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Kelly Peterson wears elegant attire

Kelly Peterson

Kelly Peterson is "framed" by an old apple tree planted by his granddad Grant fifty years ago. Still produces fruit.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.

Oscar Roloff by Oscar Roloff
I've known the now-Woodinville resident Kelly Peterson since he was a kid; his parents and grandparents, too. The startling thing about this once-teenager is the high fashion clothes he wears. Where he works, the strict rule of good clothes (suit) is a must.
   The company issuing that order is Howard Johnson and Company with a subtitle of Benefit and Compensation Consultants and Actuaries. Kelly is attached to their Seattle office.
   "Do you always slick up like that?" I asked the once-lad, who used to wear old clothes when slogging through youthhood.
   "Yes," replied Kelly with a smile of satisfaction.
   "Do they allow beards?" was my next question.
   "None allowed," he replied, adding, "But years ago, there were two with beards, but they've overlooked those two. No more."
   I then told him about a writing buddy of mine, Redmond Sharp of Redmond, who sports a nice beard and gets by with it in his business. No fuss.
   Ten years ago, I'd asked Redmond about his nice-looking, well-trimmed beard and if he encounters any trouble.
   "Oscar," he replied, "I've found out that men with nice beards can get through a lot of red tape and have no methetes put in their way to see the bosses. The various in-between possible stoppers don't know how to handle such situations. Often I walk right by them. Beards must be neat and a nice suit being worn."
   To that example, Kelly, 26, nodded.
   "As for our company, " the tall-standing, confident big exec-to-be said, "the 'key' to our company's success is the suit."

A proven study
   A few years ago, I read of a study made in that vein in New York. A group put a number of well-dressed men in business suits and had them walk toward door entrances where large companies had their offices. One at a time, though.
   The others would stand back and watch while singular well-attired men would walk toward the doors. In all instances, those who would be approaching, too, would stand back and let the man enter first; some even held the door open for them.
   Never failed. The well-dressed would stride through first.
   To that, Kelly nodded. He graduated from Central Washington University at Ellensburg. How did he get through college?
   He answered with confidence, "I worked my way through."
   Now in his third year with his company, in June he'll be transferred to the main office in Chicago. As for the sharp-looking suitably-attired young exec, they've had their eyes on him. It couldn't have happened to a better kid that I've seen growing up. The key, I guess, is stay free of all downgrading obstacles and pitfalls.
   When I taught school, I always wore a suit, white shirt, and an appropriate tie. It made a difference.
   Since Kelly's grandpa died, my wife Elaine and I go over to see his grandmother Edna, 87, and help out a bit. I pull weeds, hoe, bring over flowers, etc. It's part of our giving of ourselves to one who is alone.