Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tretorn ankle ligament

Preps wear and wore Tretorns now and back then.  Cascadian preps wear them now, as well, during the three weeks of Cascadian Summer. Yet, its canvas construction offers little in the way of protection from rain, mud, and Trust Fund Hippies.

The author's Nylite Canvas Tretorns
I'm not sure why Tretorn is preppy, other than its association with tennis and Sweden - perhaps that is enough. My dear mom wore them in the 80s and a prep she is not. I wear them now after an article in Tennis Magazine last year referenced them. The Nylite Canvas is the style to wear and was the style most commonly seen on the prepster from days gone by.

As far a functional "tennis shoe" goes, just try them during your next doubles match and you will retire faster than a bitter office clerk who just won the lottery. They stink as a tennis shoe. One reach for that passing shot down the alley and you are on your back, looking up at the court lights. 

I wear them sockless as a knock-around shoe and as a boat shoe. When I do, they rarely get a look of recognition - not even from the 40s set who are downtown for the weekend getting their urbane urban  groove on at the new exhibit opening. You would think my Tretorns belong in the exhibit, too. WTF?!

pinched from Tretorn.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Good Gun...

...is like a good friend, a good dog, and a good woman. Take care of them and they will take care of you; treat them with respect and they will be loyal for all of your days; put them away in the closet and forget about them, and man, you are in a world of hurt!
the author's 1941 Winchester Model 12
I have been blessed with all four. Recently, my buddy, Stu, aka "Big Cat" from North Carolina, agreed to clean my Winchester Model 12. This is my primary shooting gun for sporting clays and pheasants. (It is also that thing that holds the corner of my closet up most of the time.) This gun was my grandfather's and was passed down to me when he passed several years ago. Ducks Unlimited's March/April 2011 issue pays homage to it, calling it "the most elegant and refined of all magazine repeaters."

My Model 12's serial number is 862490, putting its production year at 1941. I love knowing this because I imagine my grandfather - whose looks and character I tend to favor - buying this gun for bird hunting, only for that dream to be put on hold, while he fought in WWII.  He enlisted January 24, 1942 - 48 days after Pearl Harbor was bombed; but he didn't leave before he could help conceive my dear mom who was born nine months later (oowah oowah).

History and anything classic are admired by preps, but it goes well beyond that. History and classic family heirlooms are a part of us, define who we are, and are our tangible connections to the past. Cherish them, but don't forget to cherish your friends, your dog, and your woman, too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Caswell-Massey in Cascadia

I first was introduced to Caswell-Massey 27 years ago.  One day, various assortments of its product line turned up in my dad's cologne/aftershave/hair products/prescription drugs cabinet, as well as in the kids' linen closets, bathroom drawers, and bathroom counters tops. It just appeared, out of nowhere, as a reckless array of flotsam and jetsam "smellum" and cream.

the author's recent olfactory acquisitions
Now, it would be verboten herein to disclose the fact that my dear mom worked, at the time, for "Tuesday Morning" - a retailer specializing in "upscale closeout merchandise." (So there there it is, I had a regular middle-class upbringing.) Forthwith this establishment, came my family's cache of C-M, and my adolscent view of it as a bedraggled retail misfit with yet-to-be-known provenance. This was Dallas 1984.

And so it is -  the Pacific Northwest 2011 - and I have reconnected with and have been re-educated on the fabled and unique history of this most famous of American brands.  "Thank you," The Trad, for without your sagely advice, I would not yet know that Caswell-Massey's  "No.6" (now my daily spray) was the cologne of choice for the original "Gee Dub" - Father of our country, and namesake of my current home state.

I bought No. 6 four or five months ago.  I really like it, but don't love it. Just last week, however, I picked up a bottle of "Greenbriar Cologne Spray."  WOW! An awesome and manly scent.  It's so manly, in fact, after I sprayed some on, I shaved 5 strokes off of my golf game, shot a perfect round in Continental Trap, and made a very positive impression  on "Mrs. Cascadian Prep" (more on her soon).  In other words, fellas, get this "smellum" and thank me later.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Car Dilemma - Prep vs. Pragmatism

Prep. Porsches aren't intrinsically preppy, but I always felt like a prep in my vintage '69. Classic lines, European craftsmanship, the smell of old leather and horse hair (the matting under the carpet). These things evoke images no prep can resist.

the author's 1969 Porsche

Pragmatism. Toyota Priuses aren't intrinsically preppy either. Driving around in my hybrid '08, I feel like the incredibly sensible guy that I have become since "settling down." A 35-mile commute to work in the city, when gas prices are approaching $4.00 per gallon, is enough to start putting preppy in perspective. Maybe that is what Cascadian prep is -  making the most sensible decision based off of the best available information... even if you look like a tool in your Toyota. 

the author's 2008 Prius

(I sold the Porsche to buy something which makes no sense at all.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The [Boeing] Tailspin - a localized cocktail

The Pacific Northwest possesses rich aviation history and it just got richer with this localized version of an excellent gin-based cocktail. I used Cascade Mountain Gin out of Oregon as a "shout-out" to Southern Cascadia. This gin is deeply infused with juniper berries - maybe too much so. But after I mixed up this concoction, I really didn't care. One can see why it has the name that it does. A few of these and you wouldn't care if the jack screw malfunctioned on the 737 you unenthusiastically got on so that you could pedal your product in Pittsburgh.

The Tailspin
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Green Chartreuse
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2-3 dashes of Campari or Orange bitters

Stir all the ingredients with ice and strain into your glass.

Sunday night mixology

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Lacrosse Roads"

I grew up in the 70s and 80s, back when math was math and there was no such thing as "new math." But it seemed to work because I even remember The Transitive Property of Equality... If A = B and B = C, then A = C.

the daughter of a friend in full Cascadian lacrosse regalia
So let me posit the following: Preppy = Lacrosse and Lacrosse = a sport Cascadian kids now play, then Preppy = Cascadian kids . 

If lacrosse is like other preppy sports popularized in the Northeastern states, e.g., rowing, it will be adopted, played and improved upon by the Cascadian. (Side note: some of the best collegiate rowing teams in North America hail from the Pacific Northwest and the west coast of British Columbia. More to come on that later.)

Yet lacrosse is different from other preppy sports in that its origins can be traced to Native American and Canadian beginnings from over 1000 years ago. The sport was exported to Europe, where it picked up preppy style points, and then it was imported back to the US and Canada.

Lacrosse, like all sports, loses preppitude as it graduates to the semi-pro and professional level. One only has to take a gander at the National Lacrosse League website to see what I mean. (Jeez, I felt like I wandered onto a "Horrors of Rhinoplasty" website when I was there.) Therefore, Cascadian lacrosse should only be played in middle school thru college, and no higher.

Excitingly enough, lacrosse is more than a means for the Cascadian to become endoctrinated into prepdom.  Since it is played in Spring and early Summer it precludes the player from playing other "sports" such as "baseball." And there is nothing wrong with that!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Belts That Launched A Thousand Quips

This a men's fashion blog is not. However, from time to time, great insight into the progress of the cultivation of preppiness in Pugetropolis can be achieved by examining the reaction of those around a Cascadian prep in the (re)making. For example, the other day I wore, for the first time, my new brown hoof pick belt. I love this belt for its uniqueness and rough-hewn qualities. So when I happily strolled through the office like the cock of the walk and was met with sneers, jeers, and general derision, I was utterly crestfallen (NOT).  Now, I realize their expressions may have been for me (the person) and not me (the belt), but in this instance, I knew they were harshin' the belt.

The author's belt shot a la Maxminimus
Incident #2 occurred the following day. This time with my new custom Eliza B. D-Ring Motif Belt.  Again, laughs, smirks, and double-takes abounded. I mean, WTF?! How could you harsh this belt?

Lesson Learned: a Cascadian prep's work is never done.  If we are going to raise the bar in Cascadia (or anywhere for that matter), it's going to take fortitude and perseverance... and perhaps a whole lot of immigrants from CA, The South, The Midwest, The Southeast, The Mid-Atlantic, and New England.  Cheers!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Regrettable Sweatshirt Hoodie

Should Be Donned For Beach Bonfires Only!  To the degree that the sweatshirt hoodie possesses much needed functionality is the degree that it possesses major shortfalls in fashion. [Read "g'awful appearance" here.] "But the winds are constantly blowing and it's always a bit brisk at Pacific Northwest beaches," you say.

What is one to wear if one forgoes this hooded horror?

the author sends his deepest regrets

Some preferable alternatives follow:
  • a wool hat from Wapiti Woolies, a true Cascadian favorite, or
  • a custom wool hat from Vermont Originals, a true New England favorite. (See The Daily Prep posting here), or
  • a twill golf cap from one of your favorite links (as understated as possible).
Note Well:  Tongue is firmly planted in cheek whilst I write this. Because at the end of the day (literally), it is hard to take something as ridiculous as a hoodie too seriously. Scenes like this put things firmly in perspective.

Sunset at Cannon Beach, OR