I’ve seen my dad go through two fashion faux pas in my life. The first was his Rock-n-Roll 80’s that fearlessly trudged on through the 90’s. He was known then for his big hair, sliced and diced t-shirts, holey jeans, and his white Camaro.
I loved that Camaro. When Dad would sleep in in the mornings, I would sneak out and sit in the parked car. I was grown — sitting there with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a buttered biscuit, listening to Bad Company’s “Shooting Star.”
His only pair of shoes was a pair of black and white snakeskin boots that were both his work boots and his “going out” boots. To preserve their life and handsomeness, he would duct tape them every morning before work. (My dad and duct tape—that’s another story in itself.) And in the afternoons, Lindsey and I would fight over who the lucky person would be that got to remove it from his boots, and add it to the ever-growing ball of tape. It’s the little things in life, right?
During the year 2000, in the search for simpler living, he traded in his rock t-shirts for a white singlet, aka muscle shirt, aka wife-beater. His jeans remained holey but a little less Rock-n-Roll—they were looser. And his hair, it disappeared. Yes, in Houdini fashion, it was full and teased one day and the next it was covered by a red bandana he purchased at a gas station. I don’t remember when I last saw his head without it. His red “du-rag” is now a part of him along with his brown work boots—that he duct tapes. He’s more of a truck kind-of-guy now and thinks that his toleration for country music is evidence of his cultural progression.
When I was teaching I had left a picture of my dad lying on my desk, and a snoop of a student came by and plucked it from the pile of debris. She screeched, “Mrs. Byyyeeerrs, why do you have a picture of a pirate on your desk?” When I told her it was my dad, the fools rushed in and crowded my desk. The girls coddled the picture with, “Oh, he’s the sweetest, cutest thing ever!” The boys said things like, “Baller. He’s a baller Mrs. Byers!”
If confidence is the ultimate style staple then you will see my dad’s image on the runway in the near future. Family and friends have all offered him their opinions and their Polos. He never understood why people were so driven to make him change his tastes. “I didn’t settle for this—this is what I like.” He would say. “We are all different; we will look different, act different, “be” different. And thank God for that, am I right?! Now hand me my cigarettes.” -OHBYGOLLY