Our local newscaster, Albert Zipp, wears a bow tie during most of his WBOY broadcasts. Albert is a very handsome man, but he needs to lose the bow ties. And I will tell you why.
It’s my mom’s fault. It is so much fun blaming everything on her. I’m like Christina Crawford, dissing her famous mother, Joan Crawford. But, my mom would never let my dad wear a bow tie. “Go change that, Elwood, you look like a clown.” Of course, my dad should look like a clown. He was a clown with the Osiris temple (The Shriner’s) on weekends and holidays. But, during the day, he was a real estate broker/owner of his own real estate company. And my mom wouldn’t let him wear a bow tie.
The thing that I remember the most is how my dad would just turn around and go take it off. I didn’t see her holding a rolling pin. But, she was. My dad owned a few bow ties and he would try to wear one about once a month. He never got out the door.
So, I grew up thinking bow ties were for clowns. But, there were a lot of famous men who were able to get out of the house wearing one. Winston Churchill, Karl Marx, Charles Osgood, and Harry S. Truman, just to name a few. But, since my mom instilled in me (and my father), that only “clowns” wore bow ties, I will concentrate on those famous people in history.
1. Pee Wee Herman- I really don’t need to say more, do I? He always wore a red bow tie. Yes, he wasn’t around when I was little, but just work with me here. He fits the category and when my kid’s were little, I thought of my dad when Pee Wee would be jumping around, talking to Reba the mail lady.
2. Barney Fife- Sure, Barney was a fictional character from Mayberry, but he was real to me. Barney would wear a bow tie when he would get dressed up to go to Mt. Pilot for dinner. He was a goofy character, so putting a bow tie on him solidified my mom’s comment. Don Knotts, the actor who played Barney Fife, often wore bow ties. All I see is “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken,” and can’t take him seriously.
3. Jerry Lewis- When I think of Jerry Lewis, I think of him in the “Nutty Professor.” And he wore a bow tie. And he was a clown. He always wore one on the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. And that’s what comes to mind.
3. Mister Peabody- If you were a child of the 1950′s and 1960′s, you know who I am talking about. Mister Peabody was a genius dog, who appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. He appeared in the segment called, Peabody’s Impropable History. He would always start out with, “Peabody here.” Now I know he wasn’t clown-like, but he was a dog. So, he gets to fit in my post.
4. The Cat in the Hat- Yes, he is a drawing, I realize that. But, this is what I grew up with and the reason I used to understand why my mom refused to let my dad out of the house wearing a bow tie. The Cat in the Hat always wore one. And he came back wearing one.
5. Dagwood Bumstead- Dagwood was a character in a comic strip, Blondie, but also in a series of movies that I always watched on tv when I was little. Dagwood was an air head. And he wore a bow tie. He also had one hell of a sandwich named after him.
6. Bill Nye, the Science Guy- Again, after my time, but you have to realize, we only got 2 channels on our tv set. CBS, NBC, and ABC. But, Bill Nye is a goofy guy. He is into Science, but is also a comedian. He is very animated when he talks, and wears a bow. Shoe fits.
10. Clowns- Self- explanatory.In the end, my mom messed me up. I can’t look at someone wearing a bow tie without thinking they looked like a clown. I see pictures of intelligent people and think that they can’t be that intelligent if they are wearing a bow tie. My dad never got out of the house wearing one. I got to see him in one.