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!