Monday, January 11, 2010

Dapper Elderly Gentlemen

I returned yesterday from a week-long Caribbean cruise on the Holland America Line.  The vast majority of passengers were quite elderly.  During the week I had the opportunity to observe a number of quite stylish older gentlemen.  Maybe it's because they were raised in an era of high style.  Or maybe it's because they have had decades to refine their own personal style.  But it seems that some elderly men exhibit a stylishness not seen in younger generations.

I do not mean to suggest that with age automatically comes style.  I saw plenty of ill-fitting tuxedos with too-long sleeves and pant legs puddling on the tops of shoes.  But two men stood out to me as being particularly stylish. 

The first I noticed was wearing a black beret and smoking a cigar on the rear deck.  The look was very Pablo Picasso.  We chatted for a while and I learned that he was a retired Italian grocer from upstate New York who enjoyed competition dancing.

The second gentleman I encountered had a slick bald head and an impressive silvery-gray waxed handlebar moustache.  Throughout the cruise he paid grandfatherly attention to my young son.  At one point he produced a gold dollar coin from his pocket and presented it to my son for his piggy bank.  I had the impression that he maintained a supply of those special coins for just such an occassion.

Respect your elders.  They have much to teach us about being true gentlemen.

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