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Friday, June 28, 2013


A little something I picked up at Brooks Brothers today!

Monday, June 24, 2013


A friend has asked me to send them a photo of me at my preppiest.  I've picked two outfits that I love but can't decide which one I like best, so I'm asking for your help.


Bow tie:  Social Primer
Shirt: Polo by Ralph Lauren
Vest: Brooks Brothers


Bow tie:  Social Primer
Shirt: Polo by Ralph Lauren
Vest: Red Cashmere

Which is your favorite?  Please leave a note in the comment box with your vote.  Let me know your choice!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


In the last 36 hours Minneapolis has experienced a number of thunderstorms, some quite severe, and last night’s storm left a third of the Twin Cities metro area without power - myself included.  There is no set pattern to the outages and they are spotty throughout the metro.  A large part of the Uptown area where I live is dark, but fortunately there are a few pockets with electricity that give us an opportunity to charge our cell phones and computers.  This is fortunate as my cell phone was almost completely dead this morning.

This was the view outside my door last night.

My Street!

Last night’s storm lasted maybe 45 minutes but the damage was extensive.  The torrential rain made driving difficult, and the roughly 60 miles-per-hour wind downed many tree branches and uprooted 100’s of trees.  The final result, as I stated earlier, left a third of the metro area without power.  

Firemen inspecting damage to two floors of construction 
on a building two block from my place.

According to an email I received today from the power company, it could be up to three more day before power is restored.  Quite an outcome from a rather short storm.  So for now I am grateful that there are places with power close by my home that allow me to keep my electronics charged.  I’m also hoping that power in my area will be restored sooner than later, but above all I am grateful for the men and women who are working around the clock to bring this outage to an end.

One of the hundreds of uprooted trees!

Split trees are everywhere!

More split trees!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Each year we celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. This is the day that we honor our father’s who are still with us and remember those who are not.

My father is no longer with us.  Dad died in 1986 due to complications from an accident he experienced five years earlier that left him paralyzed from the chest down, but his memory is still with me.  I was junior in college when he was injured and was just twenty-six when he passed away.

Even as a baby Dad was a stylish dresser.

Dad in 1940 sporting a sweater and tie.

There are many things I learned from my Dad and many things that I wish I had paid more attention to.  One of the things I learned from him was to care for the environment.  Dad was born on a farm in Iowa and farming was always part of his life to some degree.  In the later years he worked as a salesman for a livestock feed company, but also continued to farm on the side.  Influenced by Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” Dad was a fan of organic farming, and would always say, “We need to be careful what we put into the earth, because ultimate it comes back to us.” I have always remembered that advise.

Dad served in the Army.

Aside from the environment, there are two other very important things that I learned from him.  First of all, Dad taught me the importance of family, heritage, and tradition.  Our family had been one of the founding families of the small rural town I grew up near and for well over a century and a half my relatives have lived in that area.  From my Dad I inherited my love of genealogy, and I could often be found visiting the local cemeteries to track and catalog our family tree.  That appreciation of lineage and heritage, and the traditions that go along with them, has been a major influence in my life. 

Early picture of Dad with the ever present tie.

The other thing I learned from my Dad was the importance of dressing nicely and being well kept.  I don’t remember a time when he left the house to attend any sort of gathering that he didn’t wear a tie.  For Dad, taking the time to dress nicely was fundamental.  It showed that you cared and was also a sign of respect for the people you were with.  He was also quick to remind us how important even the smallest a details are – having the right “dimple” in your tie knot, making sure your clothes are clean and pressed, and taking the time to shine your shoes.  Paying attention to these small details was just a part of his life, and has become a part of my life as well.

Dad is second front the left in the back row in this family portrait 
from the 1940's.  I love the suits and ties from this era.

My father has been gone for twenty-seven years now, but his lessons and influences are still a treasured part of who I am.  As we celebrate Father’s Day, I’m remembering the man who taught me the importance of heritage, style, and tradition, while showing me the need to ensure that the beauty of our earth may be enjoyed for generations to come.  Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


The sailboats were out in full force this past weekend on Lake Calhoun, as they were enjoying one of our very few sunny days this summer.  After experiencing snow all the way into May, our weather here in Minneapolis has treated us to rain almost every day since.  Not an ideal summer so far.

These precious warm, sunny days have been welcomed relief from the rain, and the boats are taking full advantage of them.  Here’s to many more sunny days, and many for more opportunities to set sail.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Last fall Goorin Bros. opened a hat shop in Minneapolis, five blocks away from where I live in the Uptown neighborhood.  When the shop opened, I remember thinking how odd it seemed that hat shops were still around.  For me they seemed to be something from a bygone area that seemed out of step with our modern world.  Boy, was I ever wrong!

The store is amazing, and there is an incredible feeling that one gets while standing in the midst of shelves upon shelves of hats.  It’s a connection to a lost, romantic time in history that is somehow reborn in our contemporary world.  

Cassel Goorin

Goorin Bros. history began in 1895 when Cassel Goorin started making custom made hats, which he sold from a horse-drawn cart.  Cassel treated every customer as a guest and each hat was designed to be at individual as its wearer - incorporating just the right feather, trim, and lining.

Throughout the next century, Goorin Bros. continued to find ways to sustain a business that many might have thought was long gone.  In the 1940’s, Cassel’s sons, Alfred and Ted Goorin, started the Grenadier Division, which celebrated their father’s love of the outdoors.  This sporting line accommodated the needs of hunters, fishermen, campers, and general outdoor enthusiasts.  Building on this love of the outdoors, in 1960, Goorin hats became the official headwear for the VIII Olympic Winter Games.

The 1990’s brought a renewed interest in hats, both traditional and non-traditional, and Goorin was there to fill that need.  Drawing from their archives, they were able to take their classic designs and give them a fresh look for today’s young consumers.  I’m intrigued, and enheartened, by the number of young people I see in the shop here in Uptown.  These twenty and thirty-something folks are reviving the art of wearing classic, traditional styled hats, but are giving it their own unique sense of style and flare, and the result is spectacular.

Goorin’s website tells us that, “There was a time when neighborhood hat shops existed in just about every community in America. The friendly and knowledgeable Shopkeepers served its regular customers and created a gathering place, like the local tavern or barber shop.”  

I’m not sure if this revival of the neighborhood hat shop as replaced or matched the social setting of the local bars and clubs, but what I do see in that store is a younger generation of customers engaged in friendly conversation with the sales staff (also younger) and learning the history, tradition, and culture of wearing hats.  

This summer’s release of Buz Luhrman’s rendition of “The Great Gatsby” has also help to spark the renewed interest in hats, and has introduced them to a whole new generation.  Its seems that hat shops are far from the product of a bygone time, and are instead reclaiming their place as a vital social and educational center for the next generation.

My neighborhood Gorrin Bros. Hat Shop hosted their own “Gatsby Party” this summer.