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Darrell Huckaby - 08/21/09

I may be crazy - and many would readily attest that I am - but I sort of miss dressing up. And seeing other folks dressed up.

I realize that I can dress any way I want to on just about any occasion, but that's just it. If I can dress any way I choose, so can everybody else. And most folks, including me, choose to dress very, very casually most of the time.

I was watching one of my favorite movies the other night - for about the umpteenth time. "The Legend of Bagger Vance," a rather fanciful tale of a fictional golf match in Depression Era Savannah. Bobby Jones, Walter Hagan and a fictional character named Randolph Junah played an exhibition match to raise money to ... well, why they were playing isn't important. The point is, in the movie everybody got dressed up to go out and watch the golf match. The men wore jackets and ties and hats and the few women who were on the course wore dresses and hose and the whole nine yards.

It wasn't very practical and they might not have been comfortable, but they sure did look nice. Even the golfers wore dress shirts and ties.

I'm not suggesting that folks go back to wearing ties on the golf course - I'm just saying.

Of course I remember when people used to dress up for college football games. Even when I was a student at Georgia men wore ties and women wore dresses. Now if I put on a shirt with a collar I feel like I am overdressed at the ball game. Coeds seem to put a little more effort into their game day attire than other students, but it's not like it used to be - except in Oxford, Miss., of course. They still think it is 1964 over there, which is not such a bad thing in some respects.

The truth be known, I can accept the fact that folks are going to choose comfort over style at athletic events, but there should be some occasions in life that require more than a T-shirt, a pair of shorts and some flip-flops.

Once upon a time people got dressed up to fly on airplanes. Not now. On the last flight I took the guy beside me had on a pair of baggy shorts and a wife-beater undershirt. His companion had on a pair of shorts that were two sizes too small and a shirt that showed her bare midriff - and she wasn't the kind of old gal that needed to be wearing a pair of too-tight shorts and a midriff-baring top, by any stretch of the imagination.

Been to the theater lately? I used to have season tickets to the Theater of the Stars series at the Fox. I traded them for children about 24 years ago. We looked forward to going to the plays because - well, because we like plays - but also because it gave us an excuse to dress up and be around other dressed up people. And you'd see some folks who would really put on the dog, too. Nowadays - not so much.

I haven't seen anyone in flip-flops and a bathing suit at the Fox lately, but people don't dress like they are going to an Ole Miss football game, either.

When I was in school and the teachers were going to take us somewhere fancy they would ask us to wear our "Sunday clothes." Lord, you can't tell much difference between Sunday clothes and Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday clothes nowadays.

I used to love watching my folks get ready for church when I was a little boy. Daddy would dress in a three-piece suit - or maybe a two-piece with suspenders - and he would take great care in picking out the right cuff links and tie tack, and he would put a little handkerchief in his coat pocket - and it had to match his tie.

Mama would wear all sorts of mysterious undergarments and she would sit on her vanity and connect her hose to her garter belt. All the ladies wore hats to church - and we were mill people!

The people you see at church this Sunday might have on the same thing you saw them in at the picture show Saturday night. Not that there is anything wrong with that, understand. I doubt that the Lord really minds what a fellow is wearing when he comes to worship as long as he worships.

But I can still wax nostalgic over the old days, can't I?

Big sigh here.

I guess I might as well face the fact that the world is changing and, like it or not, I am changing with it. I probably haven't worn a tie to a football game since 1971, and while I do wear a tie to church every Sunday if you look closely I may or may not have on socks. And I don't even own a pair of cuff links or a tie tack.

There is one sartorial rule, however, that I will never break. When it is finally time to tee it up Between the Hedges, I will still be the good-looking guy in the red shirt. That will never change.

Darrell Huckaby