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If I may be permitted ...

Standing on the sidewalk at Memorial Episcopal Church in Bolton Hill this morning for the post-service iced tea and lemonade, I was dressed in a seersucker suit, bow tie, and boater. A neighborhood resident came by walking her dog and remarked in passing, “Whenever I see you here, I know that there is still something right in the world.”
Posted by John McIntyre at 11:54 AM | | Comments (8)


I think the same thing when I read your blog! :-)

You may be permitted. At the Episcopal church I attend, this sight gives me too the sense that there is still something right in the world.

Surely that deserves a photograph for us to admire?

Helluva chat-up line.

Well, Tim H., there's this:

Prof. McI.,

In describing your morning's sartorial Sunday best, I have to confess I was unfamiliar w/ "boater', but had a sneaking suspicion that it had to be some kind of headwear. My second guess would have been a carved wooden walking stick shaped like an oar. (Groan)

So naturally, the curious sort that I am, I checked out "boater", online, and frankly found out far more info than I'd initially bargained for on sundry dictionary sites. But particularly illuminating was the extensive Wikipedia entry which covered all the bases from "boater"s early French nautical origins to its later adaptation as a de rigueur chapeau for young Brit and other Commonwealth nations' private (public?) school kids, where over the years it had become a kind of bother, and sadly an article of some derision and ridicule. A mite too prissy for the modern age, I gather.

Of course, barbershop quarteters often sport the jaunty straw boater and bow-tie combo while performing, or competing. Wiki also noted how Maurice Chevalier's straw boater had become almost an iconic part of his stage persona------tilted far forward, just so, brim almost resting on his pouty, jutting lower lip. ("Thank 'eaven, for 'leetle garls'.......")

Dear sir, (not that I'm counting HA!) but that would be the 2nd grand toot of your own horn in just three days. Don't let hubris get the best of you. (Just joshing.)

John, you surely deserve that lady's kindly compliment, and further, it would likely be a better world, IMHO, if more folk, like yourself, would opt to express themselves w/ a certain personal style, and classic sartorial flair.

I'm sure the late Hollywood red-carpet style maven, Mr. Blackwell, would have been duly impressed. HA!


P.S.: ----That post-sermon outdoor tea-and-lemonade 'social' sounds just delightful, by the way.

What a lovely compliment! Happy Sunday!

In Montréal a few weeks ago, I saw a dapper gentleman walking along the Côtes-des-Neiges wearing a double-breasted seersucker suit. It was the first time I'd ever seen a seersucker suit that didn't look WASP-y, although under the circumstances I suppose that was to be expected.

No boater nor bow tie, however.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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