In the 60s, platform tennis was the hot game. A tournament was sponsored by a venerable Scotch whiskey maker. The tournament was called The Vat 69 Gold Cup. Chipp was engaged to make jackets and ties for the officials and for the winners of the tournament. The chairman of the company was so pleased by what we made that he arrived in his Rolls to personally thank my dad. My father, who loved everything British and Scottish, chatted briefly with the gentleman and then invited him up to his 5th floor office.
In two previous blogs I related the stories of the creation of our Kama Sutra lining material and my prowess in making novelty athletic supporters. Unbeknown to my father, I had covered a jock with one of the Kama Sutra images and left it on his desk. When my dad and his guest walked into his office, my father was mortified by what he found on his desk. His jovial guest thought it was very funny, so my dad gave him the supporter.
That weekend the British Embassy hosted a party—attended by some members of Congress, a Supreme Court judge, and other “A” list Betway-types—in honor of the Sanderson Chairman. The function was black tie. When everyone had consumed their share of Vat 69, the guest of honor put the supporter on over his dinner suit trousers. The following Monday, the Rolls arrived at 14 East 44th St. The Chairman said he didn’t care what it would cost. He had to have forty of the supporters to send to those who had attended the DC cocktail party.
About two weeks after we had shipped the supporters, we stated getting phone calls:
“This is the office of Senator So and So. The Senator received a gift of an unusual Athletic supporter. The Senator would like to order a dozen of the supporters.”
We got about 20 calls ordering one to two dozen supporters. And thus something I did as a joke turned into an item that was a fitting gift in a number of situations (bachelor parties, for example). In our present incarnation as Winston Tailors, we no longer have enough traffic to be able to buy the minimum order required to get the Bike supporters at the dealer price. As a practical matter, they exist no more.