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Style always trumps fashion

Kesley Colbert Contributing Writer

It is not my fault that I have been “categorized” as a baby boomer my entire life. I suppose you could mark it down as a consequence of birth. It used to be pretty cool actually. We were the children that sprang from the Greatest Generation.

There are lots of us. And we definitely feel a kinship. We moved seamlessly from Studebakers and Ice Cube Trays to Moon Landings and High Speed Internet.

We adapted and survived.

But lately we have come under attack. Mostly because of another consequence beyond our control…..age!

Today’s new wave has seemingly forgotten that the smarter folks of our generation paved the way for the X-ers and Millennials. Of course, youngsters don’t have time for “that sort” of talk. They think internet, iphones, x-boxes, etc. fell out of the sky the day they were born…..

The attacks are not vicious, more along the disparaging, reproachful vein.

Some in this avant-garde amuse themselves by making lists pertaining to our living habits. You know, things that baby boomers think are cool……that, in their opinion, are definitely passé.

Meatloaf was high on the list. I guess it’s not organic or gluten free. And it can’t be sautéed. The fact that it “sticks to your ribs”, can feed several at one sitting, can be heated as a sandwich the next day and it tastes pretty darn good seems to be lost on them.

The list makers laughed out loud that boomers still cling to land line telephones. They don’t remember when there were no telephones outside the city limits. If your little brother was gored by a bull, you had to run to the nearest neighbor to get help.

Of course, these young critics wouldn’t have a clue about a real, live operator. Or the friendships that developed along the party line. Or a late night whispered conversation between yourself and your best girlfriend while your parents were asleep…..

They could have been right to make sport of the plain toast. Who would want toast without a little butter, homemade raspberry jelly or some wild honey dripping off the sides? Come to think of it, and I don’t want to fight with these experts over un-cool things boomers use to practice, but I don’t remember anyone in my generation eating a piece of dry toast. Ever!

I still use bar soap. I feel more secure when I can see a paper bill. I play golf, which they listed as an old man’s game. Cathy still irons when the alternative is tacky, wrinkled, un-kept looking blouses. I have a few conspiracy theories. And I enjoy reading the newspaper….in print….in my hands.

I do agree with them about the wallpaper. Let’s be honest here. I grew up with some pretty weird stripes and multicolored stuff glued to the walls. Mother got a wild hair once and redid our bathroom in some kind of Appalachian country bamboo jungle looking paper. Dad took one look, shook his head and said, “I’ve spent my whole life trying to get out of the woods to go to the bathroom.”

I took this “list making” in stride, simply marking it up to misguided youthfulness. Until one of them wrote down Levi jeans! PEOPLE, they had crossed the line!

They didn’t know Butch Dickson! I’m telling you, nobody could wear Levis like Butch. He rolled the legs up one half turn over his motorcycle boots. He out James Dean-ed…..James Dean!

After years of lusting, I finally saved up enough to buy a pair of original, genuine, button fly Levi 501’s. I felt like a king. They wear like iron, fade just right and are equally fit for dance, work or play.

I have not been without a pair, or two, for the past sixty-one years.

I was at the Tennessee/Vanderbilt football game in Knoxville this past Thanksgiving weekend. It was raining, forty-two degrees and miserable. The fashion model sitting right behind me naturally had on the very latest in jeans. They had the up-to-date holes in the knees.

Midway through the first quarter both of her knees had turned blue. Between the roars of the crowd I could hear her teeth chattering. By sheer will power she clung on till the end.

As my grandson and I stood to leave I couldn’t help but turn to the model, “My nose and hands are a little chilly, but thank goodness, these original, out of date, un-cool Levi 501’s have kept my legs as warm as toast……uh, ma’am, make that plain toast.”