Monday, February 7, 2011

World's Classiest Letter Jacket - Part Deux

Here it is again - Mike Lien in our awesome letter jacket. It came to mind recently when Richard Holstad reported he was thinking of buying it again since he lost or misplaced his original. In town for the Buddy Holly Days, he stopped at Decker's to inquire about the possibility of ordering one.

Interestingly enough, he was told at Decker's that they just don't sell those jackets like they used to because they're no longer so popular, but if he was interested they could do a special order for him. His problem was recalling all the color detail.

He put out an all call and between me and Larry Holstad we were able to define some of the colors. Larry and I agreed on the royal blue color, but he corrected me on the cuffs and collars. I thought they were blue and white, Larry said they were red and white though they reportedly were later changed to blue and white. We both thought the buttons were blue but Larry was wise enough to look at this picture and see they were indeed white.

I still had my numerals so I could report they were red on white, and Larry had his senior letter at hand so he could report the N was red and the K was blue.

In his last email on the subject, Larry also pointed out that Mike is wearing his class ring on his middle finger, not the ring finger, and that he always did that. I probably knew it at the time, but it wasn't something I would have even looked for. I'm not sure you can see it on this photo, even if you blow it way up, as I have - and the image gets all blurry.

And after all our efforts, Richard is getting his letter jacket true to the specifications, though not because of us. Before he got into town last week, his friend Larry Patterson had already gone to today's Athletic Director, Mr. Dodd, to plead for an NK Letter to replace the lost one, thinking Mr. Dodd could surely check the records to confirm Richard had earned it. Not necessary - Mr. Dodd said if an athlete wanted a replacement after 46 years he surely deserved one, and he was willing to accept Larry's testimonial to Richard's athletic service..

For his next step, Richard went back to Decker's, and found they maintain a binder filled with all the historic details on color, cut, etc., and he now has on order the exact replica on which he can sew his personalized, 46 years later NK Letter. And Richard is happy.

Maybe it only proves there is value in aging. Except that letter jacket, that will NEVER get old.


  1. Lee -

    I saw the above story last evening -- your re-cap is accurate. I must say that your last comment "AND RICHARD IS HAPPY" is an understatement.

    I especially appreciate the input provided by the 1962 classmates / mentors. And I am sincere about the "Mentor" reference -- the athletes of the class of 65 looked up to you all as "jocks extraordinaire".

    Larry Patterson started this when he approached Mr Dodd, without my knowledge, as a favor / thoughtful gift for me.

    I was so "moved" by Larry and Barb's thoughtfulness when they presented me with the replacement letter at the Surf Ballroom, 2011 Winter Dance Party .... I really didn't know what to say. I did know that I needed a sweater or a letter jacket in order to display the letter.

    I had no idea that it might still be possible to acquire an authentic NKHS jacket!

    If anyone out there is wondering what to do to make an alum from the 60's happy, this idea is definitely a winner.

    The letter jacket is terrific in itself, but the thought fullness and the way in which the whole thing unfolded is just as important to me.

    Lee, you are correct, there was a pride in wearing our letter jacket back in the 60's.

    I may be letting the cat out of the bag here, but honestly it still makes me proud, 46 years later. Have you ever been taken by surprise by your own emotions? It happened to me several times on my last trip home.

    When I "settle back down" and actually have my new letter jacket, I want to spend more time discussing what a blessing it is to be from a small town in the mid-west.

    Appreciate what you have there -- protect it -- take pride in it -- express your feelings --- check this blog often.

    I am looking for the jacket to show up any day now. I'll keep you informed how it works out.

    Richard Holstad

  2. Richard, I hope you post your picture wearing your jacket after you get it.


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