Posted by: Norm | October 12, 2013

Hood-Spencer and Hart, Shaffner & Marx

I had several suits growing up.  All were from J. C. Penney and were functional.  Suits were worn to church, funerals, weddings, junior high dances and an occasional visit to my old-maid, great-aunt Effie’s Victorian home where tea and extremely small cookies were always served in late afternoon.

These suits were always purchased under the watchful eye of Mr. Sutton at J. C. Penney’s.  The manager, and member of our church, Mr. Sutton always wore a suit to work.  My mother trusted him to lay out a couple rudimentary choices and make sure they met our budget.

One day, around Christmas of my Freshman year in college, my dad announced at the dinner table, “Ena Fern, it’s time Norman had a good suit.”  Of course mom offered, “He hasn’t outgrown the last one yet.”

“Tomorrow morning,” dad replied, “Norm and I are going down to Hood-Spencer to get a Hart, Shaffner and Marx.”

Dad had one.  It had replaced another HS&M several years earlier.  He viewed a suit by this manufacturer as the best suit money could buy.

Just the thought of entering Hood-Spencer Clothing was a brain rush.

The haberdashery always smelled nice.  I would learn later it was the aroma of a cologne for men.

There ought to be more to this tale, but there isn’t.  The most I can say is this.  Hood-Spencer Clothiers was a benchmark on my way to becoming an adult.  Following that first experience, I entered the domain of “the best” many times again.  Eventually Mr. Hood and Mr. Spencer would become friends. I would stop by when back in Junction City for years to come.  I will always remember them as the gentlemen who welcomed a boy to their shop and sent him out as a man.


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