Archive for the ‘Girls With Ties’ Category

The Island of Misfit Ties

December 14, 2010

Kind of a lot to get to here, for a Monday post to the blog. Which reminds me…all I want for Christmas is for someone to come up with a new word for ‘blog’. Anyone?

Who's the dummy in this picture? Yep, red bow tie.

Lee, Mee, Trideep, Douglas

I mentioned that I was awaiting pictures from my visit to an open house at Lee Allison’s studio. They had food, drinks and of course, ties for sale. I had to add to my Christmas collection, and I even picked up another on clearance for 2011. Lee, who started his company in ’95 (here’s a history), and his business associate, Trideep Das, are simply great guys. Could not be any more welcoming.

Many times along this journey/project, I have heard stories from men who say something along the lines of “Oh, I used to wear ties all the time, I have So-and-So-Hundred Ties, but I don’t wear them anymore.” Psst, so give them to me… Anyway, rare is the chance that I meet someone who has more ties than me, AND makes me want to trade collections. The ‘Douglas’ in the pictures is Douglas Cole, a fellow dandy (RIP Dandy Don Meredith, by the way), who owns OVER 200 BOW TIES! He says that’s all he wears anymore. Pair that with his sah-weet handlebar moustache, and I gotta party with this Milwaukeean. Kinda did, actually, as the margarita Lee & Trideep were serving was rather mind-altering.

When I told him about 100D100T, Douglas said, “There’s another guy who’s doing something similar…Momentum of Failure?” I said, “Yep, we’re following each other’s progress!” Love that.

Last week, my cousin, Elizabeth Brehm (brief CV: Friday Freebie winner, married to GWT alum, Timothy Brehm) sent me a picture of her new bambino, Evan, in some garb that makes him a brand new BWT (Baby With Tie). Too cute. Thanks, E!

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming…

Giva us a Kissa

My gift Tie du Jour comes from far, far away. Diane brought back this tie from Korea…it’s very sparkly. Not sure if you can see the small diamonds attached to the flowers. Oh, I’m sure they’re real. The brand is Kissa, which I assume is Korean (really, Brooke! how’d you figure that?).

Last night, I accompanied my friend Paul Hletko (yep, GWT alum AND FF winner) to the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center for some city council action on his new Evanston distillery, Few Spirits. Caught a couple of new GWT, of both variations.

Ladies first…my friend Tanya Noble is an Evanston police officer in charge of problem solving. She was on hand, in full dress blues, with several of her comrades to receive recognition for an award the EPD has received from a national association of police chiefs for one of her neighborhood plan. Yes, that is a dark blue tie in there. Way to go, Tanya! I’m sure your joining the elite Girls With Ties category ranks up there with your award.

On to the Guys version of the GWT…the city’s parking director (and former cop) Rickey Voss was resplendent in his striped tie. He said it was almost time to break out the Christmas ties (I, too, am breaking out the Xmas box).

Misfit ties

And, finally, I snapped Assistant City Manager, Marty Lyons, in his Christmas tie. A more detailed shot is warranted here, as we see, from the bottom, Rudolph (the Red-Nosed Reindeer), Hermey, Santa Claus & Yukon Cornelius.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


The Spider and the Tie

November 24, 2010

Sittin’, thinkin’, sinkin’, drinkin’ / Wond’ring what I’ll do when I’m through tonite – Jagger, M.; Richards, K.

Once again, I go back to the Stones for some subject-title inspiration. No reason in particular, I just seem to use them every once in a while.

You know, I have realized that, beyond the fact that I’ve lamented my neck and head pain in the last few days, I’ve neglected asking about you. How are you? Are you feeling okay? Are you ready for the holidays? Any big shopping plans for Black Friday? Is there something, besides a tie, that you really, reallyreally want for Christmas (or Hanukkah)?

For the Tie du Jour, I basically stuck with the same autumnal theme, at least with similar colors. This baby is an old vintage tie from the old vintage Marshall Field’s, which has had its history swallowed up by Macy’s. Nice deep crimson red background, with khaki, olive and black stripes joining the festivities. This one tied up really nicely into a half-windsor, a nice, tiny, symmetrical knot.

This morning we were hosted by the folks at 415 Premier Apartments, down on Howard, for the Chamber’s monthly Networking Breakfast. They just put a couple million bucks into renovations, and the place looks fantastic. I was able to get Jeff, one of the concierges there, to pose with his awesome red tie. Welcome to the Guys With Ties family, Jeff!

Well, boys and girls, after breakfast there’s a meal called lunch. Can you say lunch? Very good.

Anyway, went to lunch in the new neighborhood, at a place called Siam Splendor, at the corner of Emerson and Ridge. Our waitress, or hostess, rather (it was a lunch buffet), was sporting this tie which was knotted in a pretty cool way. Since this picture was kinda the unauthorized version, I didn’t get her name. So, we have a new member of the other GWT, Girls With Ties.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Fast Ties at Ridgemont High

November 22, 2010

Before I get into the subject, which is obviously based on the anthemic 1982 film of the (almost) same name, I think I’ll just bust out the Tie du Thursday. Editor’s note: It’s Sunday, and I have two to (how did I just say it?) bust out.

Trust Ted, the baker

The TdJ is a stunner from Ted Baker, found at the ORT resale shop on Chicago Avenue in Evanston. It’s purple, with purple and light blue dots all over the place. It tied really well, and it’s easy to see how Ted Baker emphasizes quality in the strips they offer.

So, back to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I originally went looking for a shot of Mr. Hand, the cynical professor/nemesis of stoner hero Jeff Spicoli, wearing a tie. That was not a problem, but in poring over the other pics, made me realize how many ties were fired up in that flick.

Jeff "Spicoli" Spicoli and Mr. Hand

Of course, I’ll start with Mr. Hand, portrayed by the late, great Ray Walston. While he cut his teeth on TV (“My Favorite Martian”) and in several substantial roles in major films (The Apartment & The Sting), he became one of an entire generation’s favorite authority figures, matched only by Principals Richard Vernon (Breakfast Club)  & Ed Rooney (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).

Of course, we have Mark “Rat” Ratner and Mike “Little Prick” Damone, who shared a mentor/mentee relationship as Rat wished to learn how to pick up girls. That relationship turned sour when Damone shagged Stacy, the object of Ratman’s affection, during an awkward poolhouse encounter. Rat makes the LGWT (Lovable Geek With Tie) list, while Damone becomes the DBWT (Douche Bag With Tie)

Speaking of Stacy, she co-found the TGWT (Teen Girls With Ties) list, as she and Linda (Two Words: red bikini) worked at a cookie store (or was it an ice cream store?) across from Ratman’s movie theater gig. Phoebe Cates’s Linda, of course, is the siren who inspired Judge Reinhold’s Brad to risk blindness to the tune of “Moving in Stereo” (The Cars).

One final DAGWT (Dead Actor Guy With Tie) from the film is Mr. Vargas, portrayed by the late Vincent Schiavelli. When he passed, Schiavelli proved himself to be one of the ultimate “Ohhhh, THAT guy” guys.

I forgot to mention, in Wednesday’s post, that I had given another tiny speech to a retirement community. I was the guest of the North Shore Retirement Hotel‘s new open forum. I regaled a fun, lively bunch of “young’uns” with tales of my ties, and was gifted three ties, which I shall soon wear proudly.

Now, don’t everyone go running off to Netflix to rent FTaRH. Take turns, ok? This slice of 80s magic will be there for a long time.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Pumpkin Tie

October 29, 2010

Okay, I know that I said that I’d be taking the day off, given that the Chamber would be moving into our new offices. But, hey, we hired union guys to do union work, so why should I get casual when they’ll only smirk at me for trying to lug stuff across the room. Plus, I had a couple of work-ish appointments today, so I at least got got-up in a casual biz get-up.

Rhymes with...

As you may recall, this summer I was the guest of the Mather Place of Wilmette, a retirement community. I moderated their Gentlemen’s Breakfast, and discussed my tie blog. I took pictures. I ate breakfast. They gave me cookies and a tie. I ate the cookies and have saved the tie until today. As you can see, it is solid orange. The Mather’s primary color is orange. With the textured fabric, it really takes on extra life, unlike that spate of boring prose.

Egads, this is the 2nd time this week that I’ve had to recreate my tie-shirt combination. The other day I even had to do it a day later! You’d think that after 152 post-tie-tying mini-photo sessions that I’d have it down pat. Uh, no, you would think again.

Anyway the Tie du Jour is from The Tie Bar, and it is most certainly worn in celebration of Halloweekend.

As I mention my emceeing the Gent’s Breckie, it reminds me of another opportunity for me to utilize my H-List celebrity status, and it tied in (get it…tied?) nicely with today’s event. The 500 Davis building hosts a pumpkin-carving contest for its tenants; for the 2nd year in a row, I was a Celebrity (H-List, but hey, whatchagonnado?) Judge.

I managed to get a new GWT at the contest. Richard Similio, who manages the property, is my friend who invited me to partake in the bribery…I mean, detailed & honorable judging of the entrants.

As luck would have it, we now have a new member of the other GWT club…Girls With Ties! Marsha Hagney, who is the Government Relations Manager at the American Massage Therapy Association, sported this awesome purple tie (from Bruno Piatelli) as part of her mayoral costume. There was a good story behind her acquiring the tie, but perhaps we should leave that for her to tell (in a comment).

Wind-blown citizen

This is why I love my chamber members, my readers and my chamber members who are readers. Jeff Semler, who works at Heil, Heil, Smart & Golee here in Evanston, sent me this pic of his Halloween costume. Given our recent “Storm of the Century”…which may not actually be the storm of the year, to tell you the truth…Jeff created a new category: WGWT (Windy Guy With Tie). Very creative…notice the tie.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell ‘Schnitzel’ without T-I-E…

August 26, 2010

Don’t order the schnitzel; they’re using schnauzer. — Murray/Winger to random German couple.

I’m afraid I haven’t been able to come up with any deep, philosophical tie-in (ha!) with schnitzel. Or schnauzers. Or random German couples. Just a funny line, delivered perfectly.

Getting to the blog a bit late…again. This Tie Week Month just takes a lot out of me. I mean, I’m massaging all these egos, ties that wish to make it to the big time, and not just on a random day. There’s a light purple knit tie that technically has stripes, and it really has been selling itself. But, I’m afraid it’s still just 50-50 for being tomorrow’s Friday Freebie.

Am I blue? if this tie could talk (and if it were sad), it's answer would be 'Yes'

My Tie du Jour (as of now it’s the Tie du Yesterday) is from Haband, cool in its simplicity. Three tones of blue in bold stripes give it some standing on this light plaid shirt. Wow, is that a bunch of BS or what? I guess my initials make me able to pull that out every once in a while.

Well, we have a Girl With Tie, or more specifically a DWT, today. My wonderful daughter Julia went garage saling/antiquing with my wonderful parents (well, wonderful except that they didn’t take me). They found this awesome-awesome-so-perfectly-awesome lampshade made out of–what else?!–ties!

This lampshade/hat will be so versatile. I was always amazed that the lampshade has the reputation for symbolizing a great party, or at least one that got out of hand (at least for the wearer/bearer of said accessory). I say it’s time to bring that back! Lampshades for everyone! Baseball caps are so…everywhere. Let’s have  a BYOL party, and really get down. Plus, in my case, I’ll not only be wearing a tie, I’ll be wearing 12.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

How to beat the tie cost of living…

August 19, 2010

We’re gonna have a guest tie-story teller here. My cousin, Beaux Jones (son of Bert Jones, former LSU & Baltimore Colts QB) had quite the financial adventure in the famous Aidan Gill for Men grooming shop in New Orleans.

Hey Brooke
This is your cousin Beaux. I talked to your mom a few months back and she told me about 100 ties 100 days and as a fellow daily tie wearer (law clerk in New Orleans), I have been checking in periodically. I have enjoyed the blog and due to a recent interesting tie purchase I thought I would send you an email. I am sure that you are familiar with the Aidan Gill Barber.

Well, a few weeks back, I went in to get a haircut and a shave (oddly enough, these days both require the same razor) and I remembered that they sold fine ties. Perfect… I needed a tie, a purple one if possible. I had just bought a lavender colored shirt to try and spice up one of my cheap suits and my traditional ties just weren’t cutting it. I found the perfect tie…it was purple with diagonal grey stripes. I grabbed the tie and headed to the counter without checking the price.  When the nice young cashier rang the tie up, I noticed the price…$100!

As I was fighting off hyperventilation from the price, I was distracted by Aidan Gill himself (bow-tie and all) walking up to greet me. He politely asked my name and asked how I enjoyed my shave. While I was responding, he noticed the tie on the counter and reached for it. I was sure he was wondering why a young bum like me was buying a $100 tie. Then, with the tie in one hand and the other on my shoulder, Aidan Gill directed me to turn our backs to the counter. In my head, I was thinking that he was about to give me a discount on the tie but just didn’t want me to be judged by the gorgeous young saleswoman. He didn’t say a word… he just opened the back of the tie; then looked at me as if to say… “Go get em pal.”  The price no longer mattered.

Hope all is well. Peace and Love,

Quite the story, Cousin. I hope that tie has brought you a good return on your investment. Can’t wait until I’m down there and can check that place out. And maybe the salesperson.

Well, my 4th attempt at a truly ugly tie was met with agreement by my mom. And in case I haven’t mentioned, my parents have been staying with me for the month of August. So, this month they have been the first arbiter of my TdJ’s worth. My pink and black diamond-esque-apade was met with an immediate “Now THAT’s an ugly tie!” Excellent! Mission accomplished. Only took me 4 days.

While I’m at the guest-writer phase of the day, I wanted to share a comment that my good friend, Jennifer Lazar, sent to me regarding Ugly Tie No. 1 (the Guy Laroche pink one with tiny, marching paisleys). She’d prefer not to comment on the blog itself, but she is more than happy for me to cut/paste.

So there’s a qualification about the ugliness of this tie…

When I saw it on you I didn’t immediately think “that’s one ugly tie”. My thought was…ewww, not on him. That tie will work really well on a particular type or look of guy. It needs a 50’s ish, tire around the middle, sophisticated guy who is also wearing french cuffs with gold cuff links and a beard. He might even be French…which I know you are but it’s not you. He has a booming voice and I can picture him being in the hotel business. I have no idea why this is so specific. I usually have some opinion about ties but not quite this weird. Sorry.

Love it! Specific is good!!

This is a great shot of Guy With Tie alum, Zach Selch, when he is (much) younger. He tells me that this tie was handmade by his mom. A bespoke bow tie at 6 (is that the age, Z?), wow!

Dr. Tom

Okay, I’m going to run through the last of the PWT pix…thanks for your patience. Here is

Dr. Tony

Dr. Tony Breitbach and Dr. Tom Livermore of Wellness Revolution. Tony got in touch with me to say that he had a great tie for me to have. I can’t describe it until I wear it, and I can’t wait to wear it, it’s just simply classic. Thanks, Tony!

Dan - Tie No. 97

The rest of the SOHO folks are here! Dan Schwarz, owner of Well-Balanced Living, is a fellow Lincoln School dad. A good sport, too, apparently, putting the tie over the t-shirt!

Diana - Tie No. 39

Diana Groth Krasnansky is a new friend who just started her new business, Diana Groth Design. We at the chamber love to help small businesses, and it will be great to get Diana involved.

Joe Smith - Tie No. 95

Joe Smith is a financial planner with his own firm, JAS Financial Services.

Dan Kowal

David - Tie No. 74

Dan Kowal is the owner of Parity Systems, who office in our same building. He and 3 other employees (including David here) came to hear our featured speaker…

Malik - Tie 97

…Malik Turley! Owner of the brand-new Hip Circle Studio, at 709 Washington, Malik is also hosting our next Networking Breakfast. They offer Zumba, belly-dancing and childbirth type classes at Hip Circle. One of these days I will take Julia over there for family Zumba. I promise, Malik!

Maureen - Tie No. 39

The moderator for this quarter’s SOHO events is Maureen Glasoe, founder of Until Now LLC. She tells personal histories for loved ones, for CEOs, for anyone really. She’ll do personal research through interviews, and record your story for future generations.

Penelope - Tie No. 77

Penelope Johnson works for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but is deciding whether or not to start her own business. Best of luck, Penelope (psst…keep coming to our events and your business will grow).

Okay, that’s that for the PWT pics. I’ll give them a count. Please, if you can donate, please send a check (made out to me, or you can make it out to Evanston Community Foundation or Salvation Army Evanston Corps).

Thanks for reading (and thanks, Beaux and Jennifer, for writing)…Brooke

The tie is cast…

August 19, 2010

Madam, you are ugly. In the morning I shall be sober.  –Winston Churchill, to Bessie Braddock, after she told him, “Sir, you are drunk.”

Well, at least I started out with a title this time. Last night/this morning’s blog entry was fraught with a stunning lack of brainpower. Wow…I wrote the whole thing without a title, and never made one up. Only tonight did I realize it, and put one on there. But Aug 17-18 will go down as the day…the braincells…died. They started singin’, bye bye…

And if that weren’t bad enough, I think my Ugly Tie Week continues to be a failure. Today’s tie was met with a collective ‘Meh…’ from the viewing public. We had our Chamber’s Business After Hours this evening, and within 5 minutes, I received 3 comments about how conservative I looked. That is so not me. I guess I should have named this week Boring Tie Week.

Funky AND ugly

My latest attempt at ugliness (aka the Tie du Jour) is from Bugatti, apparently out of Germany, who had plenty of ugly fashion trends in the 70s and 80s (and in most other decades I’d wager). But, there are plenty of good things that come out of there, style-wise (I don’t know if Steffi Graf’s legs count as style, per se, but they are plenty good), I am sure. It’s a maroon, with weird patterns and streaks and…yahhh! It’s ugly, people! Agree with me, please!

And, now, we bring you to the photo portion of tonight’s blog posting.

Chris-Tie No. 14

Here is Chris Chaudruc, doing his best to look busy. Hard to look busy in a clip-on!! Chris runs a website (which I am helping with), called, which displays drink and food specials from bars and restaurants throughout Evanston.

Chris-Tie No. 4

Paula-Tie No. 86

And here are two friends, Paula Kostuik and Chris Comi. Paula’s parents are good friends with my parents down in Destin. Natch, I became good friends with PK and her boyfriend CC. No, they don’t call me BS. At least to my face.

Since we at the Chamber just had an event, I thought I’d hearken back to our last event, the SOHO (Small Ofc, Home-based Ofc) Network from last Wednesday. I took a bunch of pix from that event (I brought in about a dozen or so), and away we go…

Cynthia Early (Tie No.97

Wink-wink…here’s Cynthia Early, from Edward Jones Investments. She actually cold-called me at my house, about 3 weeks before I started working for the Chamber. We have thus proven that one can be friends with d00r-to-door sales folks.

Dana Pearl-Tie No. 94

Dana Pearl, from the Human Organization, is one of the board’s favorites. She constantly has ideas and suggestions meant to better us as a Chamber.

Randy-Tie No. 74

Randy Sable is the Man at Total Benefit Services. He said he only wears a tie once or twice a year. I’m not sure if the 80s-rocker-bandana counts as wearing, but it looks pretty good.

And here’s Elizabeth Cooley, owner of Compass Organizing. She organized my office, a

Elizabeth Cooley-Tie No. 39

nd helped me get my email-work-flow in a semblance of order.

Speaking of order, I need to get back on a good writing/publishing schedule.

Thanks for reading…more pix to come. Brooke

Can’t spell (no title) without…well, that was just pathetic.

August 18, 2010

Yesterday my ugly tie got a few compliments (but someone finally did put it in its place–I’ll cut/paste what they said if they give me the thumbs-up). Today, unfortunately, I hurt someone’s feelings when they saw my Tie du Jour. My own mother, who had just given it to me, broke down crying.

Cardinal = Ugly Tie

No, not really, my mom is pretty tough. Tough enough to admit that it never snowed on her way to school (it was Louisiana), AND she was driven (both ways). She gave this to me (from the Dad Collection) when I was down in Florida in June. After being thrown for somewhat of a loop with all the adoration of Ugly Tie No. 1, I think I had a tough time with No. 2 (yes, that poop joke WAS intentional…thanks for shopping). She did sound a bit disappointed that it was chosen this week. So, Mom, I’m sorry! But…it has a cardinal on it, and I’m a Cub fan. Nuff said.

The TdJ is another strip from Wembley.

I didn’t take any PWT pics today, so I’ll be able to catch up on those…


Last week I went to a happy hour at the new Pensiero Ristorante. They have a mixologist named Adam, who came over from the Violet Lounge to start pouring some amazing concoctions in the bar. We also ran into William, a waiter there (he helped guide my gastronomical way about three weeks ago, during their soft opening) AND former Guy With Tie, who makes it into 100D100T again with another William. Matching ties, one pic.


So, it’s always nice to stop someone who’s wearing a tie, tell them quickly about the blog, and then ask to take a photo. JD here was a very good sport…he pulled into the line at Potbelly here in Evanston, wearing a tie, and then proceeded to listen to me tell him quickly about the blog and agree to a photo.

Walt-Tie No. 78

Pat-Tie No. 27

Mike, praying for Tie No. 80

So, last week, I ran into my friend here, Pat Hughes. He was the first guy to wear one of the ties that I brought around. I saw him at the new Bagel Art (corner of Dempster & Sherman), having a meeting with these two guys, Mike and Walt. Pat was kind enough to talk them into sporting my ties as well.

This past Monday we held a meeting of the Evanston Chamber’s Board of Directors. Wow, have I typed a less-exciting sentence in the history of this blog? Perhaps not. But, trust me, it’s more exciting than it sounds, as our board is filled with cool, fun people. As you can see from this montage (and you must say ‘montage’ in the John Houseman acting style–slowly, crisply), they are more than willing to throw on a tie in the name of ChariTIES.

Rebecca Berneck - Officeheads

Bob Piron - Belgian Chocolatier Piron

Carolyn Dellutri - Downtown Evanston

Chris Mailing - Turin Bicycle

David Le Roy - Diagnostics Technical Support

David "DFish" Fisher - RockStar Consulting

Jaime Varela - Harris Bank

Jeff Murphy - Saint Francis Hospital

Joe Liss - Brown, Kaplan + Liss

Larry Widmayer - Koenig & Strey GMAC

Pat Kelly - John J. Cahill Inc.

Paul Hletko - Heathcote Holdings

Rick Braunstein - Rotary Int'l

Sean O'Grady - NorthShore University HealthSystem

Shaun Chinsky - Good's of Evanston

And, last, but certainly nowhere close to least…

Tracey Samlow - MJ Catering

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Beauty is in the tie of the beholder…

August 17, 2010

Hey! Let’s give a Wildcat cheer for Ugly Tie Week! Ready?! Ooooooookay.

You-Gee-Ell-Why! You ain’t got no alibi. You ugly. What-What?!! You ugly.

So, as my title implies, beauty can be, and is, found just about anywhere. After threatening to decimate its confidence by being named Ugly No. 1, my Tie d’Ugly has actually been complimented 3 or 4 times today, and by people with taste! I bought it at Unique several months before 100D100T, but have never worn it because I found it hard to match with a shirt. So, while I had it slotted for UTW since I thought of having one, it turns out no one said it was ugly. Oh, well. The TdJ is from Guy Laroche, a French designer with a long history of success. In my humble, bumbled opinion, this was not a success. The pink is what, chartreuse? Paisleys are supposed to look like they’re in a petri dish, not marching into Red Square. And that thing on the end? Some weird colors in there…I just don’t know. This one would have gotten some comments on a Freebie Friday.

This past weekend I trekked down to Nashville for a couple of reunions. The St. Agnes/St. Dominic class of ’83 had a mini-reunion of sorts. Yes, I was the only SDS attendee, save for the hostess’s husband John, and I joined (aforementioned hostess) Martha, Eimir, Alicia, Karen, Amy, Katie, Meredith, Melanie, Michelle, Jean, Gina, Stephanie, Stephanie and Stephanie in toasting our youthful vigor.

As fun as Friday was, Saturday morning was the reason I went down there, and it was a quiet morning as I readied myself to head out to Camp Marymount for Adult Camp 2010.

Brief camp bio: I went to Marymount for 4 years (’81-’84) as a camper, from the ages of 12-15, then worked there for 3 summers in the early 90s whilst in my early 20s. Boys’ session was 3 weeks long, so in all of my life I spent less than a half of a year out there. But, somehow, the friendships that I made, with others and even myself, have stuck with me for almost 30 years.

There are so many things that I learned out there, and I realize that the teen years are rife with that kind of nurturing. I am not naive enough to believe that Marymount was the only place that I would have gained confidence in sports, sociability or what-have-you–I could have had the same experience at another camp, or playing a sport over the summer, or learning an instrument. But it’s the place I was, and I am now rewarding myself by going back there and recalling that.

So, I’m driving along, a hundred brief thoughts going through my head, of campfires, howling laughter, card games, softball games, swimming, singing, eating, drinking (as a counselor…doy), of songs (Catholic camp, we went to Mass…), friendship, bows, arrows, guns, blahblahblue-in-the-face. I see the white fence and nearly burst into tears (another thing I learned was that it’s okay to be sad that you’re not going to see friends in a while and that it’s okay to cry about it), not only for the 8-hour journey from the day before, but because it’s a loving place. Its spirit extends to me and to my fellow campers and counselors, and the ones before me and after. I knew maybe 15 out of 80 folks there, but I could speak to 80 out of 80 about shared experiences and an absolute adoration for this place.

Okay, that little essay sounded so much better when I was crafting it on the drive home last night, so I’m sorry if it’s a little disjointed. But let’s get on to the Philanthropists With Ties…I took a bunch today, but I want to get to the ones from last week that haven’t gotten on yet.

Al-Tie No. 56

Here’s Al White, the president of the Evanston Running Club. He’s helping on a committee that wants to put on a half-marathon here in town that will hit a bunch of neighborhoods throughout all parts of Evanston.

Billie-Tie No. 90

And here’s Billie Kershasky, a sales rep for Astor & Black, a custom clothier. As soon as I can afford one of their suits, look out. Billie, who’s also a Zumba instructor, is also helping to set up the half-marathon, which we hope will take place in the Fall 2011.

Brady-Tie No. 77

The other member of our tie-wearin’, run-plannin’ committee is Brady Gervais. She was a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and moved down here last year when her husband started at Kellogg.

Asher-Tie No. 25

Bill-Tie No.27

Here are Asher Wolmark and Bill Vellon, who run the Kingsbury Capital office in the Rotary Building. They are on the same floor as the Chamber, and are a couple of great guys. Asher shares a hometown with me, as we are both from Memphis (home of Elvis Death Week–if you haven’t got a chance, El Vez is one of the best Elvis impersonators you’ll ever dance your ass off to).

I’m sorry that’s only 5 PWTs…but I have to publish.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell ‘Retirement’ without T-I-E…

August 13, 2010

No, I’m not going to retire, not for a while at least. Unless…I could beat the odds and win the lottery, which would really beat the odds since I haven’t bought a lottery ticket.

My Morning du Jour was spent with the gentlemen of the Mather Place of Wilmette, a retirement community in, well, Wilmette, Evanston’s ‘burb-next-door. Mather Lifeways is headquartered in Evanston, and they are a good friend to the Chamber. I was invited by the marketing staff to be the guest speaker at their inaugural Gentlemen’s Breakfast. As I am indeed a gentleman, I warmed to the task, regaling in their stories and jokes. I only barely remember one of my grandfathers, so it was particularly nice to ‘rent’ 18 or 20 for an hour or so. My speech was off the cuff(link), and I brought a bag full of ties for them to sport. We had a tie-tying contest, and as you can see, I took pictures of all of them. It was serendipitous to me that I brought EXACTLY the number of ties that I needed. Gentlemen…thank you for sharing your time with me; and to the MPofW…thank you for the lovely parting gift, a gorgeous Mather-orange (what else) tie.

So, here are the pix…in the interest of time and layout, I’ll try to put these side by side…

Bob-Tie No. 98

Russell-Tie No.

Bob & Russell were at my table during breakfast. Russell’s great line was, “A week before the wedding, I sat my wife down and said, ‘From now on, I make ALL the major decisions; you’ll make all the MINOR decisions.’ In 69 years of marriage, we NEVER had a major decision.” After a general table discussion about physical activity “below the waist”, Bob told a Churchill joke. Sir Winston walked into a cabinet meeting; upon being told that his fly was open, he said, “Dead birds never fall out of the nest.” Classic.

Mike-Tie No. 24

Norme-brought his own tie!

Like me, these guys aren’t retirees, either; they work for MPofW. Mike, Norme and Harold…

Harold-Tie No.

Norme had a great Salvation Army story. He was just out of the Marines, and he had a job interview but nothing to wear to it. He used the change from his car to buy a shirt and tie from a Salvation Army. He got the job.

Here are the rest of the guys…

Bill-Tie No. 77

Bill-Tie No. 42

Bill Nash-Tie No. 91

Bill Walsh-Tie No. 74

These are the Four Bills. That’s not their nickname…yet. But just wait until I infiltrate the poker tournaments.

Tie No. 70

Gerald-Tie No. 30

John-Tie No. 45

Lawrence-Tie No. 53

Tie No. 67

Pat-Tie No. 15

Thomas-Tie No. 22

All these guys were really great. And I wish I could have remembered all the cool things they shared. Many of them have outlived their wives, despite being outnumbered, in their age bracket, 6-to-1 in the ladies-to-men department. They did say that dinner inviters were aggressive. So, many thanks to my RWT gang! (Retirees With Ties)

Wow, that’s a lot of pictures. Now, let’s get to my Tie du Jour, and then let’s get the pix from the last couple of days.

My TdJ is from Daniel di Milano, and I have adored their strips on these virtual pages before. They just feel right when you tie them. While the field of the tie is gray, the purple flowers give the entire tie a regally purple tone. At least that what I’m going with, to keep up Purple Tie Week appearances.

Okay, I’m on quite a roll with the pix, so let’s go back to Tuesday…100th TieDay.

Dr. Bob-Tie No. 80

Coleen-Shannon-Tie No. 25

Carin-Tie No. 41

Ok, so this is the squad that is responsible for my pearly whites lookin’ pearly. The Stephens Dentistry team is amazing. They are on our floor, so I went over there hoping to get a couple of pictures. What does Coleen do? She gets the entire office, as should be obvious, to get out there, don a tie and pose. Awesome, awesome Coleen. [whisper: thanks!]

Olga-Tie no.

Lauren-Tie No. 87

Tanya-Tie No.

Sasho-Tie No.

Lindsay-Tie No.

Dr Jim-Tie No. 56

Randy Rocker

And, these two pictures should make two things patently clear (like my teeth): 1) You don’t have to wear a tie around your neck 2) Clean teeth rock!

Sorry about the mishmosh layout today, and sorry I didn’t get to put all of the pictures on here. As I’m driving to Nashville today (adult camp at Camp Marymount, my favorite place on earth), I won’t be wearing another purple tie. But I’ll try to fire up a special ‘picturesque’ edition of 100D100T.

Thanks for reading…Brooke