Open Collar


Robert Duvall (photo by Josh Jensen)

I am a big fan of what Robert Duvall (Army veteran and the son of an Admiral) calls his Trilogy:

Lonesome Dove
Open Range
Broken Trail

They are all cowboy movies, made the way westerns are supposed to be made. I like them all, but my favorite is probably Open Range. It is the story of a cattle drive to Montana, and the right to travel through land no one owned. The men in the story were going through a transition in their lives, and had to work through it. It was a struggle, but they got through.

I am having a struggle too, only it isn’t about an open range. It is about an open collar. My transition has to do with the transition from wearing a uniform to wearing a suit. Cowboys didn’t have to worry about that.

You see, as a cartoonist, my work attire consists largely of tee shirts and blue jeans. (Sometimes PJs, but let’s not confuse the issue.)

But now, as a part of a new organization providing a full spectrum professional development program for severely wounded veterans (the Wyakin Warrior Foundation), I have to dress up every so often. Sometimes I get invited to events where the attire is “business casual.”

Business casual. What in the world is business casual?

On the east coast, it means a blazer and tie.
On the west coast, it means a blazer and no tie.
In Hawaii it means a Hawaiian shirt, only a nicer one than normal.

Or something like that.

It all depends on the situation or something. I think.

All I know is that, of all the options, the “open collar” shirt with a blazer doesn’t work with my head. Maybe because it is too bulbous. Maybe it’s the haircut (as in I have no hair). Maybe it’s my neck.

Look at the photo at the top of the page. That’s the way it is supposed to look.

This is how I ACTUALLY look in an open collar (this was taken in San Diego after the retirement of good buddy Chuck Bragg):

It’s kind of tough to see, so I blew it up for you:

That’s right. I turn into police inspector Daniel Clay in the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space (zombie phase).

So I’m struggling. I’m not sure of the solution, but I need to figure it all out and soon. I may have to move.

Or better yet, maybe I’ll just become a cowboy.


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