Bow Tie Designer

So clean, so classic. Yet, somehow... lacking.

When Humphrey Bogart wanted a quality bow tie, he knew where to go– to my Pendleton-based wool tie company.  You would never guess it to look at me today, as I refuse to wear anything but high-performance gear, but it wasn’t too many years ago that I hunched over a drawing board and fabric swatches late every night, reaching for that holy grail… the perfect bow tie.  Perfect in proportion, perfect in fold, perfect in color and texture.  It is a fool’s goal, but it takes chasing it to know.  In the process I came so close, but I always seemed one thread too short.

I’m not going to say that tie designing was my passion, but it was.  I designed ties the way an icon painter daubs his or her brush at baby Christ’s face.  As a means of ensuring a place in heaven.

All of us will experience that one career that breaks our hearts.  To the outside world, my ties were impeccable, and truly they were the top of the line.  But I knew not to value my bow ties based on the opinions of others.  All that mattered was the one, wild cry of the ideal bow tie roaring through my breast– it was only against this bow tie that I could compare the (to my mind) tawdry others I peddled.  The disconnect between the accolades of the outside world and the constant stream of disappointments within my innermost soul wore at me each day.  I grew irritable.  I drove those close to me away.  I became a tyrant with my seamsters, tossing passels of bow ties out the window, into the industrial seam-ripper, or into the acid baths before their very eyes.  Many an up-and-coming ornocollumist (the formal name for tie-maker) turned his or her back to the profession while wiping tears, tears that I had caused, from his or her eyes.  I cannot say for certain, but I suspect my driven and despotic ways set the industry back at least a half a century due to the loss of so many talented young minds.  But I couldn’t see that at the time, so consumed was I by my vision.

As I’m sure you already intuited, I finally snapped in the most classic of ways– publicly.  It was at the Pendleton Round-Up, when I ripped a sub-par bow tie off Lane Frost’s neck and attempted, with alarming lack of success, to tie it onto a mad bull’s horn.  This is what they tell me, at least.  I don’t remember the moments before I was gored.

You may think this is a tragic tale, but it ends well.  When I woke later in my private infirmary ward, it seemed that the bull had gored the gnawing need to “realize the ideal bow tie” right out of me.  I’m not necessarily recommending this to those of you on similar paths, but it works.



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