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  • I started wearing a tie in the 4th grade at Fairfield Country Day. I wore one every day for 6 years. There were very few no jacket and tie days then, and I am pretty sure that we wore ties during exams. I even wore a tie on vacation if we flew to Florida—that was the time when people got dressed up to get on planes, and there was very little carry-on baggage.
    I went to Andover in the 10th grade, and, yes, I wore a tie every day while I was there. I am not sure there were any exceptions---we even wore ties to Saturday classes and dinner. I also wore saddle shoes and red socks, but that is another story called “footgear”.
    In 1973, I got a teaching job at the Tuxedo Park School teaching English, and guess what---there was a faculty dress code that required a jacket and tie. Same thing at my next job at Rye Country Day, and we all know what teachers wear at FCDS.
    Over this vacation, in a desperate attempt to find more clarity and organization in my life, I decided to organize my ties. I have a lot of ties—over 200 ties. For many years I received a tie as a gift from a student. I always liked wearing ties that say something. I have 15 Miami Dolphin ties. Each football season I wear a different one on the Monday after a Dolphin win. I have 9 different Country Day ties, 19 “sports” ties, and 12 holiday ties. I wore the holiday ties each day before this vacation, except, or course, the Mondays that followed Dolphin wins. I have 20 ties that are related to either math or gambling, 8 animal ties, and 5 plain colored ties. My sons never liked my choice of ties, and they have always given me “Big Boy” ties, ones with stripes or a simple pattern. I have 20 of those. I have 6 ties with the Simpsons, 1 “Where’s Waldo”, and 11 club ties, one that were bought at the Fairfield Department Store and that have slight obscenities on them. I have 7 really embarrassing ties—the Cone Heads, the Three Stooges , and things like that. And I have about 80 ties that I cannot categorize.
    I am not getting rid of any of my ties. They connect me to people, to places and to other times. I have a Superman tie I have not been able to wear yet—I was given it many years ago.
    I think of the time in the future when I will not be wearing a tie every day. What will I do with my ties?? Frame them? Take pictures of them and put them on Flickr? Put them in the attic with my 45’s? Should I wear a different tie each day next year?
    It is a big decision for me---but I know that what really matters to me is that the memories never become untied.
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