A young Tim and his granddad Raymond.

Following Granddad’s semi-exit strategy

My granddad Raymond owned a men’s formal wear business, selling and renting tuxedos in Bixby Knolls, back in the 1960s and ’70s. He was a well-liked businessman who made a killing every year by selling tuxedos to Shriners, whose top elite members—I forget what they’re called, but they were like the Seal Team Six of Shriners—had to purchase a different style of tux every year to wear while zipping around in tiny cars.

He weaponized his sales tactics with tumblers of Early Times that he’d pour for customers, winking and asking “care for a little something to wet your whistle?”

And of course his Christmas in June came with the prom season, with high-schoolers trying to out-peacock one another in terms of what they would rent.

He truly loved running Raymond’s Tux Shop, definitely more than the rest of us in the family who were dragooned into helping out by running the press, the blind-stitch machine, assembling the outfits for customers and a hundred other chores.

Granddad was at the shop from opening till closing and as he grew older, his wife and son, my dad, grew concerned about his health and urged him to retire. But who would take over the shop? He refused to retire and continued to grow older. Finally, my dad and his brother-in-law bought the shop from him so he would go home and relax. Go fishing up at the cabin in Big Bear. Stop working.

He did stop working for a week or two, but he grew restless and began coming into the shop, which my dad had taken over. He fiddled around with the merchandise, chatted with the customers, wet his whistle and pretty soon he was staying at work full-time, which frustrated my dad because he didn’t really enjoy running the shop, and his well-intentioned plan to force Granddad into retirement was a dismal failure, so he sold it back and Granddad ran it again until competition from newer shops and department stores that had taken to renting tuxedos ran him out of business, but not before he sold it to one of those high-dollar, A-Team Shriners.

This Friday is the day of my retirement from the Long Beach Post, which has a rather terminal ring to it, but, inspired by my late granddad’s hesitance to embrace retirement fully, I’ll still be hanging around the Post because the newsroom is to me what Raymond’s Tux Shop was to my granddad.

And to further distance myself from full-on, gone-fishin’ retirement is the fact that my ultimate boss, Melissa Evans, who is as benevolent as she is willowy, is allowing me to continue writing this weekly newsletter for our cherished members, and most often from the office at the Post, where I can lull my treasured co-workers to sleep with flowery reminiscences of journalism from back in the days before they and the internet were born. My leaving the payroll of the Post will drop the average age of our staff by a full generation and save the company a couple rolls of quarters.

I’m happy to be continuing to paradoxically work during my retirement, which, while not totally the end, means more free time to do whatever it is I’m going to do. And there’s plenty. Our spice cabinet isn’t going to reorganize itself, for instance.

Also, FYI. I’d still like to hear from you, but please, stay off my lawn. I’m planning on being crotchety now.

What I’ve got blaring throughout the house

Legendary British Bands - English 2 - NDLA
Ron Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Digital Learning Arena.

“Hackney Diamonds,” The Rolling Stones. This is stupid how long this band has lasted. Sixty-plus years and this latest record still rocks as hard as most everything the band has ever done. Which isn’t to say it’s their best album. It doesn’t approach their four-album streak from 1968 through 1972 when the Stones unleashed “Beggars Banquet,” “Let It Bleed,” “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main Street,” but that’s not saying anything other than it’s not one of the greatest rock works of all time. It’s still their best in the last four decades.

It’s a solid, energetic and wonderfully produced album with no duds in the mix and some great pieces as well, including “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” which is evocative of “Gimme Shelter,” with Lady Gaga subbing for “Shelter’s” Merry Clayton on guest vocals. I’m gonna have this one on at paint-peeling volume for a while.

What I’ve enjoyed on Netflix because I’m infatuated with the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol


I can’t get enough of the Jan. 6 terrorist assault on the U.S. Capitol. My wife can hardly stand to look at any of the footage from the attack, but I watch every second of it over and over. I’m angry at Kevin McCarthy for giving all that unreleased footage to Tucker Carlson, because I want to see it, too. I can’t think of anything in recent times that has fascinated me more than all those demented MAGAmaniacs viciously rioting and terrorizing and attacking the officers trying to defend the building before the morons overran them and smashed their way through the interior shouting for the blood of anyone who was standing in the way of reinstalling Trump in the office that he lost badly. So, yes, I enjoyed “The Insurrectionist Next Door,” an HBO documentary by Alexandra Pelosi.

The daughter of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Alexandra has made more than a dozen documentaries, mostly for HBO, and has won an armload of Emmys.

Here, she employs plenty of footage of the mayhem interspersed with some of the rioters who have been convicted of crimes related to their actions on Jan. 6. Some are contrite, some are unapologetic, some you almost feel sorry for, but then you get over it.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.