I know I harp on the importance of patriotic participation and pride, but I witnessed a strange happening this summer that made me feel like I was in a twilight zone, and it was uneasy for me to digest. While on vacation in Japan, I noticed an ongoing theme throughout my travels in Tokyo. There seemed to be a lot of attention paid to all things vintage American, or of American heritage, Stores filled with vintage quality American goods that would drop your jaw to the floor, and prices that would turn your pockets to rabbit ears. I was in and out of at least 50 stores that's theme was vintage America. This leads me into the whole reason I made this post, and I hope it is not perceived as a diss to Japanese culture, or japan, it's just really weird to see kids trying to dress to emulate a style that is not a style. Fads and ballyhoos are for scallywags and knuckleheads(no relation to Harley Davidson). My friend Tommy told me that while in Tokyo, I had to check out this store THE RUGGED MUSEUM, I trust his word, because he has hipped me to many things through the years that I am very fond of to this day, and we share similar passions for authentic american garments and items. Items that are "built to last a lifetime", thats why they are still around 20-50 years later and still wearable. Well, we made the trek to RUGGED MUSEUM and it was really cool, lots of native american stuff, lots of vintage american work wear, etc..etc... It was super strange to me to see a store dedicated to trying to make my daily grind of sweat and hard work look cool, but at the same time it was fascinating. In the store I was approached and asked to be photographed, and I said "Ummmm for what," they explained it was for their magazine FREE & EASY. I was not keen on the the idea, and said I will only do it if my wife could be in it with me, they talked for a minute and said OK. Meliss and I looked at each other like uhhh.... We were taken into the back and they snapped a few pics and asked us what we were wearing, the japanese red carpet treatment! I am a simple man, my answer was easy LEVIS, POLO, NIKE.... I wondered what would become of the pictures, well reading up on a recent free & easy review of the latest issue, I had noticed that it was the "american issue". I thought to myself, hmmm. I looked on ebay for the issue, and bought it from someone in NY. Low and behold I came across the picture of us, and I was happy as can be for one reason above all, the caption read COUPLE IN LOVE, that made my day. It always feels neat to make a magazine and get a little shine, anyone that says they don't is probably a liar. This to me was more then shine, they went as far to label us with a title that made me happy inside and out. The rest of the magazine was cool as well, but if I had to some it up, it is a magazine about how to dress and live like an American. There is a bubbling resurgence of American pride on the horizon here in the states it will take time but I believe this recession and economic scare has brung people back down to reality, and made them think about their country more. It is a shame but tell me that right after 9/11 you didn't feel as American and patriotic as you have ever felt, the whole country was talking, you would talk to the guy in line next to you getting coffee, you would smile at people in crossing. Time healed that wound, and things slipped back to the old ways until recently with these rough times of unemployment and economic collapse, this is another wave that will hopefully boost moral and kickstart good pride, not an arrogant pride. I see small things happening daily that make me think it being patriotic will come back again, and Americans will stand tall, and be proud of the red white and blue, and pay more attention to detail, then dollar. I travel long and far weekend after weekend in search of american lost treasures, and I just got a little salt faced when I traveled across the world and realized that Japanese people appreciate our culture more then us, I think that it is honorable but I just would love to still see it more stateside. Sorry for the rants, and opinions, I just want to contribute to something I believe in. And do check out FREE & EASY if you really do appreciate america's past, or if you forgot how to be an American and need help finding your way back, oh the only catch is you got to be able to read japanese, irony manifested!
Here's a few things that keep my glass half full!
MADE IN THE USA
Hersey Shoe Co. I have talked with this guy through email before, and he is super cool,and living out one of my dreams, manufacturing his own shoes, by hand in the states. Perhaps an interview soon to come....