Buckskin Nostalgia…

Where to begin?… let’s just start at the end. Sofia and I (Mom stayed home this year) were in central NY last week from Monday until Sunday and look what I got (not only the beer)…

Now, I don’t get excited about haberdashery, ever, but… a buckskin jacket! Of course, I showed it to Mom and she laughed and then got a concerned look on her face and said, “you’re not going to wear that in public?” to which I replied, “I’m gonna wear it everywhere”. Then a bit later, she changed strategies and calmly said, “you know, it’s really not you’re style”. What, does she think I just rode in from New Jersey on a pickup truck?… what’s my style? Maybe she means the style I represent in all the men’s magazines called the “limping, hobbling, curmudge with plantar fasciitis sneakers and wrangler jeans look”. I don’t have a style, I live in a style vacuum… of course, this buckskin jacket is gonna change all that. I went to lunch today and already received an offer for it (kinda). The devoted reader may already know this because I’ve said it before but despite my age and infirmities, I still have catlike reflexes and so I figured since I rarely get a pic taken for the blog, I would include one that shows (without having to use your imagination much) how the buckskin will enhance my lightning quick reflexes even more…

So we stayed at my sister’s house, it’s the one with no internet. Anyway, she had this picture on her refrigerator that I had never seen and depicts my grandparents in a rowboat in Ontario somewhere about to go or coming back from fishing…

This is more how I remember grandpa than the picture in the post I did about him here. The day after I noticed this picture I went to my cousin’s house for a day of beers which I will post about soon. He had this book…

It’s strange to have a book published about where you grew up but there it was with a chapter on Chadwicks, which was the tiny town that I grew up in. Of particular fascination to me was seeing pictures of how the town looked even before I was born. Here’s a pic of the street I grew up on…

Our house is circled and of course the two paths with trees planted betwixt were eventually replaced by a somewhat paved road and American Elms planted. The elms were destroyed by dutch elm disease when I was young and now the street looks like many neighborhoods in America. Sofia and I did a drive-by and the house is in great disrepair and the back yard looks like a junkyard… but it happened so gradually that probably only someone who drives by every ten years or so would notice. The street was named school street because there was a school on it and coincidentally the clever originality of this naming scheme was somehow absorbed by me as a child and I still wield it today to do my bidding. Here’s the school which was an apartment building by time I came along…

The apartment building was owned by Charlie O’Connor and he didn’t like children or maybe he just didn’t like us but I’m eternally grateful for his use of a plow attached to his pickup truck which created large snowbanks at the end of our sled run down the hill into his parking lot. But the most remarkable thing about this book to me was this picture…

The girl on the far left is my aunt Eleanor (who I got to see twice while visiting) and the third child from the right is my dad. A motley crew no doubt but as I don’t have many pics of my dad as a boy, I was thrilled to see it. So Aunt Eleanor married Uncle Leo and had Marcel, amongst others and he was also at my cousin’s drinking beer this year. I have never called Marcel anything but Jib and here’s a pic of Jib (not a very good one but we were imbibing and of the 2 I took, this is the better one, Jib’s on the left, my brother Ken on the right)…

To make a complete circle and end where I started, Jib and my aunt play a game where she tries to throw things away and Jib tries to keep her from throwing them away and one of those things was the buckskin jacket that his dad, my uncle and godfather Uncle Leo, had made a long time ago from a deer that he had killed hunting. Apparently the jacket was in a bit of a state of disrepair after being neglected for years and Jib wanted to know if I was interested in having it. He spent some time nurturing it back to health with various leather restoration products and I think it looks pretty good… thanks Jib. Posted some more pots in the etsy store today (clicking goes to etsy)…


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12 Responses to “Buckskin Nostalgia…”

  1. soubriquet Says:

    That is a really, really cool post. The buckskin jacket reminds me of my childhood when heroes of the wild west flickered by on the black and white television, righting wrongs, being heroic, wrassling bears, making campfires.
    I just hope you can live up to it.
    I had a Davy Crockett hat when I was five. Don’t tell anybody. Some people would laugh. I know you wouldn’t.

    I liked the old pics, the school pic… that stuff fascinates me. I look at old people and try to imagine them as kids, and I look at kids and try to imagine them as grown-ups….

  2. ron Says:

    Hey Jim, Right on with the jacket dude! I am finally all caught up on the posts I’ve missed reading. Love to poster too!!

  3. Tracey Says:

    I used to LIVE for buckskin and for fringe! I had a pair of boots and a vest and a bag. I still have a black suede fringe jacket that I bought in Dallas Tx after a pitcher of marguaritas one night, paid $500 for it, no more shopping after drinking for me! I love that jacket, hang on to it, Sophia will want to wear it when she is in high school 🙂

  4. John Dorsey Says:

    First, I think the second picture of you in the jacket would make a smashing decal for one of your beer mugs. Are you doing the Robot?

    Second, the crazy handle rocks.

    Third, I totally agree with Tracey that marguaritas and shopping is a bad combo…

  5. John Bauman Says:


    The Village People left a message in my email box. Apparently, lacking any sense or internet savy, it never occurred to them to simply google up your name so’s they could contact you directly. Anyway, they told me to tell you that they had an opening for a new indian guy. They figure you gots the wardrobe. But they were wondering if you can make that “M” thing (for the dance) with your arms….that’s the lack of skill that tanked the last indian guy.

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.


  6. meredith@whynot Says:

    It’s you and after all it comes with history and a great story.
    How could you not love and wear it every day!?
    I vote you go with it.

  7. Patricia Griffin Says:

    yer stylin’ 4 sure!

  8. cindy shake Says:

    I was laughing out loud when I saw your jacket because of HOW FUN it is!! Seems to me that it would be perfect for your bicycle adventures!! Great historical images and tale too. Love the Grandpa shot.

  9. Elfriede Says:

    Here in Portland you’d be mugged for that jacket!! It looks good on ya!

  10. Michele Says:

    the jacket is the cats ass… don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  11. M@ Says:

    Well, Jim… based on the overwhelming positive feedback, looks like the jacket will have to stay. I guess we’ll all have you to thank when we’re all wearing fringe next year.

  12. Connie Says:

    Love the jacket!!! It’s so Daniel Boone. All you need is a coon skin cap. ha ha. When I lived in KY, I just rememeber lots of stuff about Daniel Boone everywhere.

    No really, the jacket is great.

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