J.P. Devine has some clothes to get rid of, and each has a story to tell. Submitted photo

As the future grows darker and darker, it’s beginning to look like She and I won’t be dining out anytime soon. Therefore I am cleaning out my closets and discarding past adornments.

If you’re interested, I have four linen summer sport coats to put on the street with a FREE sign. Each has a story.

Oh! If jackets could talk. You know what I’m saying?

The white one is a little dated. It’s a  kind of Tony Orlando and Dawn style that dates back to one of those hot 1970 summer nights, when you wore it with the sleeves pushed up. Remember Tony and Dawn?

There is the weathered, tattered one that had a spot of lipstick on the upper right hand corner of the collar. I loved that one. For years I kept it in a plastic cleaning bag and moved it from one West Side apartment to another.

I held onto that jacket right up to the day I moved out of my shabby apartment on Columbus and 86th Street, when She offered me a space on the floor of her East Side apartment.

Of course, I couldn’t very well hang such a love bite, passion-stained garment in her pristine closet. I would have had to explain the DNA on the collar. She wouldn’t have, at that time in our relationship, understood that it was only a sentimental keepsake. You know what I’m saying?

FYI. The lipstick stain was from a cute, sunburned girl from Cape May, New Jersey, who, at the time, was cast in a hit Broadway production that starred Mary Martin, and this particular girl, you see, was Martin’s understudy. She later became the star of a ’70s television show and won an Emmy.

Sad to say she passed away five years ago. She would be happy to know I kept the jacket so long, stain intact.

I will probably discard the dark, navy beauty suitable for weddings and funerals, and a striped number that begs to be worn with a panama beach hat. I wore that one to six weddings, a bar mitzvah and a funeral.

I will probably also discard this drawer full of imported silk pocket hankies. We’re talking gorgeous. You know what I’m telling you here?

No cheap cotton pocket squares here, like those that come in the same box with the shirt from Renys. We’re talking class here, you know what I’m saying?

We’re talking the kind of silk you find in a shop on Rue de Laurent in Paris or Cherry Street in Hong Kong, the kind of silk Gregory Peck and Cary Grant always tucked into their Armani linen jackets.

The best silk pocket hankies were worn by the late CBS correspondent Morley Safer of “60 Minutes,” who would tuck one into his British tailored jackets before sitting before the camera. Morley was the best dressed reporter in the business and my sartorial idol.

My favorite has always been the yellow flowered one She found at Pink’s in Boston. It still smells of the very expensive cologne she bought me one birthday at Neiman Marcus. You gotta love a woman who spends money like that, you know what I’m saying?

Then this morning as I finished washing my hair, I stood in front of the mirror and came up with a brilliant fun idea to raise money for the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Due to current events, I have avoided Joe the barber for three months. In the accompanying photo, you can see how my silver locks have grown to unmanageable proportions.

I’m thinking that when the time comes for shearing, I might offer individual clumps, tied in blue ribbons and suitable for framing, for $100 each. Be the first on your block and support a local charity. You know what I’m saying ?

 

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.


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