Tweed Jackets and Ranting, A Week On The Road

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
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If you are looking for vintage wool, the fewer people who have heard of a ‘Tweed Ride’ the better. Whether we are in Kansas City, Saint Paul, Cheyenne, or Oakland, our salvage forays seem to usually land us in the ghetto. 

We just spent a week on the road in the great Nation of California, visiting friends and family, searching for materials and tools, and just looking around. Who needs to travel to Peru to have an exotic time? Wowee, Pop, this State is crazy! I don’t know if it is just getting older, or the fact that your three-year-old can announce that he has to POOP RIGHT NOW! when you are driving thru West Oakland; all I can say is that when I am on the road, my mind is blown continuously.  

6 thoughts from the road:

1. California is a FUCKING AWESOME, dynamic place to live. We drove from Chico to Santa Cruz through a wild storm that dropped 4 feet of snow on Westwood and 6″ of rain on the Santa Cruz Mountains in one afternoon. Down I-5 in gale winds and peppering rain, through blur-out downpours in traffic on the 880, and over Highway 17 on flooded lanes, with mud pouring off of gushing driveways. Even the daily commuters were driving slow, and we arrived alive. The San Lorenzo River was at the tops of the levees in Santa Cruz. As the storm broke, we walked to the beach bluffs, and Ezra, on his Scootbike, laughed at the gusty winds and said ‘Wild nature, Daddy’! Monday dawned clear, and we had a bluebird drive down the 101 thru rolling green hills.  

2. You can’t have a global financial system without the movement of people, and migration is not just about ethnicity, language, or religion. New Americans are bringing us lessons on both poverty AND wealth. Their understanding of thrift, reuse, repair, and niche markets is making us a better people. America isn’t becoming a ‘third world’ country, the Earth is becoming a ‘third-world planet’ with some good neighborhoods. If you don’t like it, you can always move to Northern Idaho. You’ll have poor neighbors there too, but shittier food – we’ll ship you some organic mandarins, fresh salsa, and avocados if you promise to leave tomorrow.

3. There is no such thing as ‘first-world’ and ‘third-world’ – just walls and school districts. New Chinese millionaires are buying homes in Palo Alto like crazy. A friend there told us that all of their neighbors are new Chinese millionaires, and that their tiny two bedroom cottage is worth $1.8 million. As it gets more expensive/difficult to own a car or drive, your carpenter, pool boy, lawn guy, nurse or maid might actually have to live in the same zip code as you. Drive Middlefield Road from Redwood City to Palo Alto and try not to let your neck snap when you cross into Atherton

4. Thrift stores are the new Macys. For every major retailer that goes bust, I am guessing that two thrift stores take its place. Can I buy stock in Goodwill? They are building new, huge stores like crazy all over the country! Also, Dollar Stores are a dime a dozen. Every retail business along every main drag in every town is selling cheap Chinese shit (unless they are selling cheaper Bangladeshi shit). This includes REI, Patagonia, Home Depot, and even the fanciest boutiques. The only place to find non-cheap-Chinese shit is a thrift or antique store. 

5. There is not a ‘Tweed Ride’ in Santa Maria, California. There are, however, many grownups riding bicycles, and many vintage wool jackets in the thrift stores. Also, there are cheap toys for sale that have been repaired well, with rivets and aluminum scraps. This is the future! 

6. It’s all about the water. I-505 will become the next Fairfield-Vallejo within 30 years, and they’ll get their water from the Tehama-Colusa Canal/Tuscan Aquifer.    


We like salvage, but this is just garbage! Right around the corner from E’s mom’s house in Lompoc – aka ‘Lompton’. If I start ‘collecting’ tires, please take away my children.


In the parking lot of the Capitol Flea Market in San Jose.  


When you don’t have a warehouse and live in a shitty neighborhood, supporting the arts has its benefits.


These reminded me of Pakistani ‘Jingle Trucks’. In between them, sketchy dudes were swapping duffel bags. 


Not for hire. 


The black market is alive and well. We got to the market as the rain was ending and things were just getting set up. People were swarming the vendors as they unpacked the ‘hottest’ items – things like I phones that they don’t want sitting on the table for very long. Non-cyclist-types selling nice bike wheels without the bikes. Asked a few guys for prices on things like power tools and got prices so low that you could tell that they had no idea what things were worth, and were just hocking whatever they had come into. No thanks, we’ll buy from legit people.


In West Oakland 



West Oakland BART- our friend Janay has a shop here where she sells her amazing clothing. When I was younger I would ride the BART to SF and was always glad that I was on the train, and not down there on the street below.



A bike repair event in front of Janay’s store, West Oakland – my dad used to drive a taxicab here.



Something cubist about this.  


Probably would have been condos without the housing bust, but then where would the children paint?



It is blurry because I was nervous.  


It is blurry because I was nervous. 


It is blurry because I was nervous. 


It is blurry because I was nervous. 


It is blurry because I was nervous. 


It is blurry because I was nervous. 


Well, that’s enough of that, and he didn’t really need to poop, just peed on a tree next to a liquor store.



Blasting North, two brats not napping.



Approaching Hamilton City at the speed of light, two brats not napping, earplugs making it all a little surreal.


1,000 miles later, crossing the river with a van of plundered textile and not-stolen tools. 


The booty 



We’ll number them here, and if you want a custom bag, tell us which print suits you.

This is #1



This is #2 – it is actually quite a bit darker that this photo.



This is #3 



This is #4 


This is #5 


This is #6 (the brown one)


This is #7 


This is #8 


This is #9 


This is #10 



This is #11 


This is #12


This is #13


This is authentic.



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