Tuesday, April 25, 2017

jeans 425

I just read on facebook that a department store is selling jeans with fake mud on them for 425.00.  I am glad I read this as it reminded me of an event that made me laugh on this rainy day.

My grandfather was a no-nonsense guy.  He had immigrated from Poland to the US and, like many other immigrants, had next to nothing when he arrived.  He married, raised both my uncle and my dad, and lived through the depression.  He was, truly, a jack of all trades. He could wallpaper, paint, put cuffs on your pants, sew your drapes, build a bookcase--a remarkably talented man.

 If he had more of an entrepreneurial nature he would have been a successful inventor. One day in the seventies he asked me to drive him to the airport. He was going on a trip by himself (my grandmother had predeceased him years prior).  He had seen some travel agent's advertisement, signed up, and needed to get to JFK.

When I grabbed his suitcase from his apartment I saw something that I'd never seen before.  He had put wheels on the bottom of the bag so he could roll it.  This I thought was typical grandpa. He had found a way to do something more intelligently. I would love to know when the first suitcase company came out with a rolling bag because I know he and I got all sorts of stares as we travelled through the airport rolling his valise that day.  I asked him about the novel approach and he said that he spotted someone's discarded roller skates in the trash and it gave him an idea.  So he took the roller skates, removed the wheels and placed them on his suitcase.

My grandfather made his own suits and was often asked by family members to darn slacks or a dress that had somehow been damaged.  And this is what made me smile today when I read about the 425 dollar jeans with the fake mud.  We were in a shopping mall one day in the late 60s and he spotted something in Macy's which made him make a face for the ages.  On the jeans rack he saw that there were pants for sale that, new, were being peddled with holes in them.  And they were as, or more, expensive than the jeans that had no holes in them.  I break out in a smile every time I see that look on his face.  A man who struggled through the depression, survived in the US barely knowing any English, a man who could do wonders with a sewing machine--seeing new merchandise being sold for not small sums--with holes in them.

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