Forgotten Boots, Part 1

My dear partner, Mr. Neatnik, dutifully packed away some boxes after we moved into our house (in 1998!) that we both forgot about. Recently, he got on a tear about cleaning up and throwing out “junk” that he found in storage in our walk-in attic. Lo-and-behold, one of the boxes that he found had three pairs of boots in it. They had been there since 1998.

What did he find?

Pair 1: my first pair of tall Wesco harness boots. These boots are 16 inches (40.6cm) tall and are unlined. They have that classic “big lug” Vibram 100 sole.

I remember now when and where I bought these boots. I was working in San Francisco for several years (weeks at a time, not living there)… and in 1994, I struck up the courage to enter the Mr. S. leather store and check it out. At the time, I was really new into this “gay leather stuff.” While I enjoyed wearing some leather gear when I rode my motorcycle (started riding in 1978), I only had, at the time, a pair of chaps, a couple leather bomber jackets, a vest, and some Sears engineer boots, Frye harness boots, and a ton of cowboy boots.

It was an eerie experience to walk into that store for the first time. I was afraid, but I don’t know what I thought was going to happen.

Well, nothing happened. A sales guy asked politely what I was looking for, and that day, I walked out of there as a proud owner (and wearer) of a new pair of really cool tall Wesco harness boots and my second pair of custom-made outside-zip leather chaps. (I had my first pair of outside-zip custom chaps made by The Leathermaker in the late ’80s, by mail order.)

Since then, I returned to Mr. S many times, and each time, I was much more confident.

I digress… back to the topic.

I had forgotten about these tall Wesco boots until my partner found them. I discovered that the leather had been damaged, probably from 14 years of exposure to heat in the attic. The brass on the harness rings and rivets had oxidized to a dull green. I bought some brass cleaner, and that removed the oxidation, returning the hardware to its bright nickel color. I also used Lexol leather conditioner and Wesco Bee Oil to treat the leather. What’s damaged is damaged, but the boots still fit well and look as rugged and handsome as ever. Back in rotation to wear when I ride my Harley!

Return to this blog over the next several days to find out what other boots were in that box!

Life is short: enjoy surprises, especially if the surprise involves boots you already own!