I’m not sure when it started, exactly. I just know that I have wanted a leather coat for a very long time.
No, not just any leather jacket — I’ve had an aviator or flight jacket for many years.
A coat, like a sport coat or a car coat.
In the 1960s, I bought an extremely expensive (well, $55) buckskin jacket. Not with extraordinarily long fringe, but with reasonable fringe. Much more like a frontier garment than a hippie jacket. But that was buckskin, a sort of suede, not really leather.
I do know that when I was living in Berlin (Germany) I went to a thrift shop called Second-Hand Rose and spotted a burgundy leather sport coat. I took it from its hanger and tried it on. It fit perfectly. Even the wrinkles at the inside of the elbows were in the right spot.
Alas, I was an impoverished cowboy singer adrift in German society in 1974 and was unable to buy the jacket. I did briefly consider trading my cowboy boots for this jacket, it was that perfect — but what kind of cowboy singer would I be if the only shoes I had were a pair of sandals? (Nowadays, it would be a no-brainer. Pointy-toed boots look great on my feet, but my feet don’t much like the way they feel anymore. I have one pair of cowboy boots and many pairs of sandals.)
In 1975, as he was building up to his legendary Rolling Thunder Tour, Bob Dylan kept showing up in Greenwich Village folk dives to sing a few songs. In every photograph, he wore a striped T-shirt and a leather jacket. I followed all the details of that period in Bob’s life. Maybe that’s when this obsession with having a leather coat started.
But it wasn’t really much of an obsession, was it? I mean, if I have wanted a leather coat since 1974 or ’75, I didn’t do much about it, did I?
I know that, in the intervening 40 years, I remember reading somewhere that every man ought to own one good leather coat. I believed that. I just remained a wistful seeker of leather.
Everything has changed now. Now that I have lost 60-plus pounds, I decided that I needed to finally indulge my desire and get myself a leather coat. I got a three-button version — looks like a cross between a car coat and a sport coat, exactly how I wanted it to look.
Once I had the sleeves taken up (I SWEAR there are Tyrannosaurii Rex in my family tree!) I stepped out as a finally complete hepster. No, not hipster. God forbid. Hepster. Hep cat. (Finger snap.)
So, if you see me now, I might be clad in black leather. My collar may even be popped.
And if I don’t say “hello” right away, I’m not being a snob. It’s just that I’ll be inhaling that incredible scent of leather!