They wore double-breasted suits whenever they could. They wore hats and removed them as they entered buildings and greeted ladies, young and old.
I don't remember them except in movies and documentaries about days long gone. Those men, ambitious leaders, still exist among us. But most of them are confined to nursing homes. Some of them, you can find at the local senior center. So, where are their counterparts among us, the younger generation?
It seems to me, in looking at the past, that people took greater care of their appearance.
Fifty years ago, a fine suit was the mark of social status and not the graffiti-ridden over-sized jeans and T-shirts seen today.
I remember my grandfather had at least two very different suits for every day of the week and a closet full of dress shoes and belts, with matching socks.
He had only one pair of tennis shoes that he wore to the gym. He had a pair of casual shoes that he wore with a pink polo shirt and khaki pants.
My father has his share of such wardrobe suits, as well, and he was no business man. He doesn't, necessarily, have to be well dressed, but he can be, all the same. I suppose that's partly what his father taught him about appearances.
It doesn't happen much any more that people, particularly the young men I encounter, invest in suits or business-like attire.
Much has been made, lately, of debates about banning or outlawing sagging pants. And I, for one, have mixed thoughts.
I understand the fashion in baggy jeans. I subscribe to the fashion myself. But I don't understand sagging pants.
How a person can wear $100 jeans and prefer showing $5 underwear is beyond me.
I see people, sometimes, waddling down the street in their ill-fitting duds, and it's comical to me.
The beltless mishaps can't walk straight in those thigh-hugging jeans, all the more comedic is the frequent tug at the waist line. At least, invest in a belt, and acquaint your waist with the waist band once in a while.
It's time to go back to those days when men prided themselves on looking clean and sharp in nice suits - the days when you really couldn't tell who was the laborer, who was the preacher, and who was the executive.
Young people should reclaim the pride that our elders maintained in the face of war, plague, famine, and adversity - the pride I saw in my grandfather, growing up.
Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (770) 957 - 9161.