|Yeah. A jacket like this.|
I took my father's 25-ish year old leather biker jacket to a nearby second-hand retail/swap establishment - and got rid of it.
Unceremoniously stuffed into the back of a closet, pushed back amid the items that should probably no longer be with us - it was out of sight and not quite out of mind. What the heck was I doing with it? And, as I contemplated a 2014 in which I planned to let things both emotional and material go - where did this belong?
Not with me anymore.
I was carting it around without a clue as to what to do with it and what purpose it served. Did having it with me provide some shred of his presence? Humbug. He passed away 22 years ago - his jacket was just a jacket. Was I going to do something with it as a memorial? Probably not. (I had a quick idea about adding a permanent QR-code to it with some sort of online photo-log where people would post photos of themselves during far-flung adventures wearing the jacket - think of it like wearable garden gnome. Yeah...I never did anything with that.)
So, there I was, at Buffalo Exchange in Davis Square, talking to the super-hip and fully-vintaged clerk about the fact that this was a real biker jacket worn by a real biker. I mean, this thing is legit (I think he wore it on his trip to Sturgis, SD in the late 80's). She commented on the coolness of the button holes in the leather and the broken zipper - sure signs of use. Off she went for a consultation on the value - like Antiques Roadshow - and came back to fill me in. Interesting. I let it go...
Is it odd that an urban hipster could be striding around Boston/Cambridge/Somerville in my deceased father's jacket? Maybe. It's hard to imagine an area more different than where my father lived and felt at ease. In fact, I'd bet he would strongly dislike the hipster set - but then again, he'd be happy that I ended up with a few bucks in my pocket for an old leather-bound keepsake - and that someone used it.
It's an object - nothing more - the memories remain.