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Kids enjoy ringing Dad's neck

June 21, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

by JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

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Gary Doub and his ties

Gary Doub's life is tied to neckties with the strength of a Windsor knot, and all bets are off in his house about what he'll be getting for Father's Day.

"Probably more ties," he said.

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The 51-year-old Hagerstown resident has between 500 and 600 ties dating from the 1940s to the 90s, and has worn almost every one of them. "I really don't collect them," he said. "I just seem to accumulate them."

Doub said he doesn't know why, but when he cleans out his closets he's never able to toss away a tie.

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Today, he keeps a couple dozen out for everyday wear. The rest are packed away.

Doub said to a certain extent he feels naked without one. He pointed to a picture of himself when he was six years old. He was wearing a bow tie.

"I have yet to get him into a T-shirt," Susan Doub said with a slight roll of her eyes. That despite the fact one of the couple's sons is part-owner of a T-shirt printing company.

Doub said he's not a stuffed shirt - just more comfortable in a suit and tie than most. He pointed out that when he's relaxing outdoors, he goes so far as to dress down to a Oxford shirt.

Doub is in the wholesale wine and spirits business. He wears a suit and tie on the job. He started dressing to kill when he got a job with the old Robert Hall clothing store on Dual Highway. A mainstay of the business was suit and tie sales.

Doub said by the time the store closed several years later, he knew a lot about men's dress clothes and had bought quite a few ties for himself. His children started giving him ties as gifts, and his wife started doing the same thing.

Doub's late father had quite a few ties of his own. Doub inherited 13 of them, which he keeps for sentimental and practical purposes. He's worn most of them at one time or another.

Doub has skinny ties and fat ties, beautiful and ugly ties, knit and silk ties, patterns, prints, polka dots and paisleys. He has a dapper Daffy Duck tie, a few Coca-Cola ties and several featuring cartoon characters, including Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse.

Doubt has a tie that shows Maker's Mark bourbon being poured into a glass. He has an "Appetizer" tie, but it's not edible. He does have one that plays Christmas carols. And another he bought while vacationing in the Bahamas cost $42. It proclaims Doub to be a "Bahama Papa."

"I like 'em all," he said. "Sometimes I just like to go back and look at them."

For Doub ties are fun, but they are also an art form he has studied over the years. He pointed to two in his "accumulation". "You'll notice that the stripes on New York ties run from the top left to the bottom right. On most ties, the stripes go from the top right to the bottom left," he said.

Ties are supposed to be long enough to just cover a man's belt, Doub said. "You can tell when someone doesn't wear one very often. They're either too long or too short," he said.

"A well-dressed man will always wear a tie," Doub said. Properly, of course.

Between his wife and kids Todd, Shawn and Traci, Doub is picking up ties at a phenomenol rate. It isn't unusual for him to get 10 at Christmas alone.

Asked if he has ever considered displaying them as a collection, Doub said no. "I think one of these years I'll have them made into a quilt," he said. "I think that would be nice."

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