They Wore Ties

by David Miller

The Gestapo pounded on doors and when our ancestors opened them they found well-dressed men, men wearing ties. And in the South where I was reared, where only a generation before black men were lynched, the men who strung them up: didn't they wear ties? I'll wear anything but a tie. I didn't wear one to get married and I won't need one in my grave. Even when I was a kid and my parents made me put one on for temple, I felt like I was choking. Those of you who wear ties: ask yourselves why you need one, and who it is you wear it for.

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David Miller, author of Lakeside Country Club, is a regular contributor to magazines such as Mountain Gazette, and the webmag Matador Travel.