The pattern on Bing’s tie

Somebody chime in and tell me I’m not the only person who has ever noticed what I’m about to mention. If you are familiar with the black-and-white classic film, Holiday Inn (in which the song “White Christmas” was debuted), you recall it begins with a love/work “triangle” in which entertainers played by Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire are interested in the same woman. Bing, because he wants to marry her; Fred, because he wants to keep her as a dancing partner. In the opening scene, “Lila Dixon” is trying to explain to Bing that she has changed her mind about leaving show business to marry him, but she loses her nerve and grabs any other subject out of thin air. “I think that tie’s terrible,” she says. “Listen, honey,” Bing retorts, “when you flip ’em those twinkle-toes, who’s going to be looking at my tie?” In a close-up shot, Bing Crosby (as Jim Hardy) lifts his necktie away from his shirt – and what pattern do you think is all over the tie? Pipes. Like, smoking, pipe-tobacco pipes. That wouldn’t be an especially remarkable piece of movie trivia, except for one thing. I wrote a novel. I did a fair amount of the work over the past few weeks, often sitting with my iPad at our kitchen island, while playing “background noise” in the form of DVR movies off Hallmark Channel or TCM. One of those that I played frequently was Holiday Inn, recorded last December. Now, I admit two things. One, I needed the background noise to drown out the sound of another TV on the same level of our house with no doors in between that could have been closed. Two, I know the script of this movie almost by heart. (That’s why it made such great filler; I am so comfortable with the sounds, I didn’t really hear them.) In all the times I have “seen” this movie, however, I have listened to it while doing other things, more than I’ve actually watched the screen carefully. That’s why in more than 30 years of being a fan of this flick I never realized pipes were on that tie. You see, a man who smokes a pipe, and a shop that sells pipes and tobacco, figure prominently into the plot of my novel, which is a lightweight crime mystery set in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. Does it make sense now why my mouth fell open the other day when I saw this close-up and noticed the tie? There being pipes on Bing Cosby’s tie is one of about four  “coincidences” in the past week that I am choosing to see as “good omens” or positive signs about the future of the book I’ve just written. I’ll explain some of the others later. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll comment on this article and check back in again. Stay tuned for “coincidence” number two, which has to do with Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

4 thoughts on “The pattern on Bing’s tie

  1. Can’t wait to hear more about your book! I shared this post with my friend Blair and her response was “She had me at Holiday Inn!”


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