Dad's Understated Choice
I grew up with the lore of my father's Explorer upon his return from war. It was an icon to me. His thick wrist covered in the black face and stainless steel with those beautiful numerals.
I learned to make fires in the Army and it didn't matter how wet the wood was. It always ignited. Thanks to a 5 gallon can of mogas. Despite her vulgar and wasteful ways the Army was not shy about collecting totems within units.
Panmunjom, Korea - 1971
He's showing the Explorer to an anchor cranker or marine. No doubt the young 'El Tee' bought a Rolex before rotating home thanks to that mystical military allure. No, "Joe Shit the Rag Man" here. We're talking clued in. OD Green hipsters. Guys who sniffed out the best: restaurants, booze, cigars, music, reel to reels and wheels.
It was the totem I grew up with. The mysterious watch elicted 'oohhs and ahhs' from those in the know and not so much as a side ways glance from those not. That was the power.
Tintin - Ft Bragg, NC 1977
I pulled the trigger in 1976. Couldn't swing the Explorer but happily settled for the 5513. I was in the Sub Club few understood. Times have changed and the Sub is everywhere. When Dad and I talk about Rolex it's almost as if it's an old language we've grown tired of (Dad chucked his Explorer into a New Mexico desert and I'm close to chucking mine onto 7th Ave.). Inaccurate. Expensive to repair. Anxiety of loss.
But it was his advice I nearly always bought, "Drink the local beer. Be the last to a party and the first to leave. Check out her mother before you marry her. Never take anybody's last anything. Keep the rear sights in focus and you'll hit it every time." These things never seem to run slow or get lost.