Cool Navy Blazer images

A few nice navy blazer images I found:

Charleston, Meeting Street
navy blazer
Image by hdes.copeland
Charleston, Meeting Street, Hibernian Hall, immediately south of the Mills House Hotel. Photo of ruins of the portico of Hibernian Hall just after the 1886 earthquake, taken within a few day following 31 August 1886.

Hibernian Hall was later repaired and the portico rebuilt, but with pressed metal sheeting standing in for much of the stone and plaster details that were thrown down in the earthquake. Over the years the great hall of this private club has consistently served monthly dinners for the men’s club that owns it while the portraits of its past presidents look down in approval. Green, more than orange, is the preferred color here. In addition the Irish hall has been a temporary home for several churches or their Sunday schools while they underwent renovations or repairs, most recently by the Presbyterians.

The neighboring Mills House Hotel uses it as an extension of their conference facilities. Events as diverse as wedding receptions, debutant balls, including the annual Saint Cecelia, and the Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition book it. Then there’s that one Wednesday evening each spring when the Junior Cotillion, i.e. dancing school to the locals, holds the last go of it for the school year. Boys in navy blue blazers and girls in white gloves behave for an hour, all to the relief of the parents of these otherwise socially awkward adolescents.

Hibernian Hall is the seat of the Irish social and benevolent organization founded in 1798 to provide for needs of its members, all of Irish descent. Its large, elaborate and well placed hall was constructed in the 1840’s employing the Greek revival style. Its grand proportions were an outward sign of the financial and political success of its members within the Charleston business and social community then reaching its zenith before it collapsed by the end of the American Civil War in 1865.

It was not without some irony that Charleston would host the national presidential nominating convention for the Democratic Party in 1860. Hibernian Hall was leased to the state party delegations from New York and Ohio which held their state caucuses on separate floors within the large and imposing structure. Unfortunately the Democratic Party sliped over the slavery issue and could not confirm a unifying nominee for president.

Eventually Stephen Douglas of Illinois was chosen, but the convention in Charleston ended in disarray with a deeply divided Democratic Party. Southern delegates walked out rather than endorse Douglas of Illinois. The result was that a little known third party with a roundly disliked candidate for president, Abraham Lincoln, became the winner of the general election by default. The Democratic Party had destroyed itself from within and the Southern wing would tragically do more than just walk out of the convention…it would attempt to leave the Union that many of their own grandfathers had risked their lives to create.

Hibernian Hall was one of many public buildings that served as venues for the one and only national political party’s presidential nominating convention to be held in Charleston. Months after the ill fated Democratic Party convention had disbanded, and a month after the election of Abraham Lincoln, those same buildings became the platforms for the Secession Convention which formally declared the Union to be dissolved between the United States and the sovereign state of South Carolina.

Given this complicated history, the ghost of Stephen Douglas might be finally appeased if a future US President, also a Democrat from Illinois, were to be given a more positive reception here. Barack Obama at least received a resoundingly positive endorsement with his party primary victory in South Carolina in January 2008.

Almost exactly one year later, after all reasonable politics and diplomacy had failed and open civil war had erupted, a fire swept through the cradle of secession destroying a third of the city. Prophetically, with the destruction of that fire went every building that would have become a shrine. These would be the national landmarks to an independent South Carolina and the equally ill fated Confederacy. A bit player in this history and removed from being the center stage of each of these event, Hibernian Hall alone has survived among all the public buildings directly associated with Southern Secession in Charleston.

In 1865, just over four years after it declared open rebellion, a defeated and devastated city surrendered to Union forces. Confederate defenders had unceremoniously withdrawn in the middle of the night. This was less than 2 months before the general surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox. Hibernian Hall would be used by occupation forces. Again it would become a temporary home to delegations from New York and Ohio, among others, albiet a barracks for several military units. Gradually, over the 11 year long military occupation of Charleston and as Federal troops were withdrawn following the failed rebellion, buildings and properties like this were largely returned to their previous owners.

The Hibernian Society still exists and is noted for its tradition of rotating its president between the Catholic and Protestant wings of this all Irish union, or at least the legacies of the many unions of an Irish ancestor with the local melting pot. On more than one occasion the Hibernian presidency has passed to a popular Jewish Hibernian…non-Catholic for sure, yet definitely Irish by at least a thread. He would be nominated by the Protestants to fulfill their turn with no objections from the Catholics.

Hibernian Hall is an example of an historic building preserved, valued for its architecture and to mark the events it witnessed. But without the institution within its walls continuing in good health and equally preserved, the value of such historic buildings would be greatly lessened, if not made nearly worthless.

Within the Hibernian’s walls, a hundred years or more after it was built, Charleston children have practiced ancient traditions that would seem mismatched. Within this great hall more than a few young Protestants learned how to recite a Patre Nostre, but not in Latin, while young Catholics have learned how to step a waltz or a foxtrot. And when the age was right, all have learned how to tip an Irish from its bar.

The Hibernian to an outsider is a unique institution with peculiar customs for what must appear to be an odd city. The Hibernian begs more than a few questions and raised eyebrows from visitors who travel from modern Ireland. To the bewilderment of a true Irishman, regardless of their leanings, the Hibernian today harbors a piece of the Giant’s Causeway…presented to the city long ago, before it became a crime to deface this endangered geological and mythical wonder from County Antrim. This is seen as no less an affront as the Elgin marbles in the British Museum might be to a citizen of modern Greece.

navy blazer
Image by wakingphotolife:

The lounge was empty when I arrived for my first day. The manager, Louis, told me to wait for him in the lobby so that we could get some paper work out of the way. I brought my social security card with me so that he could make a photo copy but he wasn’t around at the time he’d say he’d be.

I picked up a Sports Illustrated magazine and bought a candy bar from the vending machine. I sat down on a metal fold out chair at a one of the two plastic tables. I looked at my watch; it was 7:30, I had half an hour to go until work started. I was hired for the night shift. Everyone had gone home at six.

I read a few pages a few pages from an article about the great year the Giants had before they won the World Series back in October.

The job wasn’t ideal but I needed the money. I need to pay for my health insurance, which I was behind on and I needed to pay George back for the money he loaned me. I was very glad he did. Though he didn’t mention it for a time, it had been two months and I wanted to pay him back as soon as I could. I was ready to work hard, whether my body was failing me or not.

A woman came into the lounge from the office hallway. She went to the machine and bought a plain Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, the same one I got from D-19.

“Do you mind?” she said, putting her purse down before I even answered.
“Not at all.”
“Are you new here?” she said. She took a glass Tupperware container out of a tote bag and set it in the microwave.
“Yeah. I’m starting today, I’m working the night-shift.”
“Another vampire joins the fray. There aren’t too many people at night, but they’re fun. Have you met Jimmy?”
“I haven’t.”
“You’ll like him.”
“I hope so. What about you?”
“No. Not me. I use to, but they they switched me over. It’s an adjustment; now I take viola classes at night.” She was leaning against the counter with her arms crossed.
I put the magazine away.
“I hope you don’t mind. Dinner.”
“Tough life huh?”
She laughed. “Not really. But, there’s not enough time. Class are at eight, I don’t have time to make it home.”
“Where are you taking it?”
“Sacramento City College. It works out well though. I get to miss traffic. Did you see it on the way here? Where you from?”
“On highway 80? I commute from Natomas.”
“Yeah. Nuts isn’t it.”

“Would you like some coffee?” She held up her thermos.
“Sure.” I got up to get a paper cup from the water dispenser. She used her thermos cap.
“Dessert,” she said while unwrapping the chocolate bar. “Nothing better than chocolate when I’m on my period.”
“Help yourself. Let me know if you want another one. My treat for a first day.” I hadn’t opened mine yet.
She took it and put it in her bag, “I’ll save this for viola class. Thanks. I’m Alice.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m John.”

Louis ended up not showing. He called me to let me know and told me I could stay and work anyway. “No big deal. Just paperwork you know? You’re hired already already anyway. I told Jimmy to show you around and give you the log-in information; just ask him if you need anything for today.”

Jimmy showed me around. There were three of us at night. The other guy was Steve but he stayed in his cubicle on the other side of the office most of the time. “Don’t mind him. He’s quiet, a nice guy though,” Jimmy said.
I went over to Steve’s cubicle and introduced myself.
“I’m John. I’m the new guy.”
He looked away from his screen, pushed his chair back and stood up. He shook my hand. “It’s nice to meet you. Let me know if you need anything.”

My desk was next to Jimmy’s. He spent equal time on Facebook and Dreamweaver.


“Hey, it’s you again. You’re here early,” Alice said.
She was wearing a long green vintage dress underneath a dark green and navy plaid blazer; she had a pair of Converses and a row of slim red bracelets along her forearm. They jangled when she put her arms on the table.
“Viola class today?” I said.
“Noooo…” She laughed. “I’ve got a date tonight. We’re going to see a show in midtown.”
“What’s the band?”
“Some local band.”
“Try me.”
“Have you heard of The Electro Group?”
“Hells yeah. I love them. I use to live at Tone Vendor and Claire Records.”
“No way. High five! High five!”

We were excited like little kids. It could have been the make up but I noticed she was prettier than yesterday.

“No way! You’re the first person I know, well at work anyway, whose heard of them.”
“Great. We can be coworkers for life.”
“Except we don’t really work together.”
“Well, we have the same boss. Where are they playing?”
“Right right. Old Ironsides.”
“I suddenly feel like taking sick leave.”
“No one’s stopping you.”
“I’m stopping myself. Hopefully they’ll still be there when I go on lunch at midnight.”


I showed up early again. I figure it was better that I showed up early for the first week. It was only Jimmy and I this time. He had just bought a ferret, which was illegal, for a pet. We talked about all the weird pets that people had on Youtube. Like deers and skunks.
“Fuck it. Let’s resurrect road kill,” he said, “Did you know in the ‘80s, there was a huge explosion of people keeping pigs as pets.”
“I never knew.”
“Pigs are smart man. Smarter than some dogs.”
When I thought about it, it made sense. I thought about Babe and Wilbur.
“I blame it on Charlotte’s Web,” he said.
“Wasn’t that written long before the ‘80s though?”
“Yeha. But the animated movie. That’s what got people”
“Ah I see.”

I got my first catastrophic computer crash that night. Jimmy and Stephen came over to pat me on the shoulder. “We all get initiated,” Jimmy said.
“They update everything except hardware. You’ve been warned.”

What a bunch of assholes.


Alice came in with dark circles under her eyes. I was trying to finish the baseball article from Monday.

I asked her how the show was even though it was two nights ago.
“It was great. Anyway, I wanted to show you this since I thought you’d be interested.” She set her viola case on the table and popped it open. It smelled like wood lacquer and thrift store musk. She was talking really fast. She took the instrument and handed it to me. “You said you wanted to see one right?”
“A Carlo Robelli. Very very nice. Do you mind?”
“No, go ahead. Just don’t droll on the chin rest.”
“I’m drooling already.”
“Whatever dude.”
She went over to the counter to heat up her dinner; it smelled like Chinese food.
I put the viola against my neck and settled my body into it.
“What are you having?” I said.
“Sweet and sour pork. They’re left overs from Tuesday. He took me to PF Changs. Wasn’t very yummy, but I don’t want to waste it,” she said.

I started playing the first tune that I could think of.

“A little Tchaikovsky huh? I see. Swan Lake?”

I nodded slightly.

“I’m impressed.”

The music echoed around the walls of the employee lounge. It had been so long since I last held any kind of instrument. I felt clumsy and my eyebrows twitched every-time I hit an errant note. I closed my eyes and forgot about Alice and the room.

After about a minute, I heard the microwave timer go off and I naturally stopped. A few seconds later, Louis peeked in from the door. His face was completely red and the top of his bald head was shining; with his droopy moustache he looked like Jamie from Mythbusters I realized.

Louis raised his eyebrows. “Something smells good. I could smell it all the way in my office.”
“Sorry, that’s me.” Alice raised her hand.
His eyes shifted from me to her, then he closed the door and left without saying anything.

I tucked the stick into its slot inside the case and put the viola away. Then draped the felt cloth over it. Alice sat across the table with her chin in her hand. “You’re not going to play anymore?”
“No. It’s alright. I think I’m done torturing you,” I said.
“Hey…it was actually pleasant. I was enjoying it.”
“You look sad though when you play though. Has anyone ever told you that?”
“My ex-girlfriend. But well, it’s a sad song.”
“True that”

She hummed the rest of Swan Lake as she ate.


I went to my doctor’s appointment and got to work late because of traffic.

It was our first deadline of the week, and the three of us, “The Night Shifters”, hauled ass to get the client’s website up by morning without any kinks.

When our day ended at three, we went to Denny’s for my birthday. I didn’t even notice until Jimmy found me out on Facebook. I regretted adding him.

“Come on man. We have to take it you out.”

They wanted to go to a strip club but I turned them down. They weren’t open this late anyway.

I was treated to a huge stack of pancakes and a basket of hush puppies. It was left untouched as I wasn’t in the mood to eat: I realized I forgot to tell my doctor that afternoon that my refills for Lexapro had run out and I needed him to renew my prescription.

I worried for the weekend.


“Hi babe, I guess you’re not at your phone right now, well, it’s nothing new. Sorry if you don’t like me calling you that anymore; habits. It was my birthday last night. My coworkers took me out for dinner, quite nice of them. Work’s been okay so far. Not too exciting but the people around me are nice. I got a chance to play the viola this week. It’s been so long. I’ve forgotten all the songs I use to know. Are you still playing guitar? I hope you do once in a while. I use to love hearing you play even if you didn’t like me listening. Hah, well, I still do but I don’t have the chance to listen to it anymore. Well, I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s quite cold these days. It was only 15 degrees Celsius when I got home this morning. You asked me not to say I love you, so well, I’ll say it to your voice-mail then: I love you voice-mail. I’ll always think you’re beautiful, voice-mail. I hope you stay warm. I’ll do my best to stay warm too. Take care. I’m sorry.”

I sat down and wrote some letters and postcards until I finally feel asleep a little past noon. When I woke up I received a text that said “Happy Birthday.”


I drove out to Folsom Lake and had a nice afternoon. Since it was February, the water was still cold; the shores were empty and there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I rented a canoe from the boat dock and paddled out to the middle of the lake. It had been so long since I last paddled a boat. The lake was large and I rested when I got far enough from shore. My shoulders and lungs ached.

I leaned back in the canoe and let the lake current pull it along. I listened to the water sloshing along aside it and closed my eyes.

When I woke up, the boat was beached on the far end of the lake in a section of the park I didn’t recognize. From here, I could no longer see the boat dock and the shoreline was replaced with a dense row of trees and roots. The boat was tucked underneath a small outcropping of them.

I reached around for the paddle but I guess it must have fell out of the canoe.

I grabbed a long tree root and pulled the canoe close to the shore. I got out and dragged the canoe up the embankment so that it wouldn’t drift out. I supposed that I could just walk west along the lake until I returned to where I was. It probably wouldn’t take too long.

I told the people at the front desk what happened and paid for a replacement paddle; they said it was no problem and they’d send someone to go out and retrieve the boat. They were very nice about it, most of them were college kids working the weekend.
I told them exactly where it was.
“That’s pretty far out there,” he said.

When I got home, I looked in the mirror and saw that parts of my face and arms had become sunburned. I didn’t know it was possible to get sunburn when it’s that cold outside.

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