Lookin' Good, Dale Irby!

Well, hello there, Dale Irby!

We just heard that you and your lovely wife Cathy have retired after 40 years of teaching at Prestonwood Elementary in the Richardson School District. But, while we can't help but be impressed by your lifelong dedication to education, where you really won us over recently was your time-defying sense of style.

It takes a true man to be able to sport the same outfit in every yearbook photo for 40 years in a row.

We imagine that students and faculty alike must have been shocked back in '73 to see their basketball-shorts-and-whistle-lanyard-sporting gym teacher transformed into such a handsome fella.

We'll just go ahead and say it: You rocked that polyester button-up and mustard brown sweater vest like a real stud. Try and convince us that you repeated the getup for the '74 yearbook photo by accident all you want, but, let's face it, we both know that outfit was a 10. And you found this get-up at the Sanger-Harris in the Big Town Mall back in the day? That's awesome.

What''s also awesome is that, when Cathy dared you to make the outfit an annual tradition, you didn't laugh it off or back down. No, you used the opportunity to show that you weren't just a gym teacher, but rather the complete package. Think about it: Over the duration of the bit, you showed off your sense of humor, your ability to make long-term commitments and, most of all, your timeless sense of style.

You didn't even back down when it started becoming evident that you were having to suck in that gut to fit into the decades-old duds of yours. Instead, you used Prestonwood's annual yearbook photo day as your opportunity to keep stunning photographers, year after year, in those complimenting au naturale hues.

Oh, and by all accounts, you were a pretty kickass gym teacher too! Probably the best the school has ever seen. Loads of your former colleagues and students were happy to come forth to sing your praises in the local media this week.

Above all else though, Dale, the slideshow of your yearbook photos proves to everyone that beauty really does shine from the inside out. It's uplifting to watch how your confidence grows with every succeeding photo. You found ways to keep it fresh year after year — swapping out glasses, changing the angle of your chin, alternating which side you slyly grin on. No matter what pose you opted for each year, we found it intriguing. Sweater vest or not, our guess is that the thing that kept students asking for your signature next to your photo in their yearbook each spring was the light in your eyes that says, “I love my job.”

And, now, Prestonwood will forever remember both you and Cathy. As a symbol of their eternal thanks — a sign reading “Irby Gymnasium” now hangs in your honor. Hey, if we had a gym here at the CTHQ, we'd consider doing the same. Instead, you will just have to remain our textbook definition of a crush, Mr. Irby.

Here's hoping that you and your wife enjoy your retirement, along with all of the vacations and extended lunch breaks that come along with it. Oh, and feel free to hit us up if you get bored and decide you'd like to contribute to our Street Style section. We'd love to bring you on board.

Just something to consider, is all!

Love,
Zoe and the rest of the Central Track staff.

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