Gilchrist anchor… “Walk into Gilchrist, and you’re likely to see tables of teenagers and college kids, mothers and daughters, grandparents and great-grandparents — most of whom have been coming here all of their lives. Old snapshots of long-time customers fill a display case. “That’s the neatest thing about this place, is seeing somebody in their 70s come in here and talk about how they used to sit at that very same stool,” (current owner) Rosato says. “They grow up here in this community, and they grow up going to Gilchrist.””
Photo from Taste of the South Magazine
Typical of my A.D.D. impertinent country a_s, I stood right beside this hallowed sanctum sanctorum of samiches and such and didn’t have a clue of its existence. Otherwise, I’d a had a little bite of something to complement the sartorial rarefied air that I’d just finished breathing two doors down.

So I’d finished my photo taking reminiscent obligations to TCD and was headed back to the car. 
Then I rounded the corner and noticed a little haberdashery called Harrison Ltd. My painfully nostalgic self has long since resigned to the reality of TinTin’s  “Not as good as it once was, better than it will be” by-line.  But every town used to have a locally owned haberdashery and Harrison Ltd. is doing a damn fine job of campaigning the Richard’s legacy.
A faint smell of leather hit me when I walked in. Sort of a shoe repair shop olfactory déjà vu. The source was a gaggle of Alden shoe boxes above my immediate right that let me know I wasn’t in some kind of twee little attenuated J. Crew skinny jeans atelier. Shut up.
While this little oasis is trad out the as_; rest assured that Harrison Ltd. ain’t no maudlin throwback to a time now irrelevant. There’s a little bit of Mashburn folded into a good bit of your daddy’s favorite old-time tradberdashery.
What Harrison Ltd. seems to do so well is keep just enough of the immutable 3-Button patina spread ‘round ever so lightly while offering fresh takes on it all. And I don’t know how to write this in a way that you’ll understand what I’m trying to say but here goes…What Harrison Ltd. does is something more nuanced than that worn-ass-out hackneyed standard of “we take the classics and reinterpret them”. A monkey could do that. Trust me; I was a monkey at one time. Shut up.
So I’m standing there, doing anything to keep from having to return from my errand running tasks and this pebble grain thing gobsmacked me from the get-go. I ask for no sympathy when I say that there’s never been a time in my life when I was less able to buy anything nonessential. But I had some some cravings in this joint that warranted the ultimate sale of a few caricatures and antique toy soldiers. I think it came out of me before I even knew that I’d asked it. And the answer was yes, my size in these pebble graingers just happened to be on hand.
I love my versatile penny loafers but the Alden tassel mama is a step-up in the “if you could only have one shoe what would it be?” pantheon. Yep. Weejuns are kinda like the Canterbury Shop to the Alden tassel’s Richard’s of Mountain Brook. And of course since I’ve never owned an Alden tassel loafer in my life, I figured it was my time.
Granted I shoulda paid the freight for the shoes and cut outta there faster than a set of rims at a Puff Daddy concert butcept I didn’t. They had some belts and of course since I’ve never owned a belt, I figured it was my time. The Wiley Brothers Hoof Pick contrivances and even my Sid Mashburn oyster shell buckled belt seemed clunky and ham fisted compared to this gem.
Matte alligator. I’d never had anything reptilian other than the shiny glazed stuff. So my first thought was whether or not it was the real thing or one of those hydraulic ersatz  stamped-stomped cowhide models. My first car, the MG Midget, was worth about five hundred and fifty bucks when I said goodbye to it. So the indicator of reptilian authenticity was an MSRP that was perilously close to the goodbye value of my Midget.
Fake it till you make it is remains part of my oeuvre but I can’t abide fake gator grained leather. The gator grain stamping process reminds me of what has to be the high-heat, hydraulic event that creates the undulating rib impressions on a McRib. As a Southerner and hogavore, I believe the McRib to be a multipronged insult to a pig. 
Painted on grill marks and rib impressions you are supposed to bite-through. Corrugated meat. Damn. We gnaw ribs where I’m from. We don’t bite through them. Ok, so I had to sell more toy soldiers.
At this point I figured that a knit tie to round my visit wouldn’t hurt. Most knit ties are too skinny and frail looking for me. But like everything else in this little oasis, I could have taken one of everything. And of course since I've never owned a tie, I figured one of these knit babies should be my first.
Photo from Robert Talbott
Scott Pyburn is the swizzle stick that stirs this trad cocktail. And if I lived in Birmingham, he and I would continue to visit and ideate on who could make me a pair of alligator tassel loafers; one hundred percent faithful to the Alden classic on the Aberdeen last.
Oh, and if you spend an amount equal to the value of your first car, Scott will give you a t-shirt and baseball cap. And since I've never...

Onward.

ADG II

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bruce Boyer and True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear


I love picture books. But I think I love words even more than pictures and God knows I’m a visual guy. My sartorial sensei’s volumes have always thrilled me and to this day I’ll pull one of them off the shelf—any one of them—and grab a bolus dose of Flusstaciousness. The fare’s quite rich and I never tire of the visual treats. And let me not give Alan short shrift. Daddy Flusser is pretty damned skilled with the written word too. 

Oh, and shut up in advance about me heading a story about Boyer's new book with a photo of Alan's classic. Either read-on or get off of my blog. 
I said long ago that I thought Bruce Boyer’s book, Elegance might have been slightly thwarted by the sartorial picture books that appeared at about the same time. And it’s a damn shame. Let’s admit it; photos are the MSG (Monosodium glutamate for you South Carolinians. Oh hell, that didn’t clarify anything for the Sandlappers. Let me go at it another way. It’s the secret ingredient that makes all of the slop on the country buffet trough taste like something, last longer and look prettier. It's an enhancer and intensifier. Kind of a bullhorn for your country-ass taste buds.)  of sensory processing and we’ve been on an ever faster slide towards less reading and more pictures. Do you people read? I wonder because if you are reading my scrivening, you’re only a half-step away from the country buffet. Shut up.
Used without permission but with thanks from Daddy Flusser's site.
I’ll pull Elegance off the shelf from time to time for a different reason than when I feel the need to scratch my Flusser itch. There are some writers whose grocery lists would be on my to-read roster simply because of the way they write. Hitchens was one and Bruce Boyer is another. So Boyer’s a winning combination for me: Stories sartorial, but also nicely strung together. I swear I wish that I could write with the flourish of Flusser and the stylish discipline of Boyer. Here’s what I’m talking about. From page 101 in Boyer's Elegance, on the subject of double-breasted suits. "...this all sounds very Sherlock Holmes, but nonetheless and to move quickly to the denouement of this classic tale of crime and detection, when the police finally tracked down and captured George Metesky, we was indeed wearing a double breasted suit."  Most of the young I-Gents, who by the way, love Bruce and Bruce them, would throw in the towel upon getting all tangled up in the word denouement. Not me. Hell, I even save all of G. The Bruce's emails because even his most casually dashed-off missives sing.
One of the highlights of the past four years has been my growing acquaintance with Mister Boyer. 
Mathew Bruccoli in his forward to Charles Fountain’s biography of George Frazier wrote that there were "various Georges, depending on the company and setting". Well I’ve only discovered one Bruce so far. He’s authentic and consistent as hell. Whether he’s speaking about Miles Davis from the F.I.T. podium, at a book signing amidst admirers, debating and dickering one-on-one with tailors and shoe makers about crucial details, or sitting with you at lunch; he’s the same guy.
Used without permission but with thanks from Lehigh Valley Style 
Boyer offers no pretense, no bluster, and zero swagger. He doesn’t need any of those protective wrappers that the less confident are prone to rely upon.  The man knows who he is. Come to think of it, the concept of swagger seems vulgar when correlated with Bruce. But don’t get me wrong. The man is no pushover and like I’ve said before; nobody shit talks Bruce Boyer.
Thanks, Rose.
Here’s a resolute Boyer from a 2011 Wall Street Journal interview…“It is both delusional and stupid to think that clothes don't really matter and we should all wear whatever we want. Most people don't take clothing seriously enough, but whether we should or not, clothes do talk to us and we make decisions based on people's appearances”. There's probably no better tribute to Boyer than what Dr. Andre Churchwell would offer about the man. Andre, one of the best dressed mammals in the universe will essentially tell you that the greatest sartorial lessons he ever learned and the best bespoke clothing guidance he got came from GeeBruce. 
And he’s the same fella back home in Bethlehem as he is in Gotham City. I met Bruce at the Hotel Bethlehem for lunch back in the winter and his “I’m in my office at home writing so don’t expect a dressed to the nines lunch mate” sartorial ensemble intrigued me. He’s one of those guys who could get dressed in the dark and still nail the hell out of it. Boyer was sitting there in a cardigan sweater over one of his ever present neat-check tattersall shirts. Just so.

But it was the day's sneak peek of his ascot that got me. I wish I'd taken a picture of it. I say peek "of" instead of "at" for a reason. And it wasn’t really an ascot per se as much as it was a well-worn scarf, knotted loosely and set in a way that just the right amount of it showed. And what really got me was the most harmonious color play between the cardigan, the mini-tattersall, and the scarf. There was evidence of these things having been paid attention to during assemblage but not too much. That’s Boyer.
Used without permission but with thanks from Lehigh Valley Style 
You’ll also get the same Boyer should he invite you into his home. His digs are as well appointed as his clothes...well, but not over-done. And since he’s not one to brag  I’ll do it for him. Bruce’s wife is a stunner inside and out. She’s just as genuine as the Mister and to say that Bruce married way above his pay grade is an understatement. Sorry, Bruce but it’s true.
There’s lots of middling schmatta stuff to read on the internet but when was the last time you read really well written sartorial prose?  I’m happy that Bruce is offering us an oasis of tailored writing amidst all the run-on over-egged drivel like the sh_t you’re reading right now. True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear is ready and waiting for you at amazon.com or wherever else you pick up your books. And like all the rest of my Boyer books, I’m looking forward to having the true north, the voice of reason and well cadenced sartorial sensibility sign my copy in a week or two.

And finally, this from G. The Bruce…
From The Sartorialist
“My dress is so conservative compared to some. You look at some of the guys in there, they are ready for Mardi Gras.” When Bruce said this during an interview for Lehigh Valley Style, I know he was talking about the book I am Dandy but he was probably also taking a shot at me.
Onward. To Boston this week for a rare these days billable.


ADG-2, Mister Mardi Gras. “Throw me sumpin Mistah!”

Monday, June 22, 2015

Part Two: Birmingham Alabama—In Alden Pebble Grain

Well to be honest I’m not quite ready for part two of my Alden Pebble Grain—Birmingham story. And I promise there will be more about haberdashery-esque observations and less ramblings about Birmingham in the tumultuous civil rights sixties.

But I’ve still got a little more of that stuff that I need to purge from my little system. The Mountain Brook Club and the Country Club of Birmingham and what I’ll call the Angst of the Mules must be addressed briefly in the next installment. Stay tuned.

What I am ready to talk about is Father’s Day. My hope is that all of you fathers in my sphere and all who comment on my blog and tumblr drivel—many of you who’ve become great friends—had a stellar day yesterday.
LFG and her mother came over to CasaMinimusBethesda and we had a nice dinner. Outside. Swathed in Deep Woods Off with DEET. And Miss Reilley, Lily’s Cavalier King Charles Princess was here in full form. She is forbidden to have table scraps. That’s code for “ADG gave her wee bits of grilled NY Strip steak and a lot of it." Yep.
I’m not sure I used my Father’s Day gift properly. LFG's mama was a hollerin' and suggesting that we call the fire department. 
And let me tell you. All of you huggers who think that DEET is the devil, well you must not have the high ass caliber skeeters that live here in my patch. These bad boys bit thru my heavy starched linen shirt last night. I think it’s a combination of the predictable skeeter insatiability  and a special siren song pull of knowing that my particular sweet meat awaits them. Otherwise, I just don’t think a skeeter would risk damaging their fencing foil snouts trying to punch through my stiff linen barrier. Shut the _____.
LFG and her mom. My baby is anything but a baby anymore.
And finally, the greatest gift that I could have received yesterday came from a friend—blood brother caliber friend—who started out as a client of mine. Almost bought tears to my eyes. Bill is navigating his journey with a level of grace and gratitude that can be a lesson for us all. He has two elementary school age little girls and an incredible wife. Bill and his wife are lovely inside and out because of the energy of sweet kindness that illuminates from within. Bill’s wife has metastatic breast cancer and is now declining further treatment. They are living moment by moment in gratitude for...The Moment.

The Moment. Folks, it’s really all we have.
Onward. With loving kindness. And wearing Hogg Howell GTH Kilim shoes. Just to piss off LFG's mom. 

ADG-II

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Part One: Birmingham Alabama—In Alden Pebble Grain

South Carolina, my home state.  Number forty-eight in SAT scores and number two  in gonorrhea. We always jokingly said “thank God for Mississippi” because it always seemed that we were in a death roll headlock scrambling with them to either stay off of the top or bottom of some damn list.

Arkansas—my friend Dawson revels in forwarding me links to news reports about the always absurd shenanigans that go on in South Carolina. She feels better about her native Arkansas when she finds a little bit of embarrassing S.C. skinny to share. And even she’ll admit that her hopes for Bill Clinton’s presidency offering Arkansas a bit of polish were childish. Instead of a spiffed up image, Arkansas “got nothing but a schmear of tarted up red lipstick”. Her words, not mine.
It seemed that a few years ago there was something going on in my state every week. And this was several years after they finally got the damned rebel flag off the top of the state house.  Everyone knows about our governor being  MIA while supposedly taking a walkabout on the Appalachian Trail.
And an assistant state attorney general and former legislator, old enough to be an historical relic, found drunk in his SUV with a teenage hoochie coochie merchant and an array of sex toys and poppers throwed all about in rolling playpen. I got an urgent SCUD email about both of these unfortunate events, annotated  of course by Dawson.
And the one that Dawson took particular relish in sending over was the video clip of a South Carolina beauty pageant contestant speaking some kind of Pig Latin pidgin incoherency when answering her finalist impromptu question during the Miss Teen USA pageant. Her email simply said “You must be proud”.
It ain’t always easy being Southern. Oh, and before I go any further with this overwrought sub Mason-Dixon workout, let me say that the rest of the contiguous forty-eight ain’t any cleaner. It’s just that when we Southerners sin, we do it with relish. Sweet pepper relish. And devilled eggs, and pimiento cheese, and sweet tea and…shut up.  
I’ll never forget a documentary I watched about the efforts to integrate the University of Mississippi. They interviewed students who  were there amidst the conflict. And one member of the 1962 SEC champions, undefeated OleMiss football team from that year choked up during the interview. He confessed to the journalist that he’d been trying to make peace with the legacy of his beloved state for his entire life.
He was a big boy, and one who seemed disinclined to show much emotion and certainly not while a camera was rolling.  But you could tell that he was still hurtin’. And he said to the journalist in halting utterances, parsed to hold back his tears; something to the effect that “I’ve been speaking to any and every one of you who’ve ever contacted me over the years. And none of you get it right”. I don’t think the boy felt like anyone had ever really heard him and I think he felt like none of this journalist’s predecessors had done anything to help Mississippi heal.


Oh sh_t, I’m five hundred and fifty words in and I got side tracked. This was supposed to be about Alabama and Alden Pebble Grain tassel loafers. Hang with me, crackers.
I’m not sure why Alabama never entered my mind as I sought solace through finding at least one other Southern state to benchmark my crazy ass Palmetto patch against. Surely it hasn’t been easier to be from Alabama. Let me see here…Bull Connor, firehoses and attack dogs, church bombings and of course, Selma.
One of my colleagues when I was in the pharmaceutical industry revealed to me something one night. And within his confession, I could tell that after all these years, he still didn’t know how to wear it. He tugged at the too tight collar of it all while uttering every word to me. He grew up in Montgomery and it was his municipal bus driving uncle, his father’s brother, who ordered Rosa Parks to the back of the bus.
"Get your left hand off of my ass Mister President"
Thank God for Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Zelda Fitzgerald, Helen Keller, Winston Groom and Bear Bryant is all I got to say. Oops. I just realized that I threw a few crazies in this thank God compensatory Alabama bandage.
My sister married her high school sweetheart the October after they graduated from college. Just like she was supposed to. They moved to Birmingham and thus my association with the Pittsburgh of the South began.
My brother-in-law was my five year older brother. Not the older brother I never had. I had him. He was my brother. He was the older brother who told me that if I wanted to be a Knight of the Kappa Alpha Order like him, I had to do this, that and the other before I ever hit the doors of college so to better my chances of getting in. I had to pull my baggy Levis 501s up and cut my hair. And after I pulled my baggy jeans up I was told to trade them in for some khakis. And I bought a pair of Weejuns and remember thinking that if I didn’t get a KA bid, I had no clue what I’d do with those shoes. 
Mind you, I was still trying real hard to be a hippie—something I never was really good at.
I’m on the record as saying that I’d a sold my mama to get a bid from the KA’s. And y’all know how much I loved my mama. (Let me clarify. He wasn’t my actual blood brother. My characterization here is strictly metaphorical. I just panicked at the realization that some of you Yankee asses who read my caca might actually believe that we Southerners marry our siblings. That’s an ugly stereotype. We draw the line after first cousins.)

And so my two or three times a year visits to Birmingham were always fun. Visits made more so by the addition of young’uns—first a nephew and then a niece and another nephew after that. But my brother-in-law used me like a tool while I was there and I loved it.
I was his excuse for getting out of the house and going honky tonkin’. And he’d sorted out all of the best ones…the nicer, more respectable places around Five Points as well as the low-er brow ones sprinkled all over town. And God knows how back then I loved  a hyper-air conditioned Southern juke joint. I still do. Here I am one morning after a Birmingham night out. L.L. Bean Mocs, LaCoste knit shirt, old surplus khakis from Fort Bragg. Just about to spew.
Tants, The Plaza, and some really dodgy joint out near the airport come to mind. We would drop my brother-in-law’s Jaguar off with a guy who detailed private airplanes. His name was Ike and he detailed the dooky out of cars too. We’d then go to this joint nearby and eat a cheeseburger and have a dozen beers. Nirvana.

My Birmingham sorties trailed off for various reasons and until a couple of months ago, I hadn’t set foot in Birmingham for a decade.  My sister and brother-in-law divorced he, the  Topsider wearing, heavy starched khakis, bourbon and branch swilling good ole boy has been living with his current wife in New York for many years now.  
My mother’s  twenty month odyssey before leaving this world was transformative for me. Her passing was too slow coming and she’d be the first to tell you so. And it wore me out so as easy as I can say that it was transformative, it’s too soon for me to tell you what the final transformation will net-out.  

I was just getting used to wearing my orphan existentiality when I got the text that my niece was dead. It’s been three months the shocking cruelty and acuteness of it still has my head spinning. It’s a punishing world when four months after ones mom passes, the universe decides to rip the fledgling scab off of your heart by taking someone so young.
So my sojourn back to Birmingham was gut wrenching. But I was happy to be in the service of my sister while there. I ran the errands and did the mundane as well as the less than joyful duties involving retrieving ashes and such. But after a few days, I needed a break. So I let my errand running send me over to Mountain Brook in search of the old Richard’s of Mountain Brook haberdashery site. 

I’d revelled in my buddy TCD’s email from a few years ago about the shop and I posted it in a previous blog story but let me share it with you again….


“Every now and then when I write something that really resonates with someone; I’ll get a private email in response and sometimes the correspondence itself is post-worthy. I wrote Nuanced Authenticity back in August and received a delightful recollection about a haberdashery in the affluent area of Birmingham, Alabama known as Mountain Brook. I’m sharing it with permission from my buddy TCD because his email is to me, as evocative as my original story.

Or maybe it just hits all of my maudlin buttons. At any rate, here’s to the “Richards of Mountain Brook” caliber haberdasheries of days gone by. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m sorry that y’all…the younger set of Trads…missed these gems. And as my cousin Tin-Tin says of our now more derivative than ever world…“Not as good as it was. Better than it will be.”

Here’s TCD’s email…

“This post hit so many memory keys that I can't take the time to list them....but....
Our version of "your Singleton's" in a suburb of Birmingham, AL called Mountain Brook was "Richards of Mountain Brook".
It was located on a shady side street called Petticoat Lane in an old Tudor style building with two bay windows flanking an imposing door with a leaded glass coat of arms.

We knew we were adults when we graduated to Richards from the "CanterburyShop" a half a block away.

"Canterbury" was our "nuance 101" with Bass Weejuns ( $14.95), Gant OCBD, surcingle belts in about one hundred color combinations, Corbin trousers & Southwick Blazers & sport coats....
"Richards" took a high school freshman to his Dad's world & instantly verified it was where you wanted to be even if it had not occurred to you before.....
As you stepped into the doorway, you were confronted by a huge round mahogany table with reps, clubs, & foulards (all of course labelled..."made in England expressly for Richards".... arranged spoke in-wheel around the table grouped by color. Guarding the display on either side were two complete suits of armor.

Beyond the battle-ready armor were shelves and credenzas of Troy Guild OCBD....

Just down the center-hall, waist-high shelving displaying shoes (Crockett & Jones) and socks....
Suits (private label with requisite..."made in England" as well as Norman Hilton)....

Richard had a great eye and understood "Nuance" whether in selections offered or in antique furnishings which abundantly decorated the shop...

Just a great place (& owner) with a sixth sense in how to deploy service and an intelligent knowledge base of background of fabric, weave, fit, hand, & pattern as well as a flair for what was complimentary in terms of tradition or, if you dare, sprezzatura!
He magically combined both during the Christmas Season when posted Welsh Guards in full regalia in front of the shop and conducted Changing of the Guard twice per day....and then, when you had made your purchases....all were gift-wrapped in festive holiday color combinations of paper & ribbon in complex bows, each of which held a Johnny Walker scotch miniature.....

Thanks for the nudge to remember the late 60s and early 70s.....wonderful then and cherished now!””
And I found it. The old Richard’s of Mountain Brook space is now some kind of design shop. But as I snapped a few iPhone photos, I imagined it as TCD described it. And standing there gave me the same great feeling that I so enjoy when I walk any patch where years previous or centuries past, something significant occurred. 
I kid you not, the feeling is no less when I discover a Richards of Mountain Brook site than when I’m standing in the Huey Long assassination corridor fingering the bullet pocked granite walls of the Louisiana State House or looking through the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Suppository. (Ask any country boy…that wasn’t an impossible shot by any stretch)

So my errand running reprieve from bereavement nourished me even though I knew that the unguent was short acting. I shot some photos and emailed TCD to let him know that I was on the grounds of his former sartorial mother church. And then I rounded the corner…

I'll have Part Two ready for you sometime in early 2017. Shut up.

Onward. 80-G-2

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