The Tie Life

“Bowtie Bob” Nelson doesn’t let age get in the way of his social life.

By Jess Blumberg Mayhugh - September 2014

The Tie Life

“Bowtie Bob” Nelson doesn’t let age get in the way of his social life.

By Jess Blumberg Mayhugh - September 2014

-Photography by Mike Morgan

Chances are, if you’ve been to any local event, you’ll recognize “Bowtie Bob” Nelson. He’s the older man in pastel colors, maybe a flashy fedora, but always wearing a bow tie. 

The Mt. Vernon resident, 69, who dubs himself “semi-retired,” goes out five nights a week and says he’s not slowing down. “I never want to confuse my age with my date of birth,” he says with a laugh. “People think I’m crazy to go out so much in the city, but I love the people, the neighborhoods.” 

A typical week for Nelson involves nonprofit meetings, hanging out at The Brewer’s Art or Liam Flynn’s Ale House, seeing a movie at The Charles Theatre, hitting up a weekend festival, and walking 10 miles a day. 

And you can’t forget his style. “I’ve always been Joe College or preppy,” he says. “I won’t take the trash out without a bow tie on.” Nelson says he owns nearly 40 versions of his signature accessory and shops vintage at DeBois Textiles. Basically, at nearly 70 years old and rocking a pacemaker, Nelson is one of the coolest kids in town. 

“I may have another 30 years or three days left,” he says. “But, I’ll be laying down in the ground a lot longer. So I’ve got plenty of time to do that later on.”





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