The Golden Years by Richard Press

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From The Archives

Red Bluff: It’s Put Up Or Shut Up With Nantucket Reds

According to a recent report in The Onion, there’s no bluffing when it comes to go-to-hell pants: You’ve either got the stones inside or you don’t. There’s no dipping your toe in the pool, no test drive. You’re either a pirate-pant wearing swashbuckler or just a pretender. “Hey, all I can say is I hope

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Golden Years: Scratching My Theatrical Itch

George Axelrod’s play “The Seven Year Itch” lit up Broadway in 1952 and stayed there for 1,141 performances. The star, Tom Ewell, a dedicated J.Press aficionado, won a Tony Award, although his performance was later dimmed in the movie version when he was paired opposite Marilyn Monroe. Taking time out from my mainstream obligation running the


Golden Years: The Battle To Dress JFK

As Marily Monroe once sang, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” Today JFK would have been 100. We mark the occasion by revisiting a 2011 column by Richard Press. * * * The epic saga of President John F. Kennedy’s individual travail and public triumph is recounted with explicit and captivating detail by Chris Matthews in his





Golden Years: Road Trip To Rahar’s

Rahar’s was a home away from home for me and my pals. The watering hole served as Northampton, Massachusetts headquarters for visiting collegians pursuing female companionship at Smith College. The dilapidated bar and restaurant occupied the ground floor of a post-Civil War Victorian mansion set on a spare hilltop a block off Main Street, just


What To Wear While Watching Football

Whether you’re watching football today in a freezing stadium or in your cozy living room, here’s a role model for how to dress. Pictured is Ivy Style’s Golden Years columnist Richard Press — former president of J. Press and grandson of founder Jacobi — at  the Dartmouth-Penn game in 1958. Happy New Year from Ivy


Golden Years: Hot Under The Collar

“The Man In The Brooks Brothers Shirt” in Mary McCarthy’s 1946 short story wore his shirt buttoned down. But in New Haven during the heyday of the Ivy League Look, guys in dirty white bucks often made a different choice. They bought their shirts at Fenn-Feinstein, White’s, Langrock, Arthur M. Rosenberg or J.Press, dissing the


Golden Years: Anything Goes in New Haven

Reposted in honor of National Dog Day. This column originally ran on June 13, 2011. * * * Last night the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes,” which had received nine Tony nominations, ended up winning three. As I watched, I couldn’t help but remember one of the great historical anecdotes of J. Press: The time



Golden Years: On The Cuff

Last week a reader posted an image on Ivy Style’s Facebook page that appeared to show Cary Grant in a buttondown-collar shirt with French cuffs. One sees this occasionally in old photos and movies, but it’s not something you can exactly go out and buy readymade today. We asked Richard Press to weigh in on


Golden Years: Read My Lips

“Destiny and Power,” Jon Meacham’s surprisingly vivid biography of former President George HW Bush, is Shakespearean in its depiction of family, power and public service. It also briefly described an incident from one of the great days in the life of 10-year-old Richard Press. My beloved uncle, State Senator and New Haven City Court Judge


Golden Years: Politically Incorrect In The Heyday

During the Ivy heyday, before the Free Speech Movement, discourse on college campuses was largely the opposite of today. Pro-establishment speech was politically correct, while anti-establishment speech was incorrect. Richard Press reminds us that while the tables have turned, there has always been speech that is discouraged. * * * Professor Herb West delivered his


Golden Years: The Dartmouth Blazer Brawl

  My days at Dear Old Dartmouth began on a September morn 60 years ago with dad cruising confidently along Route 5 in his Buick super convertible and mom inhaling a pack of Camels for the five-and-a-half-hour drive from New Haven to Hanover. It was on this the virgin voyage to New Hampshire that my


Golden Years: Rebel Without A Suit

Yesterday saw the e-publication of phase one of Richard Press’ memoirs, which he has been hard at work on for the past couple of years (and which is why you haven’t seen as many Golden Years columns). The lengthy stand-alone essay, entitled “Rebel Without A Suit,” is available from Amazon for $2.99 and can be


Golden Years: From The Pale To Yale

“Blood lust” describes my passion for Daniel Horowitz’s engrossing saga, “On The Cusp: The Yale Class Of 1960 And A World On The Verge Of Change.” Dan Horowitz grew up around the corner from me in New Haven. We haven’t been in touch for over 50 years, but his visit to the Ivy Style Exhibit