The whole 9 yards of feeling in the pink

One might say the two-week long 2018 version of Paint Pittston Pink, which kicks off tonight at the FM Kirby Center, will go “the whole 9 yards.” And when it does, everyone will be feeling “in the pink.”
One definitely might say that if one writes a little blog and happens to know the derivation of those two expressions.
For the uninformed, Paint Pittston Pink is a multi-faceted fundraiser which collects donations for cancer research. This is its 5th anniversary. In its previous four years, it has raised nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars.
Tonight’s kickoff, the “Rockin’ Roast,” is new this year. Five local celebrities, of which this guy is one, will be “roasted” on the stage of the Kirby. There will be a performance by the Scranton Civic Ballet and music by the 9-piece band Hoopla. It all starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30. Tickets, at $50 each, are available at the door.
Tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 23, there’s a yoga event at Leverage on Main St., Pittston.
Next Friday, the 28th, is Paint the Night Pink, a lantern launch at Riverfront Park along the Susquehanna River. The next day there’s a blood drive at Susquehanna Brewing Company. Sunday, the 30th, is the Pink-O-Purse Bingo at St. Maria Goretti banquet hall.
Monday, Oct. 1, is Paint Pazzo Pink, a cocktail party at Pazzo restaurant on Route 315. Wed., Oct. 3, Art and Wine at the Pittston Knights of Columbus. Thursday, Oct. 4, women’s yoga at Sapphire Salon. Fri., Oct. 5, Paint the Red Mill Pink, a celebrity bartending night at the Red Mill Tavern.
Finally, on Saturday, Oct. 6, the whole downtown turns pink with the Cape CURE-Sader Family Walk, 5-K run, and Gentleman’s Dash (with men running in pink high heels) all on Main St., Pittston.
Later on, on Oct. 20, there will be a corn hole tournament at Susquehanna Brewery.
That’s the whole 9 yards, indeed.
But where does that expression come from? When most of us hear “yards” we think football. But what does 9 yards get you on the gridiron? Almost a first down?
Actually, no one really knows where or how the expression originated but it goes back a long way. One theory is that the belts of bullets for machine guns in World War II were 9 yards long. The problem is that the expression appears in literature long before WWII. The theory I like best is that a bolt of material contains 9 yards. Women of royalty, when ordering a dress, would direct their seamstresses to buy “the whole 9 yards” even though they did not need that much fabric. It was so that no one else could show up in the same color.
Likewise, there is more than one theory on the origin of the phrase “in the pink” for feeling really, really good. Again, the one I prefer is based on British tailor Thomas Pink. He made those red hunting jackets popular with royalty off on a fox hunt. If you were lucky enough, and rich enough to be wearing a red jacket hand sewn by Thomas Pink, you certainly were feeling “in the pink.”
Which is how I will be feeling at tonight’s roast wearing the pink bow tie graciously loaned to me by Adrienne Spangenberg, manager of Tuxedo by Sarno on Main St., Pittston.

Ed Ackerman