This Is Where It All Started


One of my collections…

Once upon a time, there was a woman (Me) who worked in an industry (radio/television) primarily populated by men. After spending years in radio, both on the air and doing production and writing behind the scenes, I made the transition to television, starting in master control. In both radio and TV, more often than not, I was the only female in my department…sometimes in the whole building. I thrived being “the only girl”, because I took my responsibilities seriously and was good at my jobs. Being the lone lady also gave me plentiful opportunities to encourage, nurture, and reinforce my coworkers, especially once I started training the newer hires.

One of the sales reps at my TV station, a sweet-natured guy named Rich, had a particularly fun necktie that caught my attention, and every time he wore it, I complimented his fashion sense. The tie had a red background and whimsical accents like harmonicas and records, coins and horseshoes, and Elvis Presley’s likeness. It was just WAY cool. Finally one day when he wore it, he said something along the lines of, “I know you like this tie, and I’d like for you to have it”. I laughed like a lunatic…until he took it off and started to hand it to me! I said, “Oh no, Rich, that’s really not necessary, what would I do with your tie anyway?” He said, “Well… you could wear it.” He insisted, so I accepted his gift with gratitude, and a little consternation. It wasn’t the shirt off his back, but it WAS the tie off his neck.

The next day my work outfit consisted of jeans, an oversized white menswear shirt, vest…and the Elvis tie! When Rich saw me in the hall, he grinned and said that he knew I would give Elvis a good home, and that I wore him well. Rich was a kind soul, a man of deep Christian faith, possessing a goofball sense of humor, and in the context of this story (and probably countless others no one will ever know about) a guileless and generous spirit.

Once I had worn the Elvis tie to work a few times, other fellows started asking me if I collected ties, and I said not on purpose, but if they had neckwear that they did not like or want, I’d be happy to give their sartorial rejects a home. Ties started making their way into my wardrobe…several because a guy’s wife or girlfriend hated them, several because the guys themselves hated them (!), a couple from a friend whose wife had a male friend who was transitioning to female and was no longer wearing male apparel. My friend Mikey friend brought me a necktie with a cartoon of an intoxicated man clinging to a lamppost. He purchased it on his honeymoon! (I have rarely been more honored.). A Secret Santa gift which turned out to be from our news director, a re-gifted gift from my friend Tom, the only human with whom I have shared 3 different workplaces, ties of all colors and motifs made their way to my collection. And I wore them all.

I now own more ties than many men I know. They are loud, colorful, gaudy, objectionable in a couple of cases…the uglier the better! When I had my own office, the necktie collection was displayed as wall art, and if I was in the mood to wear one, I could just grab it and go about my day.

I may share more ties and their stories in future blog posts, but I leave you with this one, The King. Elvis will NOT be leaving my building. Because this is where it all started.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s