The Richmond Register

September 23, 2013

Column on men’s appearance generates most response ever

By Dick Ham
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — I was just thinking the other day about a column I did Aug. 27.

Many of my readers will remember when I expressed my opinion about so many men today, the way they groom themselves, and especially the way they dress.

That particular column elicited more reader response than any column I’ve done in the 13 years I’ve been writing Just Thinking.

I received e-mails, notes, phone calls and comments from many whom I encountered in a variety of places. Some were friends, and there were many total strangers who recognized me from my picture that accompanies the column.

Of all the comments I received, only one was negative.

Those of you who read this column regularly know that it is rare for me to do one you might call serious. In that one, I expressed my personal opinion. Although I seldom do that, that is expected of newspaper columnists.

The one negative response came from a lady who left a message on my telephone answering machine. She was most unhappy with me and accused me of being unkind and unfair. She felt I was begin judgmental of men who could not afford to groom themselves and purchase nicer clothes.

I remember when I was a child my family would visit the small country churches in western Kentucky where my grandfather was pastor.

Many farmers came to church, dressed in bib overalls. Those overalls had been carefully washed and ironed and they wore a shirt and tie with them. That was not only the best they had, it was all they could afford. That to me is perfectly acceptable.

I had no intention in the aforementioned column to criticize someone who could not afford to dress and groom more appropriately.

Many of the men I described were ones I was acquainted with and who certainly could do a better job of presenting themselves publicly. I was expressing my concern about those who simply choose sloppy, unattractive appearance.

My intent was certainly not to be unkind or unfair. I expressed my opinion. You may agree or disagree, that is your privilege.  

Fellow columnist Katie Rollins did a piece that appeared alongside Just Thinking on Sept 10. Her piece was titled, “Will the well-dressed man ever return?” She referred to my column and agreed with what I had written.

She shares my concerns. Thank you, Katie.

Once again, let me assure my readers, I had no intention to be critical of those who can do no better. I was referring to the men who dress appropriately for work and inappropriately for church, weddings, funerals and other gatherings.

A bit of humor – Bubba and his pal, Earl, had been out on a Saturday night. They decided, because it was so late, that they had better get home.

Earl said to Bubba, “I wish I could get into the house without waking the wife. I turn off the car engine, coast into the garage, sneak upstairs, and undress in the bathroom. She always hears me and yells at me for being out too late.”

“You should do what I do,” Bubba said, “I roar into the garage, stomp up the steps, throw open the door and begin kissing Carnella. She pretends to be asleep.”


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