(Roughly) Daily

Greater love hath no man…


50 years ago, Paul Brockmann worked at the seaport in Bremen; when the bales were opened, the workers were allowed to pick out what they liked. Paul selected 10 dresses. He gave them to his then-girlfriend, Margot.

“I was fascinated by the dresses from the ’50s. The petticoats and the wide skirts made a woman look real feminine. And that is what I really liked. When I seen a gal with a dress like that,” he says, “I wanted to get her on the dance floor.”

When the Brockmanns married and moved to America, those 10 frocks emigrated as well. The couple moved from Germany to Ohio to Arizona to California. “And I kept collecting dresses,” Paul says. “With my wife in mind that she’s gonna wear ’em. We went ballroom dancing every week, and I wanted her to have a different dress for every dance.”

By the time they got to Los Angeles in 1988, they had quite a few dresses. “Probably around 25?” he estimates, meaning, of course, “25,000 to 26,000.”

He is 78 now, and Margot is 76. They have two kids, five decades of marriage behind them, and more dresses than they humanly know what to do with…

Indeed, they now have 55,000 dresses.  Read the this tale of compulsive couture here; see the dresses here.


As we stand still for our fittings, we might recall that it was on this date in 1910 that the sailing ship Tonquin left New York with 33 employees of Jacob Astor’s new Pacific Fur Company aboard.  Six months later, the party arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River in (what we now know as) Oregon, where Astor’s men established the town of Astoria and began trading for furs with Native Americans– thereby initiating the first major American involvement in the lucrative far western fur trade.  A few years earlier Lewis and Clark (whose Fort Clatsop camp on the Columbia was was close to the site of Astoria) had returned East to report that the region was “rich in beaver.”

The Astoria outpost



Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 8, 2013 at 1:01 am

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