I was going through some old photos to illustrate other issues of my “I Grew Up on a Farm in Virginia” blog category and came across this photo of me just back from a successful fishing event.
It struck me that this is also how I dressed most of the time for school. I almost always wore blue jeans. My mother had special stretchers to dry my jeans. The rectangular frames fit down in the legs, stretching them so they dried flat and unwrinkled—heaven forbid a boy’s jeans should be wrinkled. Of course, the stretchers went in the legs laterally, creating neat creases down the sides of my legs, but, I was not a fashionista in school, and totally unaware of any fashion faux pas.
When on the farm, especially when working or hiking or hunting, I always wore long sleeves—regardless of season. There were mosquitos, biting flies, briars, spider webs, poison ivy, etc., and sleeves helped protect against much of that.
Likewise, denim jeans were my uniform of choice—still are. I guess, later in high school I occasionally wore dressier slacks, but the emphasis would be on occasionally.
A particular fashion note applies to the shoes. I wore either what I called “sneakers,” usually high-top style basketball shoes (Converse©), or my work boots (in the photo). My father wore the same boots. I liked the hook eyes at the top of the lacings—they were quick to lace and the boots were comfortable. I frequently wore these to school. Even with these, I could beat most of my classmates in a foot race.
Oddly, the hat was the most optional piece of attire—and I went hatless as often as I wore one. Today, I rarely step outside without a hat. You can’t see it in this photo, but my haircut of choice was, back then, called a butch cut—today it is called a buzz cut.
My mother cut my hair. She simply put a one-quarter-inch clipper head on the clippers and ran it all over my head. My hair was dense, and curly. Some kids like to compare my hair to a Brillo Pad©. I made an effort to not show the fact that I did not like the comments.
Oh, by this age, I had already become anal about time, and always wore a watch, a Timex© until I went in the Air Force—then the watch the Air Force provided.
Lest you think me a refugee from Mayberry, I will also point out I could dress for an occasion. The other photo is me dressed for a Christmas dance, probably in my junior year. I really liked the red vest. (I still have the vase shown in the background.)