First day of kindergarten and the bus pulls up. It's me, my brother Tripp, and a couple of the neighbor's kids–Kerry and Brian Davin, and I think the love of my life, at least up until then, June Harrelson. I go to get on the bus first, because it's always me first, and who else is there?, when my brother grabs me by the scruff of the neck. I turn around and say "What are you doing?" He says "What are YOU doing? Ladies before gentlemen," and jerks his thumb to the back of the line. I'm about to say I don't see any ladies around here when Kerry and June walk past me, looking down at the fatuous twerp I was (and probably still mostly am) with disdain, and giving a wink and smirk at Tripp. I always hated him!

Should I make a silver fork in my mouth joke? Or should I just say I learned everything I needed to know before kindergarten.

 I wanted to also mention an old-school friend Amedeo Panetta, a family man of integrity and old-world charm, who always understood the beauty in the real and the true. He was a jewelry maker, albeit costume, but had a fine designer's eye. He was also crazy about artichokes. One night he was telling me about flying on a piston-powered DC-7 Globemaster to Italy back in the late '50s. I asked him what it was like because I'd heard it was glamorous as hell; I'd also heard hellacious–dangerous, smoky, boozy, loud, and expensive.

He went to a drawer in the dining room breakfront and took this fork out. It's from his trip: a standard piece from an American Airlines 'Flagship' in-flight service. But damn, it's real silver. The finesse involved and attention to detail brings me close to tears. In my opinion, this subtle and gorgeous humdrum utensil perfectly embodies 'old's cool' in spirit and function. These are the archetypes of a classic, aesthetic, original, and principled everyday lovely life that we're striving for.  

Who's Johnny Mustard?  


My folks bought a house in 1964 from the Cruikshanks, an old couple who left their dog Mustard behind since they were moving to a retirement home and couldn't take him. Because my middle name is John, my porn name is Johnny Mustard, according to the old-school rules.

middle name + first pet = porn name 

I always thought it had a nice ring to it, and decided to use it as a pseudonym if I ever needed one. Which is kind of ironic because I headlined under my real name when I was actually making skin flicks back in the late '80s. I still remember the director yelling:

"Put some mustard on it!"

Stealing is the name of the game.

When we were living in New York City with three young'uns in diapers, we would invite friends over for a game of Scrabble. My son Neuman would sit in my lap for a while, start fidgeting, get really bored, and then try to eat the tiles (and might get to sink his teeth into one or two of them) before he would eventually fall asleep. I didn't realize it at the time, but wasn't that a perfect metaphor for the game we were trying to play?

Me: Neuman, don't touch Tripp's word.

Neuman: Mine!

Me: No, it's not yours, it's Tripp's.

Neuman: Want! 

He was so insistent, it got me thinking–it must be human nature to take what doesn't belong to you. The light bulb went off: what would happen if you could steal someone else's word, at any time? And while I was at it, why not get rid of the board, and the complicated rules? How about a quick, nifty, cutthroat game that rewarded literate larceny, and guts?

One Up!–The Wicked/Smart Word Game was born, out of the mouth of babes, as it were.


A Classic Call to Authentic Adventure.

 We’ve created a brand that incarnates our ideals of authenticity, utility, and heavy-duty craftsmanship. Fun and games too. We’d also like to introduce you to the people, stories, and heroics that inspired us, and have put all of this priceless wit and wisdom into ‘The Official Old's Cool Education.’

 So come join us on our naive, quixotic journey–we'll try, in our own inimitable way, to make every step taken full of interestingness and beauty, and, to kind of quote Woody Allen, 'un-jejunosity'.

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