Daily Archives: June 20, 2009

Things My Father Taught Me: James Fox

Before I started this site, there were a handful of folks I looked to for inspiration. James Fox’s 10engines has an element of the personal that few others can match. He’s able to tie the actual in with the aspirational better than just about anyone, and he’s extremely knowledgeable on a number of subjects. Must be in the jeans, er genes.

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Things my father taught me: how to shake a martini (aged 7), milk a cow, drive a tractor, tie a bow tie, sharpen a carving knife, polish shoes, make an omelet (hell, how to build a hen house, raise chicks, pluck feathers, keep a ‘chicken bucket’ under the sink for food scraps, collect the eggs THEN make an omelet).

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Things My Father Taught Me: Sean Sullivan

The guy named his blog The Impossible Cool. Need I say more?

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“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
-Clarence Budington Kelland

The salty water swirls around my back. The sun beats down on my already burnt shoulders. I’ve been in this water for close to an hour, which for a 9 year old seems like an eternity. Especially one that, for now, is mildly scared of the backbay that snakes behind Avalon, NJ. I’ve already drunk enough of the briny wash to last a lifetime.

“One more try!” yells my Dad from behind the wheel of his Boston Whaler, the boat that currently has me tethered twelve feet behind it. “You can do it…just stay focused! I’ll start off slow. Wait and let the boat pop you out of the water.”

He gives me the thumbs up and eases the throttle forward. The boat launches ahead. A wave of water engulfs me as the engine screams. I can feel my tired shoulders being pulled up. I am a human cannonball being dragged behind this vessel.

“Just remember to keep knees tucked, knees tucked until it feels like the right time.” I tell myself.

Dad’s words repeat over and over in my head. Stay focused.

Something clicks. I stand up. The old skis plane out below me.

I’m out of the water in one piece…I did it. Dad lets out a heart-felt “YEAH!” and raises his arms in the air. Nothing else in the world matters to me at this second. I am a world champion water-skier.

We cruise around the bay for a while, a huge smile across my face. Dad looks back every once and a while to make sure I didn’t fall off and float out to sea.

We eventually get back to where we started and I drop the rope, gently gliding towards the back of the boat. Once I’m back on board, shivering, Dad tells me with a smirk…

“Next year I’ll teach you how to slalom.”

He stuck to his words. Along with eventually learning to slalom, my Dad would continue to teach me hidden lessons all throughout life. The words he told me that day always lingering behind each one.

“You can do it…Stay focused.”

It’s not until later in life that you begin to realize the gifts your parents give you in your youth. This one has always stuck with me, through ups and downs, no matter the situation.

So thanks Dad.
These knees are tucked…forging ahead…staying focused.

Happy Fathers Day.
Sean

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KPSSullivan.

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Things My Father Taught Me: Brandon Capps

In the last few months, this guy has become a close friend. I’m forever impressed at how well-spoken he is and forever more impressed by how effortlessly well-dressed he is. Sometimes, I think they do it better in the south. Mr. Capps, he of Brooklyn by way of Nashville, makes a strong case here.

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scan0001-3-1First of all, my father will be the first to tell you as far as casual, weekend fashion, there’s not a whole lot to it besides unwavering comfort. Looking through old photographs, the items don’t really change much from the time he was my age to today. A pair of sneakers with denim or trousers topped with a knit polo. However, regarding finer dress, suiting, I learned all I know from my father. Whether it be the basics on ties or the fit of a jacket, he taught me from a very young age how to do it right. Looking back at pictures of his father, you can definitely tell it’s something that my grandfather taught him along the way. Always dressed in a narrow tie, pressed trousers, and crisp white shirt. While I don’t have the means to share a picture of my father, featured are a few photos of my grandfather in his everyday suit. The best part is that it’s damn near the same cut and look of my father’s suit with a bit more hair on top. As I grew older, found my own way, and began to try my hand at throwing on fine-tailored garments, he helped along the way but also allowed me to make some mistakes.

scan0003-2When it comes to life, his lessons are all centered on how to lead a happy and successful one. Hard work, a willingness to take a chance, and the notion that life is too short to take anything too seriously are three things that were instilled in me early on. Whether he and my mother realized it or not, through all my years of not knowing what the hell I was doing, those three things stuck with me. They’ve certainly played a part in where I am today, and I couldn’t give my folks enough thanks for everything.
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– Brandon Capps, Drinkin’ and Dronin’

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Things My Father Taught Me: The Parton Brothers

To know these guys is to love them. While I’ve yet to meet the youngest, Stenn, Shea and Raan have told me he’s the true winner of the family. That’s saying something. What I know of Raan and Shea, two-thirds of the operation that is Apolis Activism are kind, funny, long-in-the-tooth gentlemen truly of Southern California stock. They may act and sound laid back or devil-may-care, but these guys are taskmasters, with the growth of their brand to show for it. In less than five years, they’ve become players in the menswear game, and Apolis is as important a brand as anything out there. It’s with honor I let them wax for a while on their dad, Lindsay Allyn Parton.

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FathersDay2Our father Lindsay Allyn Parton, is a man who has passed down values of hard work, generosity, and friendship. He’s always emphasized the importance of friendship and the difference between what is important (people) and urgent (the next task). His trademark style and taste helped us to realize at an early age that there is more to dressing yourself than neon Patagonia Synchillas.

FathersDay1Uncertain if we will be able to match his salt-and-pepper Mafioso pompadour, but his trademark monogram cuffs and his ability to make everything look effortless are key measures of style that we hope to inherit.

gviewKEYWORDS TO LINDSAY ALLYN PARTON’S LOOK
– continental
– timeless
– durable
– versatile: Work/Play; Day/Night
– tailored
– natural

ESSENTIALS
– a 44” regular Canali suit
– a 17” by 35” shirt from The Custom Shop Clothiers in Washington DC
– reversible Montblanc belt
– a size 10.5 suede Gucci loafer
– a Panerai Luminor watch
– some classic Persols
– puffing on an Opus X cigar
– sport: baseball, football, golf, skiing, surfing, tennis
– authors (historical fiction, biography): James Michener, Saharras brothers and father, Dave McClough, Vince Floynn, Ayn Rand
– family vacations are essential

HISTORY
– b. Jan. 16 1953, Shannon Road, Campbell, California on the outskirts of San Jose, 1hr 15min South of San Francisco
– Jacqueline Parton and Stan Parton
– football accident: 15 yrs old, compound dislocation of tibia and fibula, never healed correctly
– in college played baseball, tennis
– 1975, Graduated from Westmont University, Santa Barbara, School of Economics & Business
– personal travel before raising a family: Europe, Mexico, 6 months Middle East / Europe
– Started in a building materials business, Duncan’s Home and Garden Center, role: General Manager
– Parton and Edwards Construction (1982), specializing in custom residential construction and evolving into commercial and institutional construction (1985-on)
– Wed Dec. 15, 1979 to Laura Lee Coulson, happily married for 30 years
– Three Sons: Raan Davis Parton (1981), Shea Michael Parton (1984), Stenn Garrett Parton (1986), Chuparosa Drive, Santa Barbara, California

– Raan, Shea, and Stenn, Apolis Activism

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Things My Father Taught Me: David Coggins

Thanks to early supporters of this blog, Miss Porter and Miss Hollister Hovey, I met Mr. David Coggins of Art in America and Interview Magazine and the blogs Definitive Beards and Exit Lines at speakeasy, Milk & Honey. Since then, I’ve leant on him for advice, many an opinion, and an edit here or there. He has always been very gracious with his time and his talents, and here again, he provides as only he can.

I’ve done my best to represent what was sent as it was sent. Mr. Coggins uses a typewriter, and I imagine he’s formatted Word to best estimate its look and feel. If you click on the image below, you can read what he wrote in its fullest splendor.Picture 1
FScott
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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