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Bob’s Meanderings: The Leather Jacket

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Since I was a kid about to enter high school, I was lacking one piece of clothing that I wanted more than anything I could think of. It was a leather jacket, not faux leather but the real thing made of high-quality materials and with true craftmanship. I realized life was too difficult for my parents to supply such an extravagant luxury. After all I was only one of five children to please.

When I began working, I made a friend that had a leather biker jacket he found at Goodwill. My friend referred to the jacket as a kind of armour – the jacket kept him safe. I was impossibly jealous. I wanted desperately to find my own jacket like his.

Over the years I often figured it was time to buy a piece of clothing from which would appear as not only an upgraded attire, but an upgraded perspective on life. It had to be a leather jacket because that would finally make me look cool. It would offer me a new identity that would be indisputable. However I was nervous of too great a change so kept with the status quo.

Years later when my son came with a new clothing wish list for his first year in high school, it included a leather bomber jacket. It took only a few weeks of intense wrangling until I took out a line-of credit for a top-of-the-line 100% leather one. It was a perfect fit for him but a half-size to tight for me. I was hoping to wear it sometimes but no such luck.

I was surprised last week when my sister asked if I would like a used leather jacket. It was one they had bought for their daughter Shannon thirty-six years ago when she started high school. She was ecstatic at first but I recall that it lost its enamour after some years. Until she finally gave it up, she only allowed her mother to wear it on a special occasion.

Afterwards my sister did claim it as her own. I had pressured her over the years to sell it to me as I would have taken it in an instant. Eventually, her husband started wearing it until recently and that’s why my sister, remembering how vigorous I had been for years to get her to sell, simply offered it to me. I dashed over to her house, tried it on for size – perfect – and carried it home, a little hesitant to wear it as if it were not truly mine.

This morning I decided to examine it thoroughly. There were some loose threads here and there which I trimmed. A small inside pen-pocket did have a pen it. It had a Lions Club name and the year 2015 but not one from the Beachburg Lions. One pocket had a nickel left in it. If it had of been a dime it would meant good luck. The inside lining could use a few minor repairs. Not the outside of the jacket. It was flawless.

The popular brown jacket was relatively thick (better quality) – to wear in cool or wintry weather. I’m going to give it a good cleaning using a mild soap solution in lukewarm water. Stirring the solution until it’s thoroughly mixed, after which you can use it to clean your leather jacket. I soaked a small sponge with the soap solution to remove superficial dirt and debris.

It did have a few crests on it. A round one on the left side read “Calm Island ….. Top Gun.” It displayed a ship along with green and yellow colours, making me think of Ukraine. A second one on the left sleeve said “Movie Aviation ….. Administration.”

I figure that the jacket was bought with the crests to give it a touch of flair but wasn’t too gaudy at all. I described them in case my jacket was stolen by someone who couldn’t control their urge to wear such a prestigious piece of leather and its almost 40 years of history along the way.

I’ve been thinking of including this leather jacket in my last will and testament. I have yet to designate someone of the correct size and deserving of such a treasure.