I learned how to tie a neck-tie when I was around 12 or 13. And I have my dad to thank – – even though it’s a skill that I don’t rely on very often (I’m not a “Tie Guy”, you know??!! I limit ratcheting a piece of cloth around my neck to weddings and funerals.)
Anyway, this really sweet photo has emerged this week, showing an elderly man helping a young man with his tie. It’s a story of a random act of kindness by a stranger; but it’s also a story of a rite of passage – – a skill taught that is a significant moment in a young man’s life – – mastering the necktie.
The whole story was told by Redd Desmond Thomas on Facebook, who witnessed the sequence of events:
The young guy sitting down was struggling with his tie. The woman in the red coat noticed, and asked ‘Do you know how to tie it properly?’ The young guy said ‘No ma’am.’ She taps her husband and says ‘Come to this side and teach this young man how to tie his tie.” The older gentleman moved without hesitation [almost a reflex response] and gave him a step-by-step tutorial; then – afterward – the elder gentleman watched the young gentleman repeat the steps and show him that he had it. I was some distance away (but close enough to hear the exchange), and got even closer to snap this candid photo of the tutorial in progress before hopping on the train. I LOVE THIS!