Seth Philpott

We met at a taco joint.  At a long table of mutual friends, he was seated across from me. Saddled way, way back in his seat, this guy was quiet, brooding. He was wearing a deep V-neck t-shirt and his black fedora was tipped forward, covering his brow. When he did speak, it was with…

GAR.RTH

When we were kids, my brother Ben was an avid collector of the strangest things: rocks, cardboard tubes, socks, and carrot sticks (don’t ask). Thankfully, as he entered adulthood, his cotton for collecting diminished. Socks, particularly boldly colorful ones, were the only collectible that managed to maintain his interest. To this day, anytime I see a…

Heirloom Modern

Whether it’s an “awful” corduroy hat he and some buddies each bought on a late ’70s ski trip, his high school jean jacket with sleeves destroyed by a dog and lovingly darned by my grandmother, or a custom-made oxford cloth shirt he bought to commemorate a new job and a move to the big city…

Torres

Frontwoman Mackenzie Scott explains in this excellent video from Pitchfork, that she chose the moniker “Torres” in tribute to her grandfather. As the co-owner of a store named for fathers and grandfathers, you can imagine my delight in learning this. I recently caught Torres throwing it down at The Empty Bottle in Chicago, and I…

Sign Painters

When thinking about how to express what a shop dedicated to our fathers and grandfathers would look like, Joe Gannon and I turned to sign painters like Jeff Canham and one time sign painter, the artist — and one of my personal heroes — Ed Ruscha. Because as good a friend as she is, she’s…

The Old Try

Over the holidays his freshman year, my younger brother Ben came home from college and shared with the family his favorite new maxim. It was originally said by John F. Kennedy in reference to something about Washington, D.C., where Ben was in school. “All the charm of the North. All the efficiency of the South.” He…

Great American Flask

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.” – W.C. Fields With wedding season fast-approaching, and graduation and father’s day not far beyond, the questions in my e-mail have quickly shifted from “How do I tie a bow tie?” to “Is there something unique I can…

Kletterwerks

I have a problem. It’s not a real problem like an economic crisis borne of these uncertain times, nor is it mental, physical, or otherwise somehow internally harmful. It’s not financial. It’s not like the problem of pesky neighbors nor a nagging parent nor an out-of-control rodent infestation. Truthfully, in the grandest of life’s schemes, this…

The Beast in Its Tracks

Make no mistake, if I have a favorite singer-songwriter, it’s Josh Ritter. With each new note, he gently unravels part of himself and in a deeply personal, admirable fashion. From all signs, with this new album, written in the months following the dissolution of his marriage, that gentle unravel snowballs towards a deeply personal album.…