To the moon and back.

The Berlin Wall had just come down and I was at a flea market in a drizzly gray park off the Ku’damm with my aforementioned Teutonic Tonto, Peter Trautmann, talking about American cars and cameras, Trabants, and Teufelsberg, a literal mountain of rubble made from the bombed-out ruins of WW II. It became the West’s ear to the ground, so-to-speak, during the long, Cold War. Look it up – a fascinating and eerily insane place. Anyway, we came across a table of old watches, harking back to when they were useful mechanical time tellers, and Peter, after much back and forth, bought an Omega Speedmaster, which looked like a cheap Rolex wannabe to me. If I was a watch man, and if I had any money, taste or knowledge, which I’m not and don’t, I’d buy a Submariner. “No, this is the best (long German word) – it’s been to the moon. Hammergeil classic.” He came to visit recently – same Herrlich watch, same precise, hilarious Peter. Time hasn’t changed either.



I’m a sole man.

While sailing on Long Island Sound, Connecticut native Paul Sperry slipped on the deck of his boat and fell overboard. (I’ve been there myself – see Call me Icarus, page 13 of The Official Old’s Cool Handbook). He was able to pull himself back on board, but the dunking motivated him to begin tinkering with the idea for non-slip shoes. One day he noticed his cocker spaniel could run up and down an icy hill without slipping.The grooves on Prince’s paws inspired him to slice zig-zags into a natural rubber sole, and he eventually perfected and patented his classic topsider in 1935. The canvas upper-shoe with a herringbone pattern of siping on the sole – a process that was itself patented in the 1920s by John Sipe – was an instant and enduring and stylish success. So, purchase a pair of Sperrys and the only slips you’ll have in your wife will be Freudian.