|Even on the bowsprit, he was never without his camera.|
He always seemed to get a parking spot on York Street right in front of the store. Each visit, my father would wait for Gabe, the legendary (some would say infamous) J. Press salesman. I always remembered Gabe's desert boots. My father and Gabe would begin by verbally sparring with great enthusiasm. He liked looking around, but my father always ended up buying the same items: three-button suits; navy blazers; button-down shirts; seersucker, tweed, and pincord jackets; bow-ties; madras shirts; and whipcord pants.
I never knew if Gabe remembered my father’s size, or figured it on the spot, but always handed him the right suit. Ralph the tailor would take the measurements, though they seldom changed. I never saw any money exchange hands; J. Press had a house charge.
My father would then walk through the narrow connecting doorway to Barrie’s, the shoe store next door, again look around, and then buy the same shoes (cordovan Chukka Boot Shells) he always bought. Finally, he would take me for a hamburger on white toast at Louis Lunch.
Receiving an award at the home of Rhode Island Senator Claibrone Pell (I have always loved the madras/tweed combination).
The sad news of Gabe’s passing was delivered when my husband and I went to get a new suit a handful of years back. But J. Press has stayed the same. The same chairs are there. The same pictures are tucked away in the corners.
And the same uniquely fabulous suits are there. Now we go for the third generation. I cannot imagine buying a suit anywhere else.