Tight Pants, Wide Ties, Volkswagen Buses, and Holding the Watchtower
August 08, 2019
When Anthony Morris, at the 2016 Regional in Atlanta, spoke of coming down south, and his sons had asked him ‘What is a redneck?’ he replied that they “would know them when they saw them.”
He was having fun with his opening remarks. Everyone....well, almost everyone....took it in that spirit. In case there was someone who did not, in a subsequent talk he walked it back, referring to the gentle “folk wisdom” of the south.
He speaks off the cuff sometimes. Rise, for he too is human. He probably regrets that remark about the tight pants, because various soreheads have made it their year text ever since.
It is very difficult counseling a huge and diverse group of people One will say: “Thanks for the new RULE!!” and his companion will say: “Huh? Did you say something?” I think he and those of his group just don’t want to find themselves in the shoes of Lot, whose sons-in-law thought he was joking.
Even at the Watchtower study last Sunday, the conductor gave an aside about the tight pants, observing that they must have to be put on when wet, so as to allow the fabric to stretch over the feet. Strictly speaking, (even loosely speaking) it is not necessary. But an 80-year old can be forgiven for a few seconds (it was no more than that, and he is universally regarded as a man of integrity and good judgment) of scratching his head and expressing bewilderment at the world that is today.
This is the same Watchtower conductor whose lifelong secular work was that of a Porsche dealer mechanic, and who quit in disgust when Porsche began manufacturing SUVs, as though an elite art museum commenced displaying that painting of the dogs playing poker. It’s not true, he tells me. He was about to retire anyway, but he does nothing to counter the crotchety-sounding meme that others have spread around.
This is the same Watchtower Study, on how the wisdom of Jehovah is superior to the wisdom of this world, in which I thought the artwork was wrong. The VW bus is one from the 70’s, whereas it should have been one with a funky grill that was from the 60’s. The impeccably dressed brother with the hat is from the 50s—hadn’t dress hats pretty well faded out by the mid-60s? And don’t get me going about the “hippy” conversing with him, who no doubt took off his wig and clothes thereafter and resumed his place analyzing a computer spreadsheet at Bethel.
And while I am on the topic of that Watchtower:
My daughter is in town for a few weeks. At the study observation of how some say God-given sexual desire argues for promiscuity, she said: “Well, that’s stupid! God made me to have to pee, too. Does that mean I should pee my pants?”
“That’s my daughter!” I told the family gathering, as she related her remark. Frankly, I wish I had thought of it.
But back to the tight pants. They were tight in the early 60s, too, and I can remember battles with my [non-Witness] Dad because I wanted to wear them and he had a fit over it, though I gradually won out. Even the “spray-on” descriptions are from the past. I wore clamdiggers, too, cool pants that came in pastel colors, had a stripe down the side, and ended mid-shin. I wore them when visiting my uncle who lived way way out in the sticks, and he said: “What are you doing wearing peddle-pushers? Those are girls’ pants!!” They weren’t peddlepushers, you hillbilly. They were cool clamdiggers.
It’s not just pants. Ties widened in the late 60’s as well, regaining the status they previously had given up. I remember Brother Park giving a talk about how the Bethel brothers were very concerned for Brother Knorr, who showed up for meals day after day with very wide ties at a time when the styles were changing—I think he said they ultimately became as thin as a pencil. Those brothers were so worried about him, because he was “not in style.”
“BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?!” he gasped. Ties began to reverse and became wider and wider—and now Brother Knorr is “in style!”
I'm a brother in Ontario, Canada.
Just recently heard about your writing,,,, started reading Dear Mister Putin a few weeks ago.
I have read a few of your posts on this site also. Really enjoy your writing style and the perspective you bring to the table.
Feel free to drop me a line some time.
Posted by: Andrew Butler | August 10, 2019 at 02:27 PM
Thanks for the kind words. It is well to download a fresh copy of Dear Mr Putin. I keep tweaking it, mostly for funky punctuation. Best to you.
Posted by: Tom Harley | August 10, 2019 at 10:36 PM
Same guy as before,,,,,,,, your brother from Ontario, Canada. Kitchener to be exact.
Been reading some of your posts under “musicians” tab.
We have very similar tastes in music.
If you like reading musicians autobiographies, you should check out Nick Mason’s (pink Floyd drummer). Great book,,,,, witty and well written. It’s called “Inside Out”. If you’re a Pink Floyd fan it’s a must.
My wife and I went to see him live a few months ago in Toronto, great show.
I’ve have also read Dylan’s book,,,, it was fantastic also. Funny thing about Dylan purposely making records that sounded bad to throw his audience. Nashville Skyline is an amazing record,,, great tracks, but the sound is terrible. At least that’s my opinion.
Also a huge Beatles and Zeppelin fan. Great music. Have you ever checked out Martin Scorsese’s bio pic about George Harrison,,,,,, Living In a Material World? It is pretty cool also.
Thanks again for the cool posts,,,, my wife read the one where True Tom punches the hussy in the bar. She couldn’t stop laughing.
Going to turn in,,,,, 10am meeting in the morning.
Posted by: Andrew Butler | August 11, 2019 at 12:12 AM
I had forgotten about that one. I submitted it to a JW that rejected it as too risqué. It really is. I don’t know what I was thinking. Probably nothing.
Another quirky Dylan post is coming up, inspired by recent trivia. I have never seen the Scorsese Harrison film, though I have his Dylan and Stones film. I have not heard Pink Floyd, though, of course, I have heard of them.
Posted by: Tom Harley | August 12, 2019 at 08:48 AM