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Posts published in October 2005

Airplanes & Alligators: Are you alike others?

By J.R. Bob Jamison

Of course not. This would indeed be a funny looking world if we were all alike. Women have their personal pride in dressing and acting as they might like others to do and men do as well.
Take the younger generation. The very younger ones, that is. They certainly don’t want to look like us old codgers and, quite frankly, I don’t think many of us would care to duplicate their appearance. For instance, your preacher, lawyer, doctor, etc. They might look somewhat out of place with greasy vertical spiked hairdo with stove pipe trousers that drag the sidewalk behind their shoes or me with a flame pink toupee!

Conformity or simply belonging to a certain group might have something to do with it psychologist tell us. Many lawyers wear bow ties and suspenders. Others do too but it could be a matter of association. But their ties are never the same color and some swear that they should only appear in court always wearing a blue suit.
Pick up most any agriculture magazine and you will see successful farmers being interviewed while leaning against they farm equipment wearing statement baseball caps and blue jeans.
The movie icon, John Wayne, was invited to make a commercial for that internationally known conservation organization called Ducks Unlimited. The scene was near some California marshland which was a favorite for many waterfowl. Wayne drove up in a meaningful and impressive motor home and stepped out wearing a snap billed hat, Bermuda shorts and tennis shoes. That couldn’t be John Wayne! It will ruin the whole persona!
After viewing the setup and everything was ready for the take, Mr. Wayne went back into the motor home and came out looking like he just stepped off the set of True Grit. It was a great tribute to Ducks Unlimited and the thousands of volunteers that support it.
Uniforms in school or work signify your position for learning or identification purposes. That is important in cases where discrimination is based on the way the student is dressed as a statement of wealth or even the work person who shows up in inappropriate dress. To me, it is somewhat embarrassing to ask a stocker person in a grocery store where I might find an object only to be advised they don’t work for the store. A smart little vest signifying who’s who seems to be a good idea.
My good friend, Mrs. Bingham at the Bingham Feed and Seed store in Dayton has often told me when I walked into her store on weekends (when I worked) that she would win a lot of money with me at the next carnival. “How’s that”? I asked. “They will try to guess your profession. While you sit in that glassed in office at the bank and look spick and span and in the weekend you come in here looking like the rest of us. That’ll blow their minds.”
It all goes to show, you can’t really judge a book by its cover. Some might just surprise you. One of my customers (while working as a loan officer) told me he went by the BMW auto company after playing golf most of the day. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt that had a hole in it. He took off his golf shoes and put on a pair of tennis shoes to walk into the dealer’s show room. However, he couldn’t find the other shoe so he chose one that didn’t exactly match the other.
The salesman invited him to look at their finest used cars. He did with great interest. Then he said, “could I possibly look at the one in the show room; the convertible red one?” “Yes sir and that little jewel will cost a medium five figures.” When they arrived at a price, he said, “I’ll take it. Here’s my check. Call the bank; they’ll tell you it’s good.” He did and they told him he could buy the dealership if he wanted it.
The Greatest Story Told is the person who knocked on several doors and asked to be taken in. The person in this case was Jesus.
Surely, many of us are guilty of the same face identification. In truth, most of you are certainly justified in being careful of who we might admit due to circumstances surrounding crime and opportunist of this day in time.
Is it conformity or individuality that makes us different and yet we want to be acceptably similar? Indeed, it would be a funny looking world if we were ALL exactly alike!

Bob Jamison is a freelance writer. His recent book, AIRPLANES, ALLIGATORS AND HI-FIN BLUES is available at the Gazette or jbobalong@yahoo.com