Sweltering summer weekends are meant for reading the Times while tucked beneath an umbrella near the shore, a Pimm’s pitcher or two in the early afternoon, and needed preparation for what is certain to be an autumn of revelry and good cheer. No, I did not devote this past weekend to shining my great Uncle Hugh’s silver-plated, monogrammed cocktail shaker that he left me (along with his well-worn copy of Robert’s Rules of Order which actually does come in handy to move things along while serving on committees for various charities) readying myself for tailgating through yet another season of intercollegiate football mediocrity.
I did, however, pull out the Barbour jackets and the oilskin dressing in order to reproof them before the evenings turn crisp enough to don the Barbours for a stroll full of memories along the stone walls of alma mater.
There actually is rhyme and reason to the annual ritual of reproofing your Barbour on a blistery summer day – the wax must be warm to best adhere to the oilskin material of your jacket.
So, I began the reproofing process by turning to WNYC to listen to my favorite radio show – Jonathan Schwartz – and his well-considered selections from the American songbook. Then, to make my wife happy, I grabbed an old T-shirt from one of the sorority formals I attended in days of yore (she’s trying to get rid of all of them!), and I laid the jacket out on the kitchen counter. I used the T-shirt to apply the wax evenly over the oilskin portion of the jacket – this actually takes much longer than you’d think (assume you'll have time to polish off two Pimm’s cups for good measure).
The stifling heat du soleil de l’été works its magic by melding together the wax and the oilskin to reproof the jacket providing you ease of mind that you’ll stay dry while beagling on a rainy October Saturday morn. So I take the jackets and hang them out in the sun for a good long while. A good long while indeed.