Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Story for Anna and Luke: My Old Denim Jacket

I've had this Lee Storm Rider jacket since I was a sophomore at Durango High School, purchased in the fall of 1975. Most every boy in high school at that time, wore a denim jacket. This one is insulated with a flannel liner, which made it very warm in those Durango winters, when winters were deep and cold, not like today.




Dad bought it for me at Basin Co-op. I only wear it about once or twice a year now; don't want it to fall apart. The left cuff has damage from battery acid-- from jump starting our tractor. I remember Dad warning me to clean it thoroughly as soon as possible, otherwise, it would "eat it away like cancer."

The jacket was stolen while I was at a party during college, probably in 1981. About a month after the party, I saw a fellow wearing it in downtown Durango at a bar-- The Sundance Saloon. I politely approached him, though I was pretty tense. He claimed the jacket was his. I said, "I'm pretty sure it's mine and if it's mine, there's a blood stain about the size of a thumb on the left sleeve just below the elbow."

A friend was with him and my friend, Steve Janes, was with me. The fellow lifted his arm up and we all saw the stain. There was about five seconds of awkward staring at each other, then he took the coat off and handed it to me without saying anything. I said thanks, and that was the end of that.

Steve was always much more interested in fighting than me, so he was a great backup, but I was definitely not going to leave without that coat. It had all sorts of sentimental value, especially since Dad had died just a couple of years before, in 1978.

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