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Advocate Lake Highlands (October 2009) : Page 12

OPENING REMARKS BElt wAy p:214.823.5885 F:214.823.8866 W:advocatemag.com The gradual and reluctant undoing of a deep-rooted habit I don’t recall when it started, but I do recall when being a tucker became a way of life: 7th grade. Social studies teacher William Eberhardt (shorten his first name and swap in two letters in his last name for a big-time juve- nile guffaw) wore a coat and tie to class every day, and a hat home every night, and he kept a confiscated belt hanging on his wall. If you dared walk into his class without one, or if you were so brazen as to slink in with your shirt untucked, you were subject to the verbal equivalent of a WWF smackdown. “Mr. Wamre,” the rather diminutive Mr. Eberhardt would squeak amid the sloppily muffled cackles of classmates. “Get that shirt tucked in so I can see your belt, or turn around and head down to the office right now.” And in the office, a big Minnesota-born principal we called “Tex” in honor of his ever-present cowboy hat, wasn’t sym- pathetic to disruptions in school attire, either. With his pointy cowboy boots and towering frame, and his eagerness to lord this size advantage over shrimps like me, the most direct line to the easiest school day was to remain a tucker. And so I did. For years it wasn’t a problem, because everyone did it. I’d run across the occasional beltless slackers, of course, but I presumed these godless hooligans would surely get what was coming to them someday. But time doesn’t stand still, and some- Rick Wamre is publisher of Advocate publishing. Let him know how we are do- ing by writing to 6301 Gaston, Suite 820, Dallas 75214; FAX to 214.823.8866; or e-mail to rwamre@advocatemag.com. one somewhere along the line decided to break free from the bonds of belt- hood. Occasionally on TV, some celebrity would be wearing a jacket, and peeking from beneath it would be a completely untucked shirt. And from Mr. Eberhardt’s perspective, who could even tell if the guy was wearing a belt? Soon the tuckless movement was omnipresent: Guys in suits wore their shirts sticking out. The bottoms of Hawaiian shirts never saw the inside of pants. People wore t-shirts that dropped straight down from protruding bellies, leaving enough room for a raccoon to rest comfortable at belt-level, if any raccoon should be so inclined. Finally, our sons started in on me. “Dad, wear your shirt out. Everyone else does it,” one said. “Dad, what’s wrong with you?” the other asked. “You don’t look right with your shirt tucked in.” And I watched as their shirts flapped freely in the breeze and their unbelted pants and shorts began to channel the rear view of plumbers crawling from beneath a house with their tool belts. They seemed happy to be so free. I began to feel isolated by my intractable decision. So against my better judgment, I start- ed following the crowd. I still tuck in my shirt at work and, sometimes when I’m alone, just because I can. But more and more in public, I’m following the crowd, going along to get along, and allowing my belt to rest quietly in the closet. It doesn’t feel right, doesn’t even look right, and I worry that someone who knows better might see me out and about. But peer pressure has taken its course, and my days of exclusive tucking are over. I’m sorry, Mr. Eberhardt. EDItORIAl PH/469.916.7860 publisher: RICK wAMRE /214.560.4212 rwamre@advocatemag.com managing editor: KERI MItCHEll /214.292.0487 kmitchell@advocatemag.com editors: MARlENA CHAVIRA-MEDFORD /214.292.2053 mchavira-medford@advocatemag.com CHRIStINA HuGHES BABB /214.560.4204 chughes@advocatemag.com senior art director: JyNNEttE NEAl /214.560.4206 jneal@advocatemag.com assistant art director: JulIANNE RICE /214.292.0493 jrice@advocatemag.com designers: JEANINE MICHNA-BAlES, lARRy OlIVER, KRIS SCOtt contributing editors: JEFF SIEGEl, SAlly wAMRE contributors: SEAN CHAFFIN, SANDy GREySON, BIll KEFFER, GAylA KOKEl, ERIN MOyER, GEORGE MASON, BlAIR MONIE, EllEN RAFF, RACHEl StONE web editor: COllEEN yANCy /469.916.7860 cyancy@advocatemag.com photo editor: CAN tüRKyIlMAZ /214.560.4200 cturkyilmaz@advocatemag.com photographers: ROBERt BuNCH, MARK DAVIS, MOlly DICKSON, CHRIStOPHER lEE, SEAN MCGINty interns: SARAH JACOBS, AlEX KNESNIK, lACEy tEER cover art: KAREN BlESSEN ADVERtISING PH/214.560.4203 advertising coordinator: JuDy lIlES /214.560.4203 jliles@advocatemag.com advertising sales director: KRISty GACONNIER /214.560.4213 kgaconnier@advocatemag.com display sales manager: BRIAN BEAVERS /214.560.4201 bbeavers@advocatemag.com senior advertising consultant: AMy DuRANt /214.560.4205 adurant@advocatemag.com advertising consultants: CAtHERINE PAtE /214.292.0494 cpate@advocatemag.com lISA AltHAuS /214.292.0961 lalthaus@advocatemag.com NORA JONES /214.292.0962 njones@advocatemag.com MADElyN RyBCZyK /214.292.0485 mrybczyk@advocatemag.com JESSICA wIlSON /214.292.0486 jwilson@advocatemag.com classified manager: PRIO BERGER /214.560.4211 pberger@advocatemag.com classified consultants: SAlly ACKERMAN /214.560.4202 sackerman@advocatemag.com SuSAN ClARK /469.916.7866 sclark@advocatemag.com ADvOcAte pubLiShinG / 6301 Gaston Avenue, Suite 820, Dallas, tX 75214 ricK WAMre|president tOM ZieLinSKi|vice-president Advocate, © 2009, is published monthly by east Dallas – Lakewood people inc. contents of this magazine may not be reproduced. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for the content of all advertisements printed, and therefore assume responsibility for any and all claims against the Advocate. the publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising material. Opinions set forth in the Advocate are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s viewpoint. More than 200,000 people read Advocate publica- tions each month. Advertising rates and guidelines are available upon request. Advocate publications are available free of charge throughout our neighborhoods, one copy per reader. 12 OctOber 2009 advocatemag.com/lake-highlands

Opening Remarks

Belt way

The gradual and reluctant undoing of a deep-rooted habit

I don’t recall when it started, but I do recall when being a tucker became a way of life: 7th grade.
Social studies teacher William Eberhardt (shorten his first name and swap in two letters in his last name for a big-time juvenile guffaw) wore a coat and tie to class every day, and a hat home every night, and he kept a confiscated belt hanging on his wall.

If you dared walk into his class without one, or if you were so brazen as to slink in with your shirt untucked, you were subject to the verbal equivalent of a WWF smackdown.

“Mr. Wamre,” the rather diminutive Mr. Eberhardt would squeak amid the sloppily muffled cackles of classmates. “Get that shirt tucked in so I can see your belt, or turn around and head down to the office right now.” And in the office, a big Minnesota-born principal we called “Tex” in honor of his ever-present cowboy hat, wasn’t sympathetic to disruptions in school attire, either. With his pointy cowboy boots and towering frame, and his eagerness to lord this size advantage over shrimps like me, the most direct line to the easiest school day was to remain a tucker.

And so I did.

For years it wasn’t a problem, because everyone did it. I’d run across the occasional beltless slackers, of course, but I presumed these godless hooligans would surely get what was coming to them someday.

But time doesn’t stand still, and someone somewhere along the line decided to break free from the bonds of belthood.

Occasionally on TV, some celebrity would be wearing a jacket, and peeking from beneath it would be a completely untucked shirt. And from Mr. Eberhardt’s perspective, who could even tell if the guy was wearing a belt?

Soon the tuckless movement was omnipresent: Guys in suits wore their shirts sticking out. The bottoms of Hawaiian shirts never saw the inside of pants. People wore t-shirts that dropped straight down from protruding bellies, leaving enough room for a raccoon to rest comfortable at belt-level, if any raccoon should be so inclined.

Finally, our sons started in on me.

“Dad, wear your shirt out. Everyone else does it,” one said.

“Dad, what’s wrong with you?” the other asked. “You don’t look right with your shirt tucked in.” And I watched as their shirts flapped freely in the breeze and their unbelted pants and shorts began to channel the rear view of plumbers crawling from beneath a house with their tool belts.

They seemed happy to be so free. I began to feel isolated by my intractable decision.

So against my better judgment, I started following the crowd. I still tuck in my shirt at work and, sometimes when I’m alone, just because I can. But more and more in public, I’m following the crowd, going along to get along, and allowing my belt to rest quietly in the closet. It doesn’t feel right, doesn’t even look right, and I worry that someone who knows better might see me out and about.

But peer pressure has taken its course, and my days of exclusive tucking are over.

I’m sorry, Mr. Eberhardt.

Read the full article at http://www.virtualonlineeditions.com/article/Opening+Remarks/233744/23595/article.html.

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