Let’s tie one on for char­ity!

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - David Car­roll

poor souls have to wear a tie ev­ery day!”

Fa­mous last words. Not long af­ter, I was lured into the field of tele­vi­sion, and have worn a tie ev­ery day, ever since. Thirty-plus years of try­ing to tie the per­fect knot, with the ap­pro­pri­ate length.

What would hap­pen if I (or any other news guy) just de­cided to ditch the tie? I don’t know. No­body’s brave enough to try it.

Quite of­ten, we TV types get more com­ments about our ap­parel than we do about the ac­tual news. Some days, I do some fairly de­cent jour­nal­ism, and the first phone call I get is from some­one say­ing, “That tie you had on tonight. What were you think­ing?”

It’s even tougher for the ladies on the news set. A hair­style change, a new piece of jewelry, or a newly worn color are all sub­ject to in­stant anal­y­sis.

But get­ting back to those ties. I’ve gone through a few hun­dred in my ca­reer. They go in and out of style. In the 70s, they were wide enough to serve as a bib. Ev­ery cou­ple of decades, skinny ties make a come­back, as they are to­day.

My wife serves as my of­fi­cial dresser. She takes pride in mak­ing sure my daily coat, shirt and tie are in some sort of sar­to­rial agree­ment. If she’s suc­cess­ful, I’m less likely to get a cranky phone call or Face­book mes­sage ask­ing if I got dressed in the dark.

I envy some of guys a few decades older than me, be­cause they can wear any­thing. If you’re past a cer­tain age, you can get away with so-called fash­ion no-no’s.

I knew one older gen­tle­man, who I’ll call Mr. Fred, whose com­bi­na­tions got louder and weirder as he en­tered his nineties. He would strut into church as proud as a pea­cock, and sport­ing more col­ors. You might see him wear­ing a plaid jacket, a checked shirt, and a polka-dot tie. A younger man might get ac­cused of or­der­ing from the Rin­gling Brothers col­lec­tion, but this was just our Mr. Fred.

He was fas­tid­i­ous and prompt, so this en­sem­ble wasn’t slapped to­gether at the last minute. Know­ing Mr. Fred, he laid it all out, got dressed, looked in the mir­ror, and gave him­self a hearty thumbs-up. I hope to live long enough for peo­ple to stare at my bizarre cloth­ing combo and say, “You’re look­ing sharp to­day, Mr. David!”

Hav­ing said that, Mrs. Car­roll has been in spring clean­ing mode re­cently, and has de­cided that 26 of my ties are ready to be moved out of the daily ro­ta­tion. There isn’t any­thing wrong with these gen­tly worn ties. In fact, many days, they’re on duty for only 90 min­utes: from shortly be­fore I go on TV, un­til the mo­ment I’m off.

So if there’s a man in your life who might en­joy an un­usual gift for Fa­ther’s Day, or a birth­day, here’s my pro­posal. If you agree to pay $100 for all those ties, I’ll put you in a draw­ing. If I draw your name, you write a check for $100 to your fa­vorite char­ity (or church), and I’ll match your $100. So, you get 26 “an­chor­man” ties for $100, and your fa­vorite char­ity gets $200 (your hun­dred, and mine). If you would like to be in the draw­ing, con­tact me via reg­u­lar mail (900 White­hall Rd, Chat­tanooga, TN 37405) or email (dc­ties@ya­hoo. com). The win­ner will be drawn and no­ti­fied on May 1st. Let’s tie one on for your fa­vorite char­ity!

David Car­roll, a Chat­tanooga news an­chor, is the au­thor of “Chat­tanooga Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion” and “Vol­un­teer Bama Dawg,” a col­lec­tion of his best sto­ries. Books are avail­able at Chat­tanoogaRa­dioTV.com, or by send­ing $23 each to David Car­roll Book, 900 White­hall Road, Chat­tanooga, TN 37405. You may con­tact David at 3dc@ epbfi.com.

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