Boy with Bumbershoot

Boy with umbrella c 1966These photos of a boy and his bumbershoot got me thinking about clothing and customs. I don’t recall carrying an umbrella much until we moved to Florida where we can count on brief, but fierce localized thunderboomers showing up just about every afternoon in the summer.

I don’t know who this youngster is, where it was taken or even when. That storefront peeking out of the side might give someone a clue. He might have kept his head dry, but his feet clearly in the splash zone.

Ken in the rain

KLS covering rainy football game in Logan OH 1969Here I am covering a night football game in Logan, Ohio, with nothing but a jacket and a rain hat to keep me dry. I think I stuck a towel under my jacket to wipe the camera off from time to time, but those old Nikon F bodies were pretty bulletproof. Was there a “sissiness” factor attached to umbrellas in those days? I definitely used an umbrella by the time I got to West Palm Beach.

At what age did boys stop wearing shorts?

Boy with umbrella c 1966There was a cutoff time for wearing shorts, too, wasn’t there?

I remember going to construction job sites with Dad when I was about 10 and wearing long pants. None of the guys on the crew wore shorts. In fact, they’d have been laughed off the job if they had shown up showing knee. MEN didn’t wear shorts to work.

That’s not the case these days, particularly in Florida.

How about blue jeans?

Boy with umbrella c 1966My uniform of the day is blue jeans (when I bother to put on pants to go out in public), but I don’t think I wore jeans at Central. Didn’t most of us wear chinos? Or course, there was the swish-swish sound of corduroy pants in the winter.

What other informal clothing standards did we have?

Of course, girls had a whole ‘nother’ set of official rules, including having to kneel down to make sure their skirts were long enough to touch the floor, but that’s a whole other topic.

6 Replies to “Boy with Bumbershoot”

  1. In the sixties, the girls sometimes wore “white Levi’s”. Then came bell-bottoms in striped denim. But ALL pants/jeans/slacks had to be long, often dragging the ground. No one would have been caught dead wearing “high water pants” that exposed the socks. (Maybe this is why I HATE those 3/4 length “capri pants” that are so popular for women today)

  2. Guys wore shorts until 9 or 10 after that then it was long pants. We did not wear jeans usually, we were not allowed to wear jeans at school or a T-shirt until Jr. or high school as I recall. You could work in in them but they were not considered school garb. The Jean movement can into fashion when Pat Boone wore white Levis and then everyone had a pair or two and it was okay to wear them. I had tow pair of white Levis and wore them about every day in High School.
    Speaking of fashion, I do believe it was Andy Pemberton who first wore a T-shirt to High school an was allowed to keep it on all day. I remember one teacher saying the world was going to hell if kids were allowed to come to school in undershirts!
    I wore long pants almost always, with cowboy boots you do, at least until I moved to Florida and now shorts are ALL I wear. They seem to suit my life style and the weather down here pretty well.

  3. I wore a T-shirt to High School? Terry remembers my trend-setting days better than I do. I did pay back for that later in life. I wore suits to work until 2000 or so. Then a new company president phased in “business casual”.

    I remember that real men did not wear shorts. After moving to New England in the mid-70’s, I was very taken aback to see male construction workers wearing shorts in the summer. That just seemed wrong to me.

  4. I know boys wore jeans K – 8th grade (at least) because that’s about all we had. Every Christmas the Brune boys would get a new pair of PJ’s, 2 pair of blue jeans, and a 6-pack of Fruity’s (Fruit of the Loom Tighty-whitey’s. (all from Buckner-Ragsdales)

    So with hand-me-downs from the older brother – we could wear a clean pair of jeans every day. Our blue jeans did “fair” better than most peoples because they were “Dry Cleaned” and pressed by my Mom at Brune’s Cleaner’s and Furriers.

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