OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA | John Ashworth says he likes to live in the moment, and at the moment I walk into the Linksoul Lab, the Oceanside building that serves as his apparel company’s headquarters, the 59-year-old is hunched over a table examining a couple dozen cotton shirts strewn across it. Be-bop jazz wafts out of a pair of speakers, and a dog of a probably untraceable pedigree sleeps soundly on the concrete floor. A copying machine stands next to a washer and dryer, and a vintage bicycle is parked against a wall, by a golf bag filled with persimmon woods and a set of Ben Hogan blades so worn they may well have been forged when the Hawk was still sitting at the chairman’s desk. Gazing out a window overlooking a side street, I notice an artificial turf putting green that takes up part of the sidewalk – and that is sometimes used by employees as a place to unwind. Beyond that is Linksoul’s neighbor to the south, a mortuary.
Wearing dark slacks, a long-sleeve, blue-green polo shirt and a baseball-style hat, all of which bear the Linksoul logo, Ashworth is presiding over what he describes as “sort of a sales meeting.” After commenting on the shirts to the half dozen people standing by the same table, he suggests we head out for lunch.
To do so, we first must pass through a studio-like space in the front of the lab where a local artist is preparing an installation – and where Ashworth, on occasion, also stages benefit concerts and screens documentaries. Then, we push thro...
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