Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Marines enjoying a cup o' joe before facing the enemy, circa 1914

Monday, September 28, 2015


They aren't really called the "Johnny's." I've given my Lofgren's this name =)

Choose Vibram soles for your long-term, functional needs.


24 September 2015 - Passage of command from General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to General Robert B. Neller, the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

From left, retired Gen. James Terry Conway, the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), retired Gen. Paul Xavier Kelley, the 28th CMC, CMC Gen. Robert B. Neller, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., the 36th CMC, retired Gen. James L. Jones, the 32nd CMC, and retired Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th CMC, pose after the Passage of Command at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, 2015. Neller took command from Dunford as the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps. 

Gen. Robert B. Neller repeats the oath of office to Secretary of the Navy, Raymond Edwin "Ray" Mabus, Jr., left, during his promotion ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, 2015. Neller was promoted from the rank of lieutenant general to general in the Marine Corps.

President Barack Obama nominated Dunford to be the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on May 5, 2015. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and took over from Army General Martin Dempsey on September 25, 2015.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Hi John,

This is Mikel from Spain. I would like to ask you for your advice about 2 horsehide leather jackets I love.
Is the CENTINELA by Freewheelers and the BUCO J-31 by The Real McCoys . They are pretty similar and I can´t make a decision between them. Which one to buy ... Both similar price too, and both made in Japan ... Would you have any sugestions?

Thank you so much, and congrats on your BLOG !

Best regards from Spain,

Hi Mikel,

Before my decision to purchase the Freewheelers San Mateo jacket, I seriously considered either the Buco J-31 and the FreewheelersCentinela and like any reasonable consumer I spent a considerableamount of time weighing the pros and cons before spending 2k on a jacket. I saw two very similar jackets at first, but after peeling back the layers I began to favor one over the other.

I'm a big fan of the characteristics that define early Americana outwear like collar, pocket shapes and hardware - namely Talon ball, fan-shaped and the ever-appealing grommet zippers. I also favor wild yet understated pieces and these jackets fit the bill. Here are the things I noticed about the other two.

Buco J-31:
This jacket is adorned with hardware consistent throughout the jacket and is pretty much a modified J-22.

-REMOVABLE BELT: Well, The Toy's McCoy version doesn't come with a belt, but one has the option with available belt loops.
-SHOULDER LAPEL BAR: A vintage design that usually attracts collectors, but as a Marine I call it First Lieutenant bars. I sometimes put black electric tape over the bars of my J-24 style jacket.
-SLIM SLEEVES: Seem to be more proportionate to the jacket body than the longer looking Centinela.
-BI-SWING BACK: More freedom of movement, but I'm not a fan of this feature (I do own jackets with it, though)

Source: The Real McCoy's

Source: 0308net

Freewheelers Centinela:
-BALL CHAIN (under flap) chest pocket
-Talon-style fan grommet zipper
-A-2-style lapel stitching WITHOUT bar
-Understated, yet impactful studded sleeves
-Fixed Belt
-Longer Arms
-Fitted, plain back

Source: hoosierkyoto

I ultimately decided on the San Mateo, but if I were to pull the trigger back then and knowing what I know now about the fit and feel of the San Mateo, the choice was and would be for the Freewheelers jacket. I could learn to live with the fixed belt, but there's no way I could add another bi-swing back to my collection.

Source: Freewheelers

I hope this helps. It's a lot of money for a jacket, but you'll feel good having whichever jacket you decide on hanging in your closet


Hi John! Thank you for your help!
You did not mentioned , but I guess the HH is pretty much the same on both ... Japanese HH?
I´m a huge fan and collector of HH jackets and boots and I really love your BLOG. You are the master . I just ordered the CENTINELA!! Just talked to Mr. Takashi at Freewheelers. I´ll send some pics when it gets home !

It´s very hard to get those kind of HH jackets or engineer boots in Spain ... 

Best ,

Wow! Congrats on the purchase, M. I can't wait to see the photos! Yes, the jackets are constructed with Japanese Horsehide that look amazing in these homage jackets.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Brand: Chippewa
Circa: Late 1950's/Early 1960's
Color: Black
Size: 8E
Leather: Oil Tanned Cowhide (Sorry to the folks that believe these are made with Horsehide)
Hardware: Nickel, Steel Toe
Sold For: Starting bid of $245, offline buy it now offer of $400
Valued: $800-$1,200

Well, these didn't last long. One lucky buyer talked the unsuspecting seller to let these gems go for about half to a third of what they are really worth within an hour of posting. This is a fine example of the final run of when Chippewa Engineer Boots were still good. We can expect to see these back on the block for either their above-mentioned value or something just outrageous.

Post-1955 Label (1955 to early 1960's)


Hello, I've been interested in a pair of engineer boots for a while now but unfortunately most of the brands I've come across exceeds my budget of $300-$400. Can you suggest some brands or makers that can fit my financial needs? 

*I'm mostly interested in the traditional Engineer Boot similar to Brian the Bootmaker's Role Club boots.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Hi Michael, 

You've got good taste in boots! I've written quite a few posts on budget boots with vintage looks that might help you out. If you perform a search for "Budget" on the side bar of my blog, you'll find some very helpful information.

Here are a couple of examples:


Saturday, September 19, 2015


I transferred to Camp Pendleton, California in late 1999 after spending four years in Iwakuni, Japan. And it was early 2000, as a young Sergeant of Marines, when I met a rockin' young lady at a Big Sandy gig at the Bowl-a-Rama in Eagle Rock. It was the opportunity afforded to me by being in the Marines that brought us together. We were married on September 19, 2004 and the rest is wonderful history. Happy Anniversary to the kindest, sweetest and most beautiful woman I know. FEAETROMLID!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Whenever I get a new pair of boots, I'm always thinking of the right belt to complement them. Lucky for me, I have the ability to  make any type of belt dyed to match. In the case of my new John Lofgren Natural Horween CXL Engineers, however, I didn't have to don my dye mixologist hat since my custom "Streetcar" hair-on-hide belt is the  perfect match.

Shirt: Mister Freedom Philippine Typhoon Relief Tee
Jeans: Rising Sun Loomstate Blacksmith Moneybags
Sunglasses: Tre Noir Waycooler
Engineer Boots: John Lofgren Natural Horween CXL
Belt: VEB Leather Hair-on-Hide "Streetcar"
Watch: Steinhart Ocean One Vintage

First full day of super light wear around the house, but they will soon develop the character of my three-year-old black Horween boots from the same visionary.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015


It's VERY clear why the John Lofgren Engineer Boots are in my Top 3 list of Classic-Style Engineer Boots. John loses no momentum with his ever popular boots now available in Natural Horween CLX. I can't wait to put some miles on 'em. Thanks John!

The profile is absolutely one of the best out there and with first-hand knowledge of the inevitable flattening toe box and graceful aging, these will forever be in my top three.

Admiring the quality and construction. This marks my fifth pair of John Lofgren Engineer Boots. They are carefully packed in bubble wrap and appropriate protective tissue/foam sheet to ensure the Horween leather safely reaches their new home.

I've unboxed countless pairs of Engineer Boots over the years and I'll always feel like a kid at Christmas.

Attention-to-detail. John put a lot of thought into the design of his box to match the quality of his boots.

Perfectly stacked heel.  "Click, click, Nice!" -Jeff "The Drunk" Curro

Not for long. The non-celastic toe box will flatten in no time "flat."

Quality! Stay tuned for periodical aging updates.

Champion Sneaker also available in Camo and Navy

These will be my go to sneakers.