Children's book publisher Frank Watts was my second boss in business. Many of his aphorisms—including the title above—are hard-wired into my DNA. What triggered this piece was the withdrawal by two distinguished, high-achieving commencement speakers at Rutgers University and Smith College.
I grew up wearing blue serge.
In the autumns of my youngest years, my parents would drive me to Best & Co. in Garden City, Long Island, and outfit me in blue serge for church and birthday parties—short blue serge pants with matching Eton jacket (no lapels), white shirt with big Eton collar and red tie. In the spring, same kind of thing, but summer weight.
When it came time to get my first pair of long pants, I was driven to Brooks Brothers on Madison Ave. in New York City, where I have been doing business since 1942.
It was a big deal when I got my first pair of blue serge long pants. My mother cried.
When I started going to dances, I would get tuxedos at Brooks Brothers and white dinner jackets for summer.
When cash was tight because of Andover bills in 1949-1953 ($1,400 tuition, room and board), we sometimes shopped at Rogers Peet on E. 42nd St.
Both Best & Co. and Rogers Peet are kaput. Brooks Brothers is a survivor.
But it won’t survive much longer if it continues to spend vast sums of money sending out blue-serge letters.
Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Christ Matthews raised this question to two guests: Should the leader of Iran be allowed to speak on Columbia University campus in New York next week?” Radio talk show host Ed Schultz was unequivocal: Absolutely. I think Columbia University is doing this country a favor by getting this guy on American soil, getting him on the record in an academic environment. Let‘s find out what he thinks about Israel. He‘s made all these outlandish comments about the Holocaust on the other side of the world. Let‘s get him on American soil and get him on the record. The thing I
When I was growing up, driving in the hot summer without air conditioning in the car was something you got used to. Imagine a family of five or six on summer vacation driving west or east across the South Dakota Badlands in 110-degree heat with no air conditioning. Whew! In 1931 at the height of the Great Depression, a young pharmacy graduate and his wife arrived in the tiny town of Wall, South Dakota with $3,000 and opened a drug store on Main Street. Ted and Dorothy Hustead agreed that if they could not make a go of the business within five years, they would