A Gentleman Afield

No pictures exist of the real Dudley Dickerson, but he looks remarkably like Schuyler Colfax, former Speaker of the House and Vice President.

To quote Dudley Dickerson:

It is proper and right that a gentleman should, at least on occasion, seek more healthful environs beyond the city’s limit and refresh and recreate himself among streams, trails and mountaintops.  It is a lucky gentleman who ventures out with frequency — for he is a sportsman.

There is he who throws himself wholly into a single pursuit, for instance the dedicated equestrian who sees to jumping his horse over higher and higher fences, or the mountaineer who wishes to hammer the flag of his club or family crest atop every mountain that peaks above the treeline or the fly-fisherman who agonizes over each season’s insect to mimic with hand-tied lures.

And then there is the dilettante — the gentleman who dallies in many pursuits, happy to acquaint himself with the essence of a sport for the sake of amateurish adventure. The dilettante is ever the apprentice, constantly learning from masters, but rarely mastering.

It is my place as an amateur sportsman and dilettante to find these dalliances and offer some introduction to the leisurely pursuits that might refresh and recreate a gentleman — to seek out masters who know of leaping coops and traversing glaciers and tying woolly-buggers.  It is through these masters one can learn the vocabulary, the traditions and spirit of sport. It is on rare and special occasion that these masters provide reason, and focus, and joy to life.

So, every Friday, Dudley Dickerson will ruminate on his experiences as a sportsman, gentleman and writer.

  • His first series, which detailed his adventures while dog sledding in Minnesota, begins here.
  • His second series, about fly fishing, begins here and continues with accounts of his first and second lessons, personal growth through fishing and a famous sportsman who used theories about fly fishing to catch Nazis in World War II.
  • His third series focused on fashion, discussing sport jackets, hats and footwear.
  • The departure of a dear friend prompted him to ruminate about hostels.
  • Next, Dudley Dickerson discussed units of measurement.
  • He has written about gender roles and how gentility is not only the realm of men.
  • He then discussed pubs and places, besides home, where a gentleman may yet find himself at home.
  • Recently, Dudley Dickerson began a series about skiing and other sports.
  • He continues with a series about Victorian explorers, and one remarkable man in particular.

Please tell Nichol and Dudley what you think:

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