The coolest dude.

I attended a meeting of some government-related board in downtown Detroit a few years back. It was my day off, so I was dressed casually, which I believe that day was clean dark-wash jeans, Frye boots, blouse and a blazer. I mention this only because I started noticing the clothing others were wearing. Most of the people in the room were men, so I concentrated on them. They fell into three distinct groups.

(I have probably told this story before, because I’ve told all my stories before. I’m out of stories, sorry.)

At the bottom, the full-slob cohort, were the journalists. A writer from one of the dailies rolled in sporting hair that could have used a cut three months ago, an untrimmed mustache that no doubt captured food and some sort of got-dressed-in-the-dark shirt/pants combo. Another well-paid reporter came in jeans, a ratty sweater and a pair of sneakers I might choose to wash my car. Of the photographers from the TV stations we will say little, because they always dress like slobs, but at least they have an excuse — their next assignment might be a working fire, and you don’t need, or want, to wear your best outfit for that. Their on-camera partners were the only reporters in the room who wore what I would have considered the uniform for men in my business, when I started in it a million years ago — khakis or khaki-adjacent pants, shirt with a collar, maybe a tie but OK if not, and a jacket of some sort.

The second group were the white men on the board, or serving the board somehow. They looked fine. Their clothes were off the rack and untailored, but clean and appropriate, if unremarkable.

The last were the black men, who looked fiiiiiine. Not Sunday-church fine, but really good. Grooming was impeccable; they all looked like they’d had haircuts and shaves five minutes ago. Suits, good ones. Shirts in beautiful colors, ties of creamy silk that matched in interesting ways, picking up the shirt or pinstripe color in a subtle echo. And the accessories, oh my — cool eyeglass frames, tie bars, fancy wristwatches.

I mention all this because I chuckled over this Robin Givhan appreciation of Vernon Jordan, who died this week:

Over the years, it was impossible to miss Jordan in a crowd. Often that was because he was the only Black person in it. But he was noticeably well-dressed. His suits were attentively tailored and he had a love for Turnbull & Asser shirts, Charvet ties and fedoras. His style was full of European élan, Adam Clayton Powell flair, Wall Street pinstripes and Sunday morning going-to-church polish. His aesthetic drew upon the collage of influences that make this country exceptional but that connect us on common ground. Years ago, after writing about his style — a story for which he did not return my messages — Jordan called to express his gratitude after it was published.

If you live in a city with a sizable black population, you know that nothing about the meeting I described is particularly unusual. It’s pretty commonplace for powerful or well-off black men to dress well, and racists will snicker about some preacher’s purple suits, but fuck them. I think it’s notable that another fancy dresser in Washington, Roger Stone, ends up looking like a Batman villain when he leaves the house in the morning, but Jordan, in every photo I ever saw of him, just looks completely relaxed and natural. He wears his clothes, but Stone’s costumes wear him. Stone is a fop. Jordan had style.

Fort Wayne people remember when Jordan was shot by a would-be assassin there, in 1980, I believe. The shooter was Joseph Paul Franklin, who did the same to Larry Flynt, and escaped punishment for both, although he got the needle in 2013 for another murder. The story in Fort Wayne was that Jordan was brought into the ER and no one knew who he was until a black surgeon recognized him on the gurney and got him the top-level treatment that perhaps saved his life. Jordan, in town for a speaking engagement, was shot while returning to his hotel with a white woman who was not his wife. She was his driver/handler for his visit, and while many inferred what you’d expect from her presence, I don’t know that there was anything untoward about the fact she walked with him to the door of the hotel. They said Jordan was a charming man and a smooth talker, and who knows, maybe he was giving her career advice. But Franklin was enraged by interracial couples, too — it’s why he shot Flynt, after seeing an interracial photo spread in Hustler.

I recommend Givhan’s story. She captures not only his style, but his magnetism:

In public, as an eminence grise, Jordan used charm to batter down doors. His style reflected the words of Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston: “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”

…As a college student, he worked as a chauffeur and his employer regularly used the n-word. This elderly White man, after discovering that Jordan spent down time reading in his library, announced with condescending dismay to his family that “Vernon can read!” The phrase later became the title of Jordan’s memoir.

“When I have told this story to younger people, they often ask why I was not more angry at Maddox. How could I have continued working for him under those circumstances?” Jordan writes. “Each of us has to decide for ourselves how much nonsense we can take in life, and from whom we are willing to take it.” In other words, this small, old man didn’t matter. He was not someone to slay. Instead of fanning his racism with outrage, Jordan doused it with pity.

Ah well. A life well-lived.

What else should you read? The final of no fewer than 250 separate election audits has been completed in Michigan. Stand by for news:

Among the more prominent of the reviews was a hand count of every ballot cast for president in Antrim County, which found a net gain of 12 votes for former President Donald Trump’s 3,800-vote victory there, and a hand count of 18,000 randomly selected ballots across the state to ensure tabulated results matched the paper ballot.

The city of Detroit also was able to confirm that the clerk’s office, while it made some clerical errors, properly counted 174,000 valid absentee ballots that corresponded to signed envelopes for registered voters, Benson’s office said.

Auditors were able to bring into balance or explain imbalances in 83% of counting boards, up from 27% at the close of the canvass, Benson said. The total number of ballots out of balance accounted for 17 of the 174,000 absentee ballots counted in Detroit.

Tell your Republican friends, not that it will make a difference.

And hello Wednesday. Alan’s getting a vaccine tomorrow. I hope to follow him one of these days.

Posted at 6:24 am in Current events, Detroit life |

56 responses to “The coolest dude.”

  1. alex said on March 3, 2021 at 8:06 am

    I remember when I was in college or freshly graduated, I had a friend who started a new job in the social work field. She showed up on her first day casually dressed in jeans and got a dressing down from a couple of Black co-workers, who were much better attired.

    She listened to their criticism. They felt that it was disrespectful to present oneself casually even if the job entailed working with the poor. They also confided that in their own lives, as Black women, they always had to go the extra mile to be taken seriously as professionals, and how one dressed counted for a lot.

    That’s an anecdote that I’ve never forgotten.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 3, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Nice Paul Harvey throwback…

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  3. Deborah said on March 3, 2021 at 8:23 am

    We’re getting our shots in about 25 hours!! Not that I’m counting. I had to go down to our storage unit and get a short sleeved T-shirt from the summer clothes box to wear tomorrow to get the shot easily. Everything I own is long sleeved except a few of those shirts in that box. I will wear a zippered cardigan over it under my coat because it will be a cold couple of blocks walk in the morning.

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  4. Suzanne said on March 3, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Love the Jordan stories. I knew pretty much nothing about him when he was shot in Fort Wayne.
    As to clothing styles, it’s always mystified me that the same Sunday fancy dress with hat kind of clothes that makes a black woman look fabulous would look utterly ridiculous on me. I guess it’s because as the proprietress so aptly put it, I would let the clothes wear me.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on March 3, 2021 at 9:27 am

    One of the many joys of watching Finding Your Roots is to see which bespoke suit Henry Louis Gates is wearing. He seems to prefer very subtle colored pinstripes, with the boutonniere keyhole edged in the same color. He often carries that color through with tie and/or pocket square. The man is a dandy.

    I had lived here only half a year when Jordan was shot and wasn’t familiar with the Marriott or its grassy knoll. We lived south, and it seemed impossibly far away. Now I drive past it every time I head downtown. How life changes.

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  6. Deborah said on March 3, 2021 at 9:34 am

    About a month or so ago I walked past the Contemporary Art Museum and they were shooting a rap video out front. The rap artist was about the best dressed man I’d seen for a long time. He had on an impeccably tailored grey wool coat, a Yves St. Laurent scarf and a grey fedora. He looked like a million bucks and probably had many of those. There was a crowd observing the shoot, also all very well dressed for a cold Chicago afternoon. I wish I knew who the guy was.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on March 3, 2021 at 11:08 am

    I did not really know how to dress properly for business until I joined Crain’s Chicago Business in summer 1989. In Charlotte, I’d purchased a double-breasted, gray wool suit for my upcoming wedding in November and a single-breasted gray pinstripe that was a step down in quality. I had a beat-up blue blazer, too, and some khaki and navy blue slacks. My editors said we should always be prepared to be in a CEO’s office on short notice, so except for the day when we wrote and edited –every Thursday– we were wearing suits, starched shirts, ties and shined shoes.

    So, I did my research. No button down shirts with a suit. . .only with a sport coat. 100 percent cotton shirts. Always. Wool suits. Always. Cap-toed oxfords and wingtip shoes. I looked for sales at Marshall Field’s and Lord & Taylor and haunted a Syms store in the Loop, where if you were lucky you could score a Joseph Abboud top coat or a Ralph Lauren silk-wool blend three-piece suit for maybe 75 percent off. I bought shoe trees and plastic storage bags to store things properly and still have some outfits that are 25 years old and ready to go.

    I found dressing properly with well-made clothes enjoyable. No one would ever call me handsome or striking in appearance. I’m a bald guy with a well-trimmed beard. But I was tall and thin and clothes hung on me well, I guess. When I teach in person, I still wear a suit, starched shirt with French cuffs, tie and polished shoes. I fool myself I’m setting an example for professional attire –it’s rare to see a prominent man fully decked out any more including Barack Obama, who could rock a suit– but students often come to class in sweats or pajama bottoms. So, who am I kidding?

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  8. LAMary said on March 3, 2021 at 11:31 am

    My father grew up very poor and was unlucky enough to graduate from high school in 1928, get a job as a secretary (he was a whiz at typing, shorthand and using a comptometer) on Wall Street. 1929 made his job disappear and he started working at a lumber yard. In about twenty years he bought that lumber yard from his boss. Smart investments, saving every nickel got him there. He dressed for the part of business owner. At 6’7″ there wasn’t a lot of off the rack stuff that fit. He would order a dozen custom made, lovely white cotton, French cuff shirts every two or three years. He had a black cashmere overcoat. Blue suits, grey suits, no stripes or tweeds or plaids. Conservative but beautiful ties and a grey fedora. When he got a new fedora the old one became the hat he wore when he mowed the lawn. He had to get shoes from some special source. Cap toes, two pairs, one black one brown, and polished every Saturday night. He looked like a rich guy but not flashy. No Cadillacs. Just those old man Buicks previously mentioned, a new one every three years. They all smelled like cigars. I think he really enjoyed being a self made man. His siblings were not as successful.Pulled out of school by their mother to work in the Paterson silk mills, they didn’t move much out of the lower strata of the working class. They mostly viewed my dad as an SOB. He stil loaned them money when they needed it, but he did ask to be paid back. He was sort of an SOB, I guess.

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  9. A. Riley said on March 3, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Men’s clothes are made to look good on tall slim men. Joe Biden always looks sharp (and his tailor clearly loves him).

    I leave aside any comments on the previous occupant and how much his tailor clearly hated him.

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  10. Suzanne said on March 3, 2021 at 11:45 am

    On this day in history, 1931, the Star Spangled Banner was officially adopted as the national anthem, during the Hoover administration.
    Now according to QAnon, we have not had a true president since US Grant, who ended his term in 1877, but that will change tomorrow when the shadow government will be overthrown and Trump will be put into office on the date the Constitution decrees and God will once again bless the USA.
    Which in my mind means that Colin Kaepernick and others who refused to stand for the nation anthem were and are absolutely correct in doing so since the song was adopted as the US anthem under a completely illegitimate president.

    Oh, but that would be using logic, wouldn’t it?

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 3, 2021 at 11:56 am

    My grandpa was a Iowa dairy farmer who wore overalls 98% of the time, but he had been poor as a youngster and loved to get dressed up. He got a new suit/shirts/ties every year, wearing it them to church and the many parties and dinner clubs he and grandma went to at any opportunity. She saved one of his wool overcoats, and it’s a thing of beauty, constructed with every fine tailoring technique. Our son is of similar height and build and he wears it now on the few cold days in Orlando.

    She also saved his ties and we donated them to a local theatre company performing Guys and Dolls. They were perfect because they were from the era.

    If you’ve read the latest “masks are failing us” comments from our jackass Representative Jim Banks, you’re probably seething too. Right now I’m watching a friend’s memorial service, the one who died after battling Covid for a month. I’d like Mr. Banks to watch along with me. I’d like him to see our choir director crying as he sings for Mike, after burying his own mother three days earlier, also a Covid death. I’d like to do more, but I’m a pacifist.

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  12. Sherri said on March 3, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    I swear, Krysten Sinema is as out of touch with reality as any Q follower. She doesn’t want to get rid of the filibuster because she thinks it’s the best way to pass common sense legislation. Darling, when the other side is never going to compromise with you, keeping the filibuster is just refusing to govern.

    I’m not surprised but still frustrated. The midterms have already begun; I’m getting calls from my Congress member and the member from my neighboring district whom I’ve supported in the past asking for money. In normal times, both of them would be decent members of Congress, and I’d probably be happy with both of them. I like both of them. But neither of them (Suzan DelBene and Kim Schrier) is likely to be bold enough for what I think we need right now.

    I think we’ve got a narrow window to rescue the country, and I have little faith that the Dems will rise to the challenge. They’re too afraid of being accused of being polarizing. I’m fine with being polarizing, when the other pole wants to destroy democracy.

    Yesterday, both of them voted against Cori Bush’s amendment to allow incarcerated individuals to vote. There really isn’t any logical reason why people who are incarcerated shouldn’t be allowed to vote, and the history of policing and incarceration in this country is inextricably tied up in race. Maybe they honestly believe there’s a reason to withhold the franchise from incarcerated individuals, but I suspect they’re afraid of what Republicans would say. And I’m sooo tired of hearing about what Republicans will say. They’re going to say it anyway.

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  13. Steve Elmer said on March 3, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    I lived in Ft Wayne when Vernon Jordan was shot so I took particular interest in the story back then. I remember the press fixating on the woman he was with that night but the details were fuzzy to me now. I went online yesterday and Googled some of the old stories to refresh my memory and they amazed me. The Washington Post’s reporting verged on gossip. They described her age and race (white), their trip back to her house, their trip back to the hotel, how much time they spent at her house, described her house, talked about her profession, gave her marital status. People magazine was even worse. They described her many marriages and divorces including one to a black man, solicited speculation on her rectitude and motivations from friends, neighbors and ex-husbands. The Post followed up on the story months later and included a section talking to Jordans wife and exploring her feelings about her husband being with a white woman late at night/early in the morning when he was shot. All of the articles seem overly intrusive, speculative and tinged with innuendo about his companion. I find it hard to believe that national newspaper like the Post would report on the story the same way today, but there are many other outlets in place today that would jump at the chance. Former mayor Win Moses inserted himself into the story trying to spin it so that the city of Ft Wayne was not implicated in a racially motivated crime receiving national attention. He told the Post that the shooting was definitely not racially motivated and was then contradicted by FBI director. Maybe he was just trying to keep a lid on local racial tensions. In the end it turns out the shooting was racially motivated. The shooter was charged in the crime at a much later date but not convicted. He was eventually convicted of other racially motivated murders.

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    • nancy said on March 3, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Wow. Thanks so much for that. I’m gonna read these for sure. I know the woman left town shortly thereafter, but I don’t know where she moved to.

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  14. LAMary said on March 3, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    A reply to Dexter’s comment on the previous posting: DeBlasio and Cuomo have been pissed off at each other for a long time. Not exactly sure why but I’m not shocked that DeBlasio is not supporting Cuomo.

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  15. Scout said on March 3, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Kyrsten Sinema’s staff have been posting all kinds of AZ trivia stuff on FB lately and every single post has hundreds of comments from pissed off Arizonans demanding she support ending the filibuster and raising the minimum wage to $15. My last comment to her was to ask why she wants to block Democrats from helping Americans.

    The journos here might appreciate this.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on March 3, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    You have inspired me to put on a dress shirt for an upcoming Zoom meeting.

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  17. alex said on March 3, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Yay! I’m getting my shot today! When I signed up yesterday to do it in Fort Wayne, I couldn’t find an appointment until the end of this month. Someone suggested I try a smaller town nearby and whaddya know they have same-day service.

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  18. ROGirl said on March 3, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    I heard on the radio today that everyone in Michigan over the age of 50 can get a shot starting on March 22nd.

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  19. Icarus said on March 3, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Jeff Borden @ 7: but did it make you a better journalist? were you sitting at home one Sunday in your JC Penny Pajamas, Montgomery Ward Bathroom, and Father & Sons slippers struggling to come up with the lede for a story and then, once donning your Ralph Lauren silk-wool blend three-piece suit suddenly got your Muse to pay attention?

    I get the whole dress for the job you want, not the job you have concept. But some positions will never have a short notice meeting with the higher-ups. And there are less expensive options than you described but they don’t look as good. Isn’t there a meme about poors having to buy crapy boots that won’t last very long because they simply cannot afford the ones that will? There are also parables about not judging books by their cover.

    I had a summer job hawking magazine subscriptions over the phone. IIRC we couldn’t wear gym shoes or jeans because ‘if you look good, you feel good’ and will make more sales. There was no connection to that. We made $5 an hour and that was with our incentivize ‘don’t clock in late or leave early’ and we pay you for lunch if you come back on time. It was like a fucking game with the douche bag manager who was at The Jungle level of clock watching.

    I use to feel bad that I blew my chance at an internship at Crain’s Chicago Business because I wrote a Thank You note and mentioned the parent company, as one should do, but referred to it as Crains’ Communication instead of Crain Communications (or something like that, it was the 90s).

    At the time I felt I should be taken out back and shot. But now I realize that the issue was more the Incels there that couldn’t get laid at a Brothel in the Middle of Nowhere on Half Price Tuesday than a twentysomething-year-old from the wrong side of the track trying to break into journalism.

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  20. David C said on March 3, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Khakis, a button down shirt, and a blazer is about as dressed up as I ever get. I don’t own a suit. I’m sure I have a tie somewhere but the width is probably exactly wrong. Jeans and a polo shirt/rugby shirt is the uniform at work. I’m naturally scruffy so it all works for me.

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  21. basset said on March 3, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t wear clothes well and dread shopping for them. Kept one suit and a few blazers and khakis from my working days, have only had a tie on once since I retired in summer 18 (wedding) and that’s fine with me. I remember the “Dress for Success” book, but it never really sank in.

    Left the house in jeans, sneakers and an IU hoodie yesterday and realized I was dressed in the same way as I was walking down Kirkwood nearly fifty years ago… jeans are Carhartts instead of Levi’s and shoes are New Balance instead of Converse but that’s just the old-man adjustment.

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  22. jcburns said on March 3, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    JC Penney, Icarus. Spelling/usage counts!

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on March 3, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    You know who else was a fop? The late Tom Wolfe. I never could stand that guy, for various reasons, and his constant white suit just seemed like the most ridiculous affectation. It prompted this exchange between him and Norman Mailer (carried out in the press, of course):

    Mailer: “There’s something ineffably silly about a man who wears a white suit all the time, especially in New York.”

    Wolfe: “The top dog is the one they always try to bite in the ass.”

    Mailer: “It doesn’t mean you’re top dog just because your ass is bleeding.”

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  24. LAMary said on March 3, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    When I worked in an office I wore pretty much the same thing every day. Not literally. Long cardigan, straight leg pants either black, navy or grey, nice t shirt or other collarless, solid color shirt under the cardigan. I have warm cardigans and summer cardigans. If I felt the need to accessorize I have scarves and a few necklaces. So one day it would be grey pants, grey cardigan, yellow t shirt, long silver necklace. Next day black pants, red cardigan, black t shirt, short chunky gold chain. In my last office job I got away with wearing sort of sneakers. Otherwise it was loafers. No heels. If I was going to meet with execs or whatever I would haul out the Hermes or Prada scarf and wear bigger earrings. Now I’m 100% remote so it’s jeans, chucks, long sleeve t shirts. Even for zoom meetings. No make up. Perfume, yes.

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  25. Sherri said on March 3, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    David Brooks, who wrote a book on the quest for a moral life, is evidently still searching.

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  26. alex said on March 3, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    1980 sure was a long time ago, but I definitely remember the innuendoes about Martha Coleman. She was a bottle blonde bombshell with monogrammed license plates on a fancy bright red car. I remember the photos of her that were published at the time. No wonder it was widely assumed that she and Jordan had a tryst that night. I was just searching around to see if any images of her still exist and instead found this: Porn based on the true story.

    I also remember when Joseph Paul Franklin was accused but later acquitted of the crime. It was highly circumstantial. They were able to place Franklin in Fort Wayne at the time of the attempted assassination but lacked physical evidence. The theory (which I remember finding rather implausible) was that Franklin had his getaway car sitting on the interstate exit ramp next to the hotel with its hood up and flashers on while he laid in wait nearby with his rifle trained on Jordan’s room.

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  27. Mark P said on March 3, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Language Log has often sliced David Brooks into blood-soaked chum wrapped in a newspaper lying on the counter at the Applebee’s salad bar**. This is a gateway link:

    Lots of people like to hate on Brooks, and it looks like damned fine fun.


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  28. Sherri said on March 3, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    What we wear is a signal to other people, and at different times in my life, I’ve needed to send different signals, and have dressed accordingly.

    Something as simple as a Congressional pin sends a signal, but that signal is different if you’re Black:

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  29. Dexter Friend said on March 4, 2021 at 3:12 am

    I am not even a hard-pant wearer anymore, just sweats, but I did notice President Joe’s suit about 3 days ago, a pin stripe suit that really caught my eye. Yeah, when I just can’t wear sweats, I wear khakis and I do have a rack of nice, newer, long sleeve shirts. Shoes, hell, I just wear these durable fitted shoes the VA pays for…I priced them on the internet and they would cost more than I would ever pay, and I have never been ridiculed for wearing old man shoes, because, yeah, you got it.
    Back in 1980 I was going to Fort Wayne frequently, and also we received Fort Wayne TV stations then, and I knew who Jordan was of course, so the next day I drove by the spot where Franklin shot Jordan just to check it out.

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  30. Deborah said on March 4, 2021 at 6:58 am

    In a few hours we get our shots. That song from Hamilton keeps going through my head, about not taking away my shot.

    I had nice work clothes which I gave to Goodwill after I retired. My husband had quite a few very nice Armani suits which he gave to a young man LB was dating at the time. My husband is a lot thinner now than when he wore those suits. He tried to have them altered to fit but they didn’t look right, so they hung in the closet for years until he gave them away. Now my husband wears black skinny jeans and black shirts except he does own one nice black suit that he got after he lost the weight. He’s actually a little slimmer now after he got that suit so he either needs to get a new suit or find a better tailor. He never wears a tie, never has.

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  31. JodiP said on March 4, 2021 at 9:21 am

    I fell in love with clothes as a teen. I don’t own a lot, but love what I have. I still dress for work from the waist up. I really miss dressing up every day. We didn’t have a lot of money for clothes growing up and I appreciate having money as an adult to indulge.

    I have a collection of about 7 or 8 pairs of shoes and boots that don’t get worn now unless I go grocery shopping in non-winter months. Two are Cole Haan laceup oxfords which I adore. When I go to Europe, I usually buy clothes and/or shoes. In 2019, I scored a pair of Trickers Chelsea style boot with Oxford styling and different leather combos. I get compliments on them whenever I wear them. I am sure I have talked about these before around here, but they bring me such joy!

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  32. Heather said on March 4, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I love clothes too–used to be a fashion writer and stylist. It’s been pretty boring the last few months wearing just sweaters and leggings at home. I have most of the basics, so now I tend to mostly purchase statement items or things I fall in love with, following the French model of buying less but paying for quality. I am a little worried that I won’t remember how to dress creatively once we can start going out again, but maybe it’s like riding a bike.

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  33. Deborah said on March 4, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Woohoo, got my shot! And true to form, I started crying. I was embarrassed but the woman who administered it said it happens a lot. It was a well organized operation at Northwestern’s Prentice hospital. 99% of the people getting shots were white, and most of the staff were not.

    Edit: we go back for the second Pfizer shot on the 25th.

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  34. JodiP said on March 4, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Congrats, Deborah! And thank you for noting who is receiving and giving the shots. It’s discouraging we aren’t addressing health inequities that are so well-documented.

    Life expectancy dropped as follows in 2020:
    Whites: 0.8 years
    Hispanics: 1.9 years
    Blacks: 2.7 years

    When I heard that, I was just stunned.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on March 4, 2021 at 11:38 am


    The group of editors I worked with at Crain’s made me a better journalist. Man, they had some great people all through the ’90s including a guy I consider to be the best word editor with whom I ever worked. I never worked harder or under more stress, but my work was so much better for it.

    Money was pouring into the paper and as a family business staffers were treated very well. Salaries were above average for journalism and everyone received a two-week bonus at the end of the year. Additionally, the company had a profit sharing plan, so through the go-go ’90s, we generally received 15% of my salary in profit sharing. It was a brief but glorious time that ended when the new millennium began. Those days are gone. Forever.

    Did dressing in a business style make me a better journalist? No. Absolutely not. It did give me more confidence, I think, and as noted above, I enjoyed doing it, but I was cognizant that I was living a privileged life at the time. I certainly never snarked at anyone else’s attire or station in life.

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  36. alex said on March 4, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I was much more into clothes when I was younger. Today hardly give a shit, although I must admit it puts a spring in my step when I’m wearing something nice and new.

    Well I got my first shot yesterday and my next one is scheduled for March 24. And they lowered the age to 50 yesterday from 55, which had been lowered from 60 just the day before. Maybe they’ll just finally say fuck it and open it up to everyone.

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  37. Suzanne said on March 4, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Well, it’s 12:30 pm & Biden is still president. Anybody know when the real inauguration is supposed to start?

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  38. LAMary said on March 4, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    If I hear anything, Suzanne, I’ll let you know. In the meantime I am wondering why the senate is giving Xavier Becerra, my former congressman, then attorney general of CA, a hard time about his appointment to Secretary of Health. Alex Azar was less qualified and if they can approve Ben Carson as secretary of HUD anyone can be any damn secretary. I know, I know. Becerra is from California, Latinx, and was pretty effective at fighting the trump administration’s attempts to kill ACA. Other than that, he’s a great guy.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on March 4, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Expecting consistency from Republicans is a lost cause. They spend like crazy when in power, then become fiscal conservatives if a Dem is elected. And, while they had no issue with Betsy DeVos (who never taught or attended a public school) to run education; Rick Perry (the dumbest knob ever elected governor of Texass) to run energy; Ben Carson (a neurosurgeon) to run HUD — they now find significant issues with Becerra.

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  40. Icarus said on March 4, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Deborah @ 33: I was at Northwestern this morning for my annual exam. I should have made arrangements to meet up for a social distanced hello.

    Jeff Borden @ 35: noted.

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  41. LAMary said on March 4, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    This is good news.

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  42. ROGirl said on March 4, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    And don’t forget the objections to the candidate whose mean tweets forced her to withdraw her name from consideration for the budget office nomination.

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  43. LAMary said on March 4, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Yeah, you wouldn’t want anyone who tweets trash talk to hold high office.

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  44. Suzanne said on March 4, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    So, now it’s after 4:00 pm EST and no sign of the Trump inauguration yet.

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  45. Jeff Borden said on March 4, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    So, it’s come out that Preznit Fucknutz and wife were secretly vaccinated against the virus he spent months calling a hoax before they left the White House. What a knob. Had he announced publicly he was vaccinated, perhaps it would have led more of the idolators who worship their orange god to take care of themselves and get the fucking shot.

    There is no depth to which he cannot plumb.

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  46. David C said on March 4, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    I just registered for a vaccination but it’s on a don’t call us, we’ll call you basis. That’s better than nothing and it saves me from checking every day to see if they’ve opened the next group.

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  47. Suzanne said on March 4, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    “Character, says the old saw, is what we do when no one is looking. Pence takes this a little too literally. He will do the right thing, but only if no one is looking and there’s no price to be paid, or if he has no other choice.”

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  48. Deborah said on March 4, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Ah Icarus we could have gotten together at Stan’s donuts, not far from where we both were. Maybe next time. I would love to do a nn.c meet up at our place on LSD when this virus is all over with.

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  49. LAMary said on March 4, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    When I saw that story yesterday about trump and melanoma getting vaccinated, I shared it and someone wondered how she was able to qualify for the shot. This was before I knew it was while he was still pretending to be leader of free world when he was vaccinated. I said that he qualified for the shot because he’s old and obese. On the other hand, melanoma’s profession does not qualify as her as being an essential worker.

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  50. Dorothy said on March 4, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    We got the Pfizer vaccine today at 2:40 and 2:43 PM and it seemed so anticlimactic. The past 12 months have been fraught with sleeplessness, anguish, loneliness, worry, grief, etc. And I didn’t even feel the needle go in my arm. If I hadn’t seen my husband get his shot right before me I might have thought they were teasing me when she said I was done. In three weeks we go back – she said we don’t even need an appointment. Just show up. I will go down there after I’m done with my training – and if I can’t make it before 5 PM that day, I can go anytime the next day. I feel like a new person.

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  51. LAMary said on March 4, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    The after effects can happen after a two or three day lag and they can be sucky. Keep some immodium on hand.

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  52. Suzanne said on March 4, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Well, 10:00pm EST on March 4 and so far, Joe Biden is still president, the storm didn’t come, and the deep state has not been overthrown, so I think I will go to bed.

    I may have trouble sleeping though because according to QAnon, we now know that Kayleigh McEnany is really JFK jr’s daughter. Who knew?

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  53. LAMary said on March 4, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    I didn’t know that, Suzanne. Not sure what to do with that information. You’re right. Something like that can keep me up all night.

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  54. Dexter Friend said on March 5, 2021 at 2:57 am

    Toledo VA finally called to schedule me. I told them my story. They said I have to bring in a copy of my shot-card for my file. Nosy, eh?

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  55. Jenine said on March 5, 2021 at 10:54 am

    I find this a very satisfying statement. “Each of us has to decide for ourselves how much nonsense we can take in life, and from whom we are willing to take it.”

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