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.