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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A Tie to the White House

By James Hall
Editor, Bassmaster Magazine

James Hall
Bassmaster Magazine Editor James Hall at the White House.
How do you pick out a tie to wear when preparing to meet the President of the United States? As Bassmaster Classic champion Alton Jones stood next to the leader of the free world, with a horde of members of the national press corps clicking pictures at the speed of light, it hit me that this is no small decision.

One of those press members snapping away was Sam Eifling, features writer for ESPN Outdoors. "Picking out the tie was easy," he explained. "My grandfather was a Bush supporter before he passed away, and this tie (a handsome gold number with a criss-cross pattern) belonged to him. It seemed appropriate that I wear it in his honor while standing in the Oval Office."

Tom Ricks, general manager of BASS, picked out a suit all on his own, but left the tie decision to his wife. "I know better than to try and color coordinate by myself," he admitted. "When you know you're going to get your picture taken with the most powerful man in the world, you are wise to let your wife pick out the tie."

Alton Jones chose a blue paisley tie because it reminded him of waves. "The only reason I was there was because of fishing and the time I've spent on the water. What could have been more appropriate?"

As for me, I decided on one of only two ties I own. With a dark brown base and tiny light brown fish dotting its surface, it perfectly complimented my brown sport coat and khaki pants. It has been like an old friend accompanying me to just about every important event I have attended that required more attention to dress than a T-shirt would allow.

And although President Bush decided on a fantastic Bassmaster blue necktie for the occasion, the most impressive tie was the one the leader of the free world has with bass fishing. He had fished with Alton Jones during his term as the governor of Texas, is good friends with BASS founder Ray Scott and has fished Ray's "Presidents Lake" several times.

Although President Bush didn't choose this tie to make him look good to the press and those snapping pictures, it sure did paint a very attractive picture of our President in my eyes.