Stripes and Solids, Eccentrics and Regular Guys



Photography by cheri sabraw

Eccentricity can be marked by the pets one keeps, the ties one wears, or the hobbies one develops.

Take William Randolph Hearst, for example. Not only did he collect valuables from around the globe to place in his castle high on the hill above Piedras Blancas, he also insisted that plastic mustard and catsup bottles be used on the long table where sat vaudeville stars and starlets. Never mind that he and Marion Davies lived in sin 2500 miles away from his wife. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

What is left of his exotic zoo of bears and tigers is this lovely tailored zebra contingency, replete with striped suits.

I’ve known several eccentrics personally.

My step-grandfather, Harold, an obstetrician to the stars in Beverly Hills in the 50’s and 60’s was one such man, whose small manicured fingernails, natty tie, matching suit and jewelry, not to mention his new Mercedes every year, drove my Beverly Hillbilly Grandma Rosie to a bout with shingles that never really went away.

Harold took my brother Stevie and I to meet Zorro (Guy Williams). I’m sure somewhere in my scribblings here on Notes From Around the Block, I have told this story. As an avid Zorro fan ( I recognized handsome dark-haired men with bravado very early in my life), I almost died and went to Zorro Heaven when Harold pulled his Mercedes up to Zorro’s ( I mean Mr. Williams’) palatial mansion in Brentwood, next to Westwood, where Harold and Rosie lived. I dashed into the hallway, almost slipped on the marble, but not before taking my index finger and swishing several Z’s at the sculptures.

Then there was Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Tony Curtis, who was a friend of Harold’s. Are you getting the picture? Since my mug above professes my grammatical acumen, I must clarify here: Tony Curtis was a friend of Harold’s. Harold delivered Jamie Lee.

My father Hugh, who was not an eccentric, but rather a “regular” guy, as he liked to muse about himself, thought Harold a dandy–a Primadonna of the first order–the kind of guy you want to take out by the barn, hoping he will slip in his leather loafers, loading them with manure. Then, as he tries to regain his balance, you grab his wrist and dampen his starched cuffs and diamond-shaped cuff links, with your sweat.


Then there is a man I know who has hundreds of ties, all filed by color and theme in his closet. When time came yesterday to finally, and I stress the word finally, cull old shirts, pants, socks, shoes and ties from his overstuffed closets, he was able to part with five ties. You read correctly: five ties.

When I ponder all of the eccentric people I have known, they are all men.

At some point in our lives, we must each ask ourselves the question: Am I an eccentric?

Let’s see.

I study food labels and will only eat foods where the fiber grams are more than the sugar grams.

I pack my own groceries because I like soft fruits on the top and hard veggies on the bottom of the grocery bags that I wash every week.

I silently correct people’s grammar and take great joy in the act.

I check my bank account several times a day.


How about you?



About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in healthy eating, Life, My childhood, My photography, Nature photography, People, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Stripes and Solids, Eccentrics and Regular Guys

  1. Lue Perrine says:

    Oh Cheri your writing is
    exquisite! How amusing it was
    to read about your step-grandfather
    Harold! πŸ˜† I will never forget
    him. He was such a gentleman! 😍
    Ha ha! πŸ‘” so funny about your tie
    Yeah, eccentric … I’ve been told
    that before! πŸ₯΄
    cute Cute mug! 🀣
    (I love the πŸ„ & πŸ¦“ pic!)

    • Cheri says:

      I can’t imagine anyone telling you that you are eccentric, Lue. Harold was a real character and although I have had fun at his expense, his taste in art still adorns our home.

  2. Richard says:

    Me? I have no eccentricities! As for the rest of the world, it’s way off-centre.

  3. Cheri says:

    Yes, Sir Richard. I have not learned, as of yet, the origin of your eccentricities but I am positive that you and Hizzoner Ron have a few things in common…Now, your wives, bless their souls, are not the least bit eccentric, are they?

  4. Cheri says:

    I was referring to your wife and Judge Blah’s wife. So is zany the new eccentric?

  5. Richard says:

    Another trophy for your grammar mug!
    Are men eccentric and women zany?

    • Cheri says:

      I would say eccentric applies to both sexes. Take Elizabeth Taylor, for example. Or Barbara Streisand. Or Winston Churchill. Or John Quincy Adams…

    • manofroma says:

      Should be true that the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, saying: “I am eccentric” equals to a self-centerd statement.
      Amen πŸ˜‰

  6. wkkortas says:

    Guy Williams! There’s a name I haven’t thought about in a looooong time.

  7. Cheri says:

    He was so handsome and very charming. Were you a Zorro fan?

  8. 4brig says:

    There don’t appear to be any eccentrics in our family, not counting the Cowman’s uncle Sam. Sam was the director of the Newark Museum of Modern Art. Ran with a pretty high end crowd in NY, and was quite the dresser. Only person I ever saw that could pull off wearing a suit made of flour sacks (with labels stenciled on them). Or, just back from Russia, show up at the family Christmas gathering wearing a fur Cossack hat. Did fairly well for a ranch kid from the back of beyond in Oregon.
    My hero was Roy Rogers, he would come up to the ranch to go duck hunting with dad. I was just a little kid and wasn’t near brave enough to speak to him.

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