Wednesday, March 3, 2010

That which came before

I have been blessed with two truly amazing kids. Ashley is all about the here and now and is always stylish and current. Tyler has an interest in those things that came before him as well as things current. He knows more about 80s rock than I do and his whole personality gives off one of those "wise beyond his years" kind of vibe. Lately he's been wearing Terry's leather(y) jacket circa 1984 or so. It's old, tired, out of date looking and recently suffered a mortal wound (thank God.) I hate that jacket. I didn't like it back when it was being worn by Terry and it hasn't gotten cuter with age. However, it seems boys aren't concerned with cute. Tyler loves it because it belonged to Dad and Dad is the coolest, in his eyes. He's right.

Tyler and I have developed a habit of watching two shows on The History Channel, "Pawn Stars" and "American Pickers." They get some cool stuff in that pawn shop and the "pickers" find some cool stuff picking through other people's junk. One episode had the pickers finding an old leather jacket from the 40s or so in an old barn that was totally cool looking. I told Tyler, "Now, that's how you wear a leather jacket." So we decided to set about seeing if we could find a bomber jacket from the 40s. We found one from 1942 that looked like it had lived a good life and ordered it. It just came in the mail and it's totally cool. I'm not a fan of "used" clothing, but I've found myself day-dreaming a lot about that bomber jacket and 1942.

In November of 1941 my Daddy was born, in March of 1942 my Mom was born. The Greatest Generation was fighting WWII. Some areas of the country were still dealing with The Great Depression. My GRANDMOTHERS were 32 and 22. My 32 year old grandmother didn't marry until she was 29 and didn't have a baby until she was 32, which was almost scandalous. She was a firecracker her whole life and my very best friend.

I wonder about the previous owner of the jacket, T. Plier on Cecil Street. Who was he? Where did he wear his jacket? Was he a farmer, like much of my family? Did he work in a factory? Was he a poor man and this "steerhide jacket" a luxury or was he affluent? Maybe steerhide was affordable in 1942. Was he a cool woman who didn't care that it was a man's jacket? Did he fight to keep my son, who would eventually attain his jacket free? Was he a traveling preacher who took the Word of God to the rural areas of our great country? Was the "bomber" jacket ever worn to "bomb" something? Probably not, it wasn't military issue,but I am overwhelmed today by a sense of thankfulness for those who came before me and kept my country safe for me. Those who fought abroad and those who fought in Washington. Those who protected our borders and our constitution. Those who protected my right to worship and speak freely. I hope we don't blow it for those who are coming behind us. It's a great legacy we carry.

(The top picture is the jacket he liked. the picture on the left is Tyler's new, old jacket. Close, huh?)

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