Cometh a long story about a short tie with large meaning.
I had favored bow ties for 50 years, since graduate school at Cornell Med in New York City.
My collection at peak numbered 37—Foulards, Quads, Links, Felts Pine, Paisley, Lorraine Stripes, Harrisburg Medallions, Snead Neats, Quicksilver Stripes, Becker Stripes, Brooks Stripes, Halstead Spots.
Roll those wonderful names off your tongue.
My bow ties had stories to tell.
I often wondered whether the late Steward Bryan hired me for Tampa because we both favored short ties. He tied his floppy, telegraphing casual elegance, Virginia-aristocrat branch.
(My favorite Bryan quip: “If I had known how rich I was, I would have been drinking better Bourbon all these years.”)
Bow tying ended abruptly for me due to Parkinson’s. My numb fingers could no longer tie a tie. My now-unused collection stared back at me, kind of angry.
Enter Randy and Veronica.
Randy is the founder of R. Hanauer Bow Ties in Fort Mill, SC, a Charlotte exurb. He made my bow ties for years.
Veronica is the skilled seamstress at the Jos. A. Bank men’s clothing store in The Shops at Wiregrass, Wesley Chapel, FL, a Tampa exurb.
A pop-up ad appeared on my computer screen in August. It was for a pre-tied bow tie, not an ugly clip-on.
I called Randy. “Do you by chance sell pre-ties?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“Can I buy several and would you convert my Hanauer collection to pre-ties?”
Certainly, he said. “Box them up and send them.”
What about the Brooks Brothers and Ben Silver bow ties I have? Could those be converted?
I showed Veronica the Hanauer pre-ties.
“Can you do the same for my 11 Brooks and Silver ties?”
“I’ll try,” she answered.
Yesterday I picked the 11 up.
Beautiful work, Veronica. I now have 20 very usable bow ties.
Add an “ankle-bitter” to my list of small ways to strike back at Parkinson’s, the disease that diminishes a person’s powers and saps control of their life.
Gotcha this time, Bruiser!
My indispensable Starbucks travel mug disappeared in transit between the Marriot Wardman Hotel in Woodley Park Washington and the Southwest gate at Reagan National.
Probably left in the rear hatch of the taxi when the driver took out my backpack with mug attached. Improbably when the TSA gang scrutinized the backpack for what seemed hours.
Anyway, the great looking white mug with handle made for this Parkie –who has little feel left in his hands– had seemingly vaporized.
Compared to the urgency of joining my wife in Tampa as Hurricane Irma approached Florida, the missing mug was a footnote to a very anxious travel day. (Last plane to Tampa that Friday.)
After Irma passed with no damage to our home, I began he Web search for a replacement mug. No luck.
Plenty of handsome Starbucks mugs, but none exactly like mine with a handle.
Plan B was to visit local Starbucks stores in Tampa seeking the mug. My wife and I split the list.
My first stop was the Starbucks on Bruce B Downs Boulevard across from the University of South Florida campus in northeast Tampa.
There it was on the shelf with other mugs. In black, not white.
No matter. I was soon to be back in the mug business.
I asked the barista in charge whether she might have it in white. No luck.
I told her my woeful story.
I went to my CX-9 to get my wallet. I handed my MasterCard to the barista for payment on the black mug.
No, she said. “It’s on us. You lost yours.”
Presumably, mine was an Irma story for her.
She disappeared into the back of the store before I could properly thank her (Her name I do not know.)
I left a Jackson in the tip jar and walked out with a Grande Pike’s Place.
Never had Starbucks coffee tasted better. Nor my loyalty to Starbucks been stronger.
This call to action by Michael Okun says it all about personalized treatment for PD.
One of my Parkie buddies struggles from dyskinesias in his neck. I knew little about dyskinesias until I encountered this fine post by Karl Robb.