100 Watts : How the West was Worn


“The West is not a place, It’s a state of mind.” – J.A. Weil

A state of mind that the late Jack A. Weil, founder of Rockmount Ranch Wear has sewn into the fabric of North America, and the subject of my column this week, which can you read here:

Download this file

What’s the secret to Rockmount’s success?

“I learned fast you can’t sell to cowboys; they have no money. You have to appeal to the cowboy in everyone.”

And that’s exactly what Weil did.  Since the 1940’s Rockmount Ranch Wear has been sported by Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Sir Paul McCartney and prety much anyone who has adorned a snap button cowboy shirt or bolo tie.

Known as “Papa Jack” he worked daily up until his death in 2008.  He was 107 years old likely making him the oldest CEO.

A self-confessed workaholic Weil commented on his process by saying:

“I read the obituaries, and if my name is not there, I get dressed and go to work”

Jack’s family reflected on some of the wise words to live by imparted to them, simply called “Papa-isms”.

Grandson and Rockmount honcho Steve Weil has incorporated them into two books.

Ask Papa Jack: Wisdom of the World’s Oldest CEO:

Western Shirts : A Classic American Fashion:

Granddaughter Judy Oksner remembers:

“He taught me that it isn’t about getting there, it’s about going, and he just kept going.”

Gail Sigman recalled the saying her grandfather would use when people around him started pining for the old days:

“Was ain’t is,”   “Change is the only constant,” she said. “Understand it. Get over it. Move on.”

Although “Papa Jack” didn’t live to see this recession the following, which he wrote in 1975, could apply to the country’s financial crises today:

“A few of us remember the 1930s, I was there. The world is not coming to its end, we have simply a long-due settling-up of follies and perhaps greed. Evaluate today’s conditions sanely: our press reports lay-offs, shutdowns, unemployment, tight money, stock market drops — what have you.”

For more wisdom, and some great western wear be sure to check out the endless press clippings and online store available on the Rockmount website: 


Watts on your mind?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s