Corduroy Oscar

Corduroy Oscar

Actor Paul Giamatti joins an illustrious Cinema Hall of Fame garbed in his corduroy suit for the riveting prep school drama The Holdovers awarding him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in Musical or Comedy.

His suit looks like an exact replica of the J. Press corduroy suit worn in past movie classics by Ryan O’Neal for Love Story and Robert Redford in All The President’s Men.

The current flick, masterfully directed by Alexander Payne and lovingly scripted by David Hemingson received @nytimes rave calling it “a jaunt to the past, with Paul Giamatti playing a curmudgeonly instructor at a 1970s boarding school, is crackling with pungent life.”

Confession—David Hemingson, himself a Yalie and J. Press fan not unknown to yours truly, responded to my congratulatory message:

Thanks Richard! That means the world to me. Just so you know, Paul wears a J. Press corduroy suit for part of the movie. My dad, Richard Hemingson, and Bart Giamatti knew each other; both were Yale class of 1960, and both shopped at J. Press, so I thought it only fitting that the character should be kitted out accordingly.

My dad, Paul Press, and the Giamatti family go way back. Paul Giamatti’s grandfather, Valentine Giamatti, was a Hillhouse High School classmate and pal of my dad’s. Further tying the knot, Paul Giamatti’s dad, Bart, former President of Yale (later Commissioner of Major League Baseball) , offered my father a penultimate gift he forever treasured. Dad religiously did daily laps in the pool of the Chapel Street Jewish Center until Yale bought the property and closed the site.

“Bart,” my father joking told the Yale President, “How can you do this to me.”

“Don’t worry Paul, I’ll fix it,” to which he awarded  Paul Press (University of Pittsburgh, ’32) the sole non-Yalie  proprietary membership in the Payne Whitney gym. My father used to brag to anyone he could collar that he swam laps faster than any of the student co-eds now swimming in the pool who were fifty plus years younger.

Reinforcing Yale’s historic motto:


Lux et Veritas





Richard.C. Lee, famous Mayor of New Haven, was also extended privileges at the Payne Whitney Gym. He often visited my father, a distinguished member of the Athletic Staff, at his office on the fourth floor. Also, supervisors and trainers of the physical fitness program for ROTC at Yale, retained their privileges at the Payne Whitney Gym even after ROTC had been abolished from the college.

Donald R. Wilson