• The Wagon and the Road

    Miscellany  

    At the time I dreaded it. I had better things to do with my summers, like pump my best friend to the comic book shop, watch CHiPs, and build forts in the creek behind my backyard. It was the early 90s and my parents were very much into road trips. The more states the better. The combination of economy travel for five, around-the-clock sightseeing, and an ‘87 Mercedes-Benz diesel wagon made it the sensible choice to satisfy what wanderlust my parents needed to pacify.

    There is something very American about the road trip. Given our love affair with cars, it's no wonder. The 47,000+ miles of interstate highway, National Monuments, and roadside eats have made it about the journey, not simply the destination. Castleberry family road trips were no exception. Our destination was always home…with one caveat: never return the way you came. To drive in a huge loop was completely normal. In the summer of 1993 we circled the American Southwest...Sequoia National Park, the Grand Canyon, Delicate Arch in Utah—we hit it all in a week.

    The trips never came at a convenient break in the summers though. Occasionally, I'd enlist a friend from the neighborhood to join the circus come along. They never knew it but they were the buffer and served a very specific purpose. After all, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being cooped up with my younger brother and sister for nine hour stretches while dad threatened to pull the car over every other rest stop. My one reprieve was throwing my feet out the window and watching the world fly by.

    Today, I actually find myself pining for those road trips. Nostalgia seems to do that—romanticize our memories. My brother and sister now live overseas, sadly, and I rarely see them. Over the weekend, I found my way into the backseat again as spring hesitantly stepped out from behind winter's shadow. I just laid there. In the relative quiet, I propped my feet out the window, closed my eyes, and let the warmth of the sun take me back to that summer in ’93.

    Mar 13, 2014 | Permalink (3) Total Comments

    Richard Ross left a comment on 3/18/2014 at 11:17 PM:

    I sure do love road trips. Our family road trip rule was that we couldn’t eat at chain restaurants. Only “road food”, as my dad would call it. I still apply that rule to my road trips with friends.


    Lee Emerson left a comment on 3/17/2014 at 8:09 AM:

    Road trips are big in Australia too. There’s something mesmerizing about them - like getting lost in time…


    scaleworm left a comment on 3/16/2014 at 10:02 PM:

    memories are always nice.
    thank you for sharing.


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  • Porsche Sport Driving School

    Sports | Miscellany  

    It was five years ago that I consciously decided to be a "Yes Man." Since that time I've jumped into some crazy experiences, formed lifelong friendships, and have laughed all along the way. I'm constantly asking myself, "Am I living an interesting story?"

    When the storied Italian tire maker Pirelli invites you to the Porsche Sport Driving School for a day, that's a knee-jerk "yes." I first fell in love with Porsche when I test drove one at the young age of 15. For good reason my parents cut that idea off at the knees...but the encounter stuck with me. Porsche's Sport Driving School is housed on a track in Birmingham, Alabama in what, for all intents and purposes, is considered to be the middle of nowhere. But that's its charm. It's man, machine, and God's creation. As if to acknowledge this is where we came from, now where can we go (and how fast)? If it sounds romantic, that's because it is.

    "Your most powerful weapon is your brakes. Racing is all about your braking. They are 4-5 times more powerful than your engine."

    Let's just call the driving school what it really is, "The sensual seduction by a 911 Turbo." The lines of her body move like a woman...curving, rolling, sloping ever so gently down her back. Opening up the throttle to 97...99...103...111...117 (and I'm only in third gear at this point), the engine's roar rattles among the pines, blood pumping through my chest as my heart rate rises with the needle.

    Easily the single most fun day I've ever experienced, I'm excited to share that Pirelli is feeling generous. They are sending one lucky driver (and a friend) to experience two days behind a Porsche 911. Not only will you get your fix for your need for speed but you'll receive first class driving instruction from experienced race car drivers. I experienced this firsthand as I rode shotgun for a hot lap. By the end of it, I was ready to lose my lunch...not as romantic.

    Feb 24, 2014 | Permalink (11) Total Comments

    julia left a comment on 3/17/2014 at 1:26 PM:

    2 years ago my husband bought a 911, then took this course last summer, and now we’re going again this year….#hooked. your photos are superb!


    Stefanee left a comment on 3/6/2014 at 5:33 PM:

    I just recently wrote about wanting to start agreeing to any and all adventure on a blog that my sister and I started up. It was a New Years resolution of mine, and seeing this definitely made me want to keep following through with that!
    Great blog, you have some awesome stuff!

    itisourphilosophy.com


    Corey Young left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 11:49 PM:

    Thanks for this posting! I have always been a Porsche man! They were a “dime a dozen” when I was a kid living in “Silicon Valley” back in the very early 1980’s-late 1970’s. I can remember one summer day counting 50 of them on the way to Half Moon Bay from Fremont! My father had a choice back in the day between a Lancia and a 911. He chose the Lancia. He did repent and later bought a Mercedes 280 D. Not exactly a Porsche but German and classy no less. Myself…still dreaming. Maybe in 5 more years when the kids are older and the wife will let me look beyond SUV’s!

    This is the best post you’ve had in a long time…and just when I was about to give up. You peaked my interest yet again! This really brought back alot of great memories for me. Thanks!


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 8:05 PM:

    @Hillary—Thank you. And the base price on a 911 Turbo S (which I also had the pleasure of driving) is $180,000.


    Hillary left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 7:15 PM:

    A Cayman S lists for under $66k….not $100k.


    Dan left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 11:31 AM:

    Wonder what the dress code for a Veyron is.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 10:19 AM:

    @CC—If I’m driving a $100K sports car, I’m wearing a tie. The car deserves at least that much respect.


    CC left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 10:13 AM:

    One of those necktie-required racetracks?


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 10:03 AM:

    @Barbara—It was 7 degrees in Birmingham that day. You bet I wore a parka. Of course we shed them once inside the cars…but there were periods of standing outside while receiving instruction.


    Barbara left a comment on 3/5/2014 at 9:46 AM:

    That’s not what you wore to drive cars, is it?


    George left a comment on 3/4/2014 at 11:30 PM:

    Porsche = YES! Nice story, nice shots.


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  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Mink

    Top Drawer | Style  

    Say hello to Peyton Ladt. Easily one of the sweetest people I've met in New York, she smiles as if you’re the only person in the room. Over oysters at Leadbelly recently, a group of us were all swapping stories and I learned the Ladt girls—there's four of them in New York—share this mink coat that travels the city between them. A night at the opera, an evening gala, or New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker could have any one of the sisters criss-crossing Manhattan to don the heirloom piece.

    The full length mink belonged to their grandmother. It still bears her initials on the inside. Somewhere between a Spring Creek and a Beach Point I knew I wanted to capture a vignette of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Mink memoirs. Wearing fur is about feeling luxurious...dramatic...there's an occasion to it. But it doesn't have to be precious. Wear it like a robe with a ball cap? Sure. What better occasion than over her vintage Bowie tee while singing like nobody’s listening.

    Feb 21, 2014 | Permalink (9) Total Comments

    George left a comment on 2/26/2014 at 11:04 PM:

    So, preppies CAN smile! We see so many pouts, frowns, and blanks on the internet looking up “preppy” stuff. It’s reaffirming to know there’s a real person in back of it all. Gotta love those teeth!


    Bob left a comment on 2/26/2014 at 7:52 PM:

    Nice shot. Very nice.


    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 5:43 PM:

    @Thad—I know they taste really good on the way down…with Tabasco ;)


    Thad left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 5:35 PM:

    Fred, what’s your experience with or knowledge of beach point and spring creek?


    David left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 4:19 PM:

    You are a quarter of the way done with this story.


    Peter left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 2:44 PM:

    I can only imagine the sort of stories this mink has been an accomplice to.


    Lucas Tingle left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 2:20 PM:

    Love this post. What a great story and concept - “if that mink had eyes.” I hope they keep a record of everywhere notable it’s been worn.


    Nancy left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 2:03 PM:

    I love you Peyton!! You’re adorable! (Also, all the Ladt girls are amazing).


    Leslie left a comment on 2/25/2014 at 1:26 PM:

    You’re outdoing yourself here.


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  • Fur Piece

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in New York, NY

    Noteworthy: layering of dark olives and navies are an interesting alternative to black in New York.

    Feb 19, 2014 | Permalink (2) Total Comments

    Gable left a comment on 2/23/2014 at 5:27 PM:

    Just discovered your blog and Instagram! Noticed you’re a designer too -? Where can I find your designs/clothes?


    Dan left a comment on 2/22/2014 at 1:47 AM:

    THIS is how you pair a parka with tailored-wear. Each piece is the same level of formality, while the outfit as a whole is tonally harmonious.


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  • In Check

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in New York, NY

    Noteworthy: double-breasted Glenn plaid polo coat, love the nonchalantly knotted belt.

    Feb 17, 2014 | Permalink (0) Total Comments

    Kick off the comments by using the stationery below to pen your thoughts.

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