A few days ago I re-read I'm Frank Hamer, the biography of the famous Texas Ranger best known for killing Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. In it there were a number of group photos of Texas Rangers from the 1920s and early 1930s. Interestingly enough, quite a few, maybe a third of them in each photo, were wearing bowties. Certainly, there aren't too many men more tough and macho than a Texas Ranger. As my old friend Bill Jordan (a very dangerous, formidable man in his own right) remarked to me in one of the last conversations I had with him, "They were fierce, those old Rangers. They were very jealous of their reputations." This leads me to wonder when exactly and why the bowtie began to acquire the negative imagery that surrounds it today--the mark of the nerd or dweeb, the otherworldly professor, the clown, the professional eccentric. Yeah, I know it is a perfectly legitimate piece of neckwear, I wear them occasionally, but I think we're all aware of this popular perception of them. Anybody got any ideas of how and when bowties began to fall from favor? One might correlate it with the decline of the three-piece suit, but that hardly seems like the whole story. Was there some defining character that made the bowtie seem ridiculous, sort of like what Thurston Howell III did to the ascot?