Through the Eyes of Gucci

27 March 2021
Ok, Ok, before you think da harv is absolutely nuts, pleasah, pleasah, (datsa Eye-tal-ee-on-no) listen to what I have to say.
I’ll get to Gucci in a minute.
        From the time I was a little kid I gravitated towards looking good, like dressing well; I got the idea from my dad. While I didn’t dress in a suit and tie when attending grade school, I definitely was a spit and polish kind of kid. For me, grade school was during the zoot suit era.
“The zoot suit originated in an African American comedy show in the 1930s and was popularized by jazz singers. Cab Calloway wore them, called them “totally and truly American”…”
Source: Wikipedia
Note: At the time, World War II was ablaze. Many immigrant families signified their extreme pride in the country. Patriotism was an all-equaling fact of life. And at the same time period our entertainment folks, particularly the film industry, were cranking out an ever-increasing genre of war movies.
        Believe it or not, at the time little da harv was able to sing many of Cab Calloway’s songs. My grandmother, on my dad’s side, along with many of the relatives thought it was a blastespecially Cab’s big hit, “Minnie the Moocher”; as the song goes, “Minnie had a heart as big as a whale… She was a low-down hoochie coocher”.
        But I do digress, Gucci on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills is not where I normally do my clothes-shopping. Factually, I’ve never purchased anything from them; even after I had an extremely good earnings windfall. The old worrywart in me prevented the necessary courage to take hold of who I really am, although it’s not to say I didn’t want to shop there. Italian leather, in my opinion, is the finest, especially when used by Gucci to make their hand-made loafers. Up and until just the other day, the name Gucci was destined to remain, along with Bentley, on my bucket list.
The new Gucci restaurant, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills…
…and this, of course, is a far cry from the first Gucci operation founded in 1921, in Florence, Italy.
        At this point, you may be wondering why I chose to bring up the subject of “Gucci”. Well, the answer is easy enough to understand; I finally got to buy something with the Gucci name on itnot in a Gucci store, but of all places, Costco optometryI now have in my possession genuine Gucci frames for my eyeglasses.
        This morning, I noticed I was actually strutting around my balcony gardenyou guessed itwearing my newfound acquisition, my genuine Gucci glasses. Imagine the Puccini music backdrop for nature’s lighting of the da harv’s latest balcony garden production. Without misconception, the morning sun coming through, pushed by a special breeze; plants were overheard, speaking of how well I looked to them. When I put those glasses on, instantly, da harv became that little kid again.
        The old guy would be looking down on a very personal moment he had helped to create so very many years ago in 1921. “Born to a simple Italian leather goods maker, Guccio Gucci was a porter at the Savoy hotel in London when he first became enamored with the glamorous suitcases that the guests arrived with from all over the globe.”
Source: “History of Gucci – Charting the Evolution of Gucci”
And one more thing:
        My grandfather, Max Kalmenson, was born in the same era as Guccio Gucci. He, too, was a saddle maker by trade. My father, Charles Kalmenson, born in 1902, immigrated to the United States from Russia two years later, along with his older brother Ben, and my two grandparents, Ethel and Max. My father at age eighteen entered his own business as a leather craftsman in the manufacturing of ladies’ handbags. My dad was accomplished at everything he endeavored: businessman, musician, artist, athlete, and family protector. My dad never went past the third grade in school.
        It’s good to have a gifted man as your best friend. My friend led a life of sacrifice.

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