Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Father’s Jacket

This is my father’s trench coat. He gave it to me many years ago and bought it decades earlier. When I first wore it, it was big on me. I even had to cuff the sleeves. Now it fits beautifully. And since I’ve never thrown it in the dryer, the only logical explanation is that vintage coats shrink over time (most likely due to the tropical Mid-Atlantic climate).

I did a little research, actually about three hours, and learned it’s a vintage Foxhead Rock-Knit trench coat that was popular in the 1950s/60s. Mine was specially tailored for a now-defunct Baltimore clothier (Norman Wetzler). After reading some classic magazine ads sold on eBay, it was specially tailored for many different shops.

It is protected by Dupont ZePel Rain/Stain Repeller, and to this day still repels both rain and stains.

It’s a funky deep blue color that you just don't see around very often. I get compliments all the time for this one-of-a-kind find. It’s a nice, heavy trench coat that I wear in the winter as an overcoat and in the fall as a rain coat. It’s long enough to cover the back of my calves to prevent rain backsplash when I pick up some speed (I hate wet jeans) – kind of like truck mud flaps without the naked silhouettes or Yosemite Sam.

It’s my favorite coat and still feels great. But the best part about this jacket, of course, is it was my dad’s. Every time I put it on, I think of him. And it really feels like he’s with me. I probably should have mentioned earlier he’s alive and well! This isn’t meant to be a melancholy piece. I just decided to write this today because my dad is one of my most faithful blog readers and the biggest supporter of my comedy. And shouldn’t he get to enjoy reading this now, instead of looking down (or perhaps up) at me many, many, many, many years from now? And I don’t miss the chance to say, boy I wish he knew how much I love this jacket. And him.

Thanks, Dad! I love you.


Anonymous said...

I could be wrong but isn't that the very same jacket worn by the keyboardist/guitarist of Crowder Story in that famous photo taken by Annie Liebowitz in the graveyard?

Anonymous said...

Actually Mike, I did not buy that jacket. It was given to me by Frank Greene, a collegue at ECC. However, I love the sentiment. I did wear it for a number of years before passing it on to you. Love, dad