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By Frank J. Buchman

“All decked out. Sure, look sharp.” 

“Doing the farming today?” 

“Going to work for the railroad, huh?” 

“Oh, Howdy Doody. Haven’t seen him in a while.” 

The lead comments for a column written exactly 12 years ago, but never submitted for publication. 

Going through office stacks, typed paper came to the top and seemed to merit a rewrite. Longer than modern-day media have space, exceeding limitations for expressing the point. 

Back then, still new at that job, walked into the boss’s office, scowl quickly spread across his face. “What’s that you’re wearing?” 

Somewhat taken back, cowboy’s innocent response: “It’s supposed to be ‘Jeans Day.’ Cowboys wear jeans every day, so decided to wear overalls today. Is there anything wrong with that?” 

Boss easing back on his “high horse” just a bit claimed: “That doesn’t apply to salespeople.”  

Nobody ever really clarified that to the cowboy. Besides, the business card identified him: “Marketing Consultant.” 

“Oh, honestly didn’t understand,” cowboy responded. 

Adding, “Sorry,” then a bit-tongue-in-cheek. 

Cowboy with overalls on was wearing his best red shirt, tail tucked in, and shiniest red four-in-hand-tie properly in place. That had been “the rule” stressed from day one: “Always wear a tie.” But the man in “The-big-chair” didn’t have one on. 

Smirking inwardly, if not outwardly apparent, cowboy sat down at the cubby-hole-desk and pecked an email to the “Higher-Up.” 

Tagline: “Clarification?” Outfit of the day was described, noting predecessor in the chair often wore overalls. Besides the insignia-cap came from the promotions department and the nice red tie was gifted from a coworker, who’d been admired for wearing it. 

Almost instantly back through cyberspace came: “Overalls are never appropriate attire for ‘salespeople’ (evidently not ‘marketing consultants’ either). Jeans only apply to office personnel. (Salespeople and marketing consultants don’t work in offices?)” 

Just as fast, cowboy pushed buttons back: “Sorry, will only wear overalls when working.” Having been fired from one job, cowboy sure didn’t want that to happen again for wearing overalls on “Jeans Day.” 

Back to lifelong attire: jeans, engraved leather belt with silver buckle, snap-button cowboy shirt. That’s been dress code for seven decades verified by every photograph taken. 

Couldn’t help but reflect that those farmers, railroaders, many hardworking laborers so essential to this country typically wear overalls. 

Snideness held in cheek, reminded of Genesis 41:14: “He changed his clothes making himself presentable.”  

Yet, reminded of Ruth 3:3: “Put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor.” 

But Matthew 6:20: “You shouldn’t be anxious about clothes?” Because Luke 12:23: “Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” 

However, James 2:2: “A poor man in shabby clothes is always welcome, too.” 

+++ALLELUIA+++ 

XVI–49–12-4-2022