Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black Leather Jacket And Motorcycle Boots

In 1950s Minnesota, where I grew up, the guys who wore black leather jackets and motorcycle boots were called "Hoods." I never knew where the name came from and little did I care. According to my mom, all Hoods were dangerous, with few morals, and always ready to take advantage of a young girl. Being the obedient kid that I was, I stayed away from the guys who rumbled past our high school on their noisy motorbikes.

How on earth could a good girl ever conceive that her future in California would not only include a Hood, but a marriage that would last more than fifty years?

By the time I met Jim, he had traded in his motorbike for a '55 Chevy. In the years following, his taste in clothes changed. So did his choice of vehicles. During his long career at our local gas and electric company, he was always a picture of decorum and drove a sensible family car. Once the kids were gone, he bought a truck. Horrors! Would a motorbike be next? Sadly, the advanced Parkinson Disease put an end to that dream, for I have no doubt in my mind that Jim would have taken to riding the streets as he had done when he was young.

But I'll let you in on a little secret. There was always this part of Jim that refused to let go of those bygone days. His closet held black motorcycle boots that he loved wearing and a black, leather jacket to make the outfit perfect. The last year of his life was still studded with times he wore his "Hood" outfit. I always smiled, figuring one can take the man out of the motorbike but you can't take the motorbike out of the man.

In a few weeks, Jim would have had another birthday. While I've never believed in celebrating the birthday of one who's passed away, for obviously, they get no older, I would still like to honor the love of my life, the moral man God sent to protect and cherish me. So I decided to write this short reflection of his past--that part of him few know about, and to set the record straight that those "Hoods" weren't all cut of the same cloth.




  1. Wow, Sandy, you are amazing. Your love story is one I look forward to continuing to read about and I can't wait to interview you.

  2. I’m inspired by the kind of love story you’ve had. There was really bad men-in-leather-jacket-and-big bike depiction before. Leather jacket makes a man seem like a bad boy. Who knows that you’d end up with one? Its classic style makes a man look more virile and noticeable to women. That must be how Jim got you.:) On another note, I’m sorry for the loss, Sandy.

    Lee Dove

  3. That is a touching tribute to your beloved, Sandy. I think Jim would truly appreciate your sweet gesture wherever he is. And like what Lee said, men in leather jacket and riding boots definitely attract attention and can be perceived as a badass. But their inner nature goes beyond the outfit. And these men are ready to put their badass outfit in their closet for the sake of the one they love. :-)

  4. Back in World War II, men in leather flight jackets were our countries ultimate heros. they were men who risk, and in many cases gave their lives for our country. These jackets protected them from the wind, bitter cold, and rain in an unheated and often open cockpit. It kept them from hypothermia. It also protected support personnel working on the deck of carriers. Never mind that they looked cool and sexy. That was an extra benefit. It also protected them from Minnesota winters.
    I really can't understand what gave them such a bad rap.

  5. Thanks for sharing your story, you have touched many people with this. Thanks for posting.

  6. I’m inspired by the kind of love story you’ve had. There was really bad men-in-leather-jacket-and-big bike depiction before. Leather jacket makes a man seem like a bad boy.
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