It probably never occurred to my father that even in the post-mod era of the 70’s his black and yellow plaid polyester sport jacket was loud.

“How loud was it, Johnny?” asked Ed (McMahon).
“So loud even Bruce’s mother could hear it!”

His garb though— that dreaded jacket— had legs. Indeed, when our dad passed on years later it was one of those things I just couldn’t let go. North it came— first to Maidstone, then beyond. From box in the basement to box in the closet, until…finally… generations after its original sales date, it became retro. Ugly, but retro.

With legs!

So much so that with me playing Banjo, (the Jimmy Durante role in “The Man Who Came To Dinner”), it found the Independence stage.

So much so that it found homes on both Murray The Cop (“The Odd Couple”) and Mr. Pinky (“Hairspray”) at The Fine Arts Association.

Whodda thunk it? Certainly not the clerk at Kuppenheimer’s who’d unloaded it.

The best part of it all has been that inevitably each production cast mates inquire about my wardrobe and inevitably each production I get to share about my father.

For the past weeks, playing a frenetic TV director in a show at Gates Mills, I’ve once again thrilled others not so much with performance as wardrobe. Thank you, Dad.

We closed last night and, once again it rests in the closet—that relic which so well explains our Dad’s absence from GQ’s cover. Ah, but now it has friends: the cravat I wore around my neck, (Aunt Helen’s scarf from WWII)…and the long-sleeved, collared, black corduroy shirt that Stacy said “Don’t wear” and Meredith urged I burn. Still it’s all, dare I say, about the jacket: my father’s black and yellow jacket.

It was his coat of arms; it personified his heart; and oh…it had legs!


  1. Granpa Maisay says:

    One of your better titles for a blog.

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