Saturday, November 30, 2013

Interesting Reads While Waiting

Lilly Pullitzer velvet men's trousers, circa 1970
Yesterday I had one of our several rumble down autos worked on.  Kelly L. helped me get the car started and followed me into town to make sure I made it safely.  He was also going to give me a lift home, if I needed to leave the car for any length of time.  Since Kelly had some business to transact at the Freedom Living Center, I waited in the very well-appointed main sitting room there until he was done with his business. 

While waiting, I picked up a Martha Stewart Living.  I have kind of a love-hate relationship with the whole Martha Steward thing.  The love comes, of course, from all the decorating ideas she promotes.  Her taste appeals to me.  The thought of having leisure to care how, for instance, the tops of my pie crusts are decorated, or whether the latest fresh flower arrangement is seasonally correct has some draw.  But there's the rub.  It's all so silly.  So vain.  So polar opposite of the reality in which I live. 

But every once in awhile, I like to peruse the pages in some waiting room or another.  Truth be told, once, ... I even bought one.  What a silly use of that $7.50 or whatever it was.  I can't imagine now what possessed me.  I must been gratifying some indulgent need for the fantasy of living a pampered existence.

Two of the many things I passed over yesterday stuck in my memory.  The first is an indicator of how Northern Minnesotan I've become.  The title of the article was something like, "What's your favorite big game recipe?"  Really?  Big game recipes in Martha Stewart Living?  I had to look twice.  And then thrice.  Then I scanned the recipes and was momentarily confused.  Chip and vegetable dips.  Appetizers and finger foods.  Crock pot fare.  But nothing that looked like it contained venison, elk, or moose.

"Aha!"  thought I.  "Big game.... I bet they're talking about a sporting event.  Perhaps the super bowl."

I checked the cover, and sure enough, it was the February 2013.  Big game recipes.  I get it now. 

I giggled at the thought of finding wild game recipes in Martha Stewart Living.  The whole East Coast chic thing doesn't really seem to fit with taking a rifle and firing it at a wild animal.  Those cute and fuzzy, noble beasts, falling to the ground and bleeding out.  The eyes that a moment before gleamed with life, fading to dull.  The skinning and gutting.  Just the notion cracks me up.  ""What's your favorite big game recipe?" 

The second article that caught my interest was on collecting.  The magazine featured a handful of collectors, photos of their collections, and a brief interview of how they got started and where they find their pieces.  

A colorful patchwork blazer for the man in your life
or perhaps trousers with an aquatic life theme?
Grassland birds?
And for the very fanciful man, fuchsia unicorns
One of the collections was Lilly Pulitzer Men's Stuff.  Wild floral prints.  Animal designs.  Bright citrusy colors.  For men. 

According to the article, they were quite the thing among the upper crust Palm Beach golf set.  It totally cracks me up. 

Lilly, whose mother was heiress to the Standard Oil fortune, was educated in all the best schools for a young socialite of the time.  She married a Palm Beach area citrus grower, who also had famous connections, being the grandson of the Pulitzer after whom the prize is named.  Lilly opened a citrus drink stand for the upper crust, in one of Palm Beach's premier shopping areas, just off Worth Avenue.  She discovered she needed clothing that would camouflage the juices that got splattered while working.  She designed a handful of sleeveless dresses to wear while working.  Her brightly colored dresses were so well-liked that she started making them to sell to others, and so began the line. 

Imagining the 1970s upper crust men wearing these prints on the golf course and while socializing tickles my imagination.  What a colorful time!  Do a google image search on Lilly Pulitzer Men's Stuff to see a far wider variety of colors and designs than I have shown here.

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