Sunday, 4 July 2010

That Time of Year

The Stars and Stripes on the River Thames at Henley Royal Regatta 

For all my lovely American friends
on the Fourth of July

Mallards settle on Brian Flattery's slipper launch moored outside his fine house which overlooks the Regatta's finishing line.  He has lived there for over ten years. Mr Flattery, a former state energy official in North Carolina, looked unmistakably American when we met him on Friday in his blue and white striped seersucker suit and preppy rounded collar with pink braces (suspenders, I think you call them.)  His blue tie bore the emblem of the famous Leander Rowing Club, pink hippos.  Pink is the colour at Henley: it is Leander. 

 Famously hospitable, whenever possible he hosts an Independence Day party, inviting American crews to participate. “We read the Declaration of Independence and throw tea into the Thames at 1:30 p.m. on July 4th…. it’s all done in good sport. We always have an Englishman read the Declaration so we have the proper accent” he laughs. [quoted from The Henley Standard July 2008]  


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! I had a very brazen shirt I wore that was from the US Naval Academy's rugby team. All big stars and bright stripes. No mistaking me for anything but American!

  2. Quite nice. I attended Henley many years ago to cheer my fellow Yale crew members on (I didn't make the boat), and had a lovely time. The sartorial splendor was astonishing! Reggie

  3. Reggie, you are right. All those manly (and elderly) chaps in little boys' blazers with cheeky caps and white flannels. It's truly gorgeous.


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