You know how if you're a Herbert, you're probably Welsh, or late most of the time, or a Scotch drinker? Well, if you're a Betz, you're likely to be a Buckeye, a huge fan of The Ohio State University.
Last time Chip and Diana were in Columbus (or maybe a couple times ago now) Diana and Andy talked about a bow-tie shaped flag to hang at the Betz OSU tailgate spot. Diana may have mentioned that she'd sewn some golf course hole-marker flags, and Andy must've realized Diana could sew flag-type material, and an idea was hatched. I recall the conversation beginning at Mom's house, over questionable cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, with sketches on yellow legal pads, next to a list of all the addresses where Uncle John had ever lived... and then the idea was revisited more recently at El Vaquero, our favorite local Mexican restaurant, over chips and salsa and queso - definitely not questionable - and some napkin mock-ups were involved.
*Some background here, for Herberts who may not be Buckeye fans or who may not have heard of Gordon Gee (Gee like "geek", not like "gee whiz".) Gordon Gee was the beloved president of OSU in the late 90s, early 2000s, when Andy was in college there. Gee left, and tailgating, among other things, changed, a lot (most significantly, for the Betzes anyway, was that the new president cracked down on drinking... like even if you were 21 and behaving responsibly, you could be arrested for drinking at tailgating.) Gee returned to OSU last year, and is known not only for being very visible on campus and loved by students and staff, and for being less stringent about responsible drinking, but also for wearing bow ties.
Last week, we received some color swatches in the mail, with instructions to approve the most accurate shades of scarlet and gray. Mere days later, we found this "prototype" in a package slipped through our mail slot.
Today, we took the prototype to tailgating, and gathered some feedback from focus groups; Diana sent a spreadsheet with questions and options regarding the flag, and we tried to address all of her concerns. For example, yes, the flag does flap and furl in the wind. And yes, the craftsmanship is impeccable. And yes, the striped pattern in perfect - it matches one of the ties Gordon Gee wears often. Andy's favorite part is that it's a flag that looks like a bow tie - it's not just a flag with a bow tie on it, folks, it really, truly looks like a bow tie.
We will send feedback to Diana this week, so as to make minor adjustments for a perfect final product (althought the Betzes would be proud to continue to hang the prototype). Kate and I were wishing, as we talked over the phone this evening, that we had half the energy (and talent) that Diana has...
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