Sunday, May 13, 2007

Stuck In The '60's

Yep, that's me smoking up the yard, warming up Ol' Blue. Dressed in my new Fishtail Parka and aviator goggles, I've almost got the look of the '60's Mod down. I don't think that I will push it too far by adding mirrors and spotlights to the scoot though.
After a short warm-up, I'm off. Since it's Mother's Day, I kept my personal playtime to a minimum. But I did have a nice ride around the west side of town, and saw a new scooter in a driveway that I hadn't seen before. Just like the weeds in my yard, they're popping up everywhere.
Now, before I babble on too much, I want to say congratulations to Gary Charpentier on the purchase of his brand new Vespa. The "Rush Hour Rambler" joins the Vespisti of the world, and I look forward to following his blog posts with his adventures in scootering.
Now...back to babbling. The parka has become a bit of a conversation piece around my little circle of cronies. I end up trying to tell the story of how the Fishtail parka wound up becoming a signature article of clothing among the scooter riding youth known as the Mod's back in the 1960's in England. Since the story is colorful, but a bit long, I end up handing the coat over to my bored listener to try on. I then give a verbal tour of all of the bells and whistles, and benefits of this "extreme cold weather" vintage U.S. Army issue parka. I encourage you to look up www.fishtailparka.com to read the well documented story, and check out some cool photo's.
I was finding that the prices on these vintage gems ran over $200.00 on some web sites. I ended finding a cool place that had the 1980's issue, that is constructed better that the early "true collectors" edition for under $48.00. I had passed this hot tip to my old pal Jeff, and he scored one within the same week. After seeing how he looked astride his Vino, decked out in ol' skool cool, I called my wife from work and asked that she order one "right away"! I've been wearing it everyday since.
With our sunny days starting out at around 40 degrees, I feel that the parka passes the test so far. The true test will come this winter, but I don't mind waiting for that. But the parka is warm, and if you tie up the mid waist draw string, you won't catch any wind blowing up under the "skirt" as I found out on the first ride. You also have the option of tying off at the legs to better secure the jacket from wind lift.
In all, it's a lot of fun looking back to the past and researching scooter culture, and following some of the paths that others have blazed on little two stroke smokin' steeds. There is a ton of history surrounding the scooter lifestyle, and I'm only touching the tip of the iceberg. But with my parka, at least I'm dressed for it.
Have fun,
Bill




7 Comments:

Blogger Orin said...

Bill, I have found my M65 fishtail parka quite useful... it keeps me dry and kept me warm when it was cold. I have both hoods (fur and non-fur), which I found at Federal Army-Navy Surplus in downtown Seattle.

Anyway, I will be in P.A. on Friday for the 12:45 sailing of the Coho to Victoria, and will return at about the same time on Monday... let's get together one of those times, if only to just say hi.

__Orin
scootinoldskool@gmail.com

5:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Orin,
I'm sold on the fishtail. When the good weather goes south, I'll be ready.

I'll shoot you a line on how to get in touch. I'm looking forward to it.

Have fun,
Bill

7:44 PM  
Blogger Steve Williams said...

Very stylish. When will the array of mirrors arrive?

And once that is done you need to join a few other scooter riders to go and terrorize some towns! *grin*

My friend Paul has a 64 Vespa GL and it has the same Mod look. And as an added gift everytime he stops my he leaves 20cc of oil on the driveway. I think he has finally decided he needs to change a seal....

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

4:10 AM  
Blogger CodyandMichelle said...

Great look for ya Bill! Don't ever need a parka down here, but it really goes well with the Vintage Vespa.
I also like to read about scooter hx. But we are making our own future scooter hx, and you my friend, are at the forefront!
Peace!
Cody

11:32 AM  
Blogger Bill Sommers said...

Steve,
I'm torn a bit between investing in farkles to add to the true Mod look, or leave as is. I think Blue looks pretty sweet without the extras.

No problem finding the hooligans to terrorize the streets. The problem will be in finding anyone to take us seriously.

Cody,
That's me buddy, the leader of the pack! We may be slow, but man are we cool.

I'm so into the history of anything that strikes my interest. I always want to go to the roots to see why folks went they way they did, and piece together how it all fits into myself, and today. It's a hobby I guess.

Have fun,
Bill

8:58 PM  
Blogger Combatscoot said...

Cool look, Bill! Almost didn't recognise you...
John

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Very cool look, Bill. Thanks for the kind words. I am really enjoying my Vespa experience. If the loaner deal had gone through, I still would have bought it in the end. This one is a keeper.

I've got goggles, btw, but no helmet to go with them. I'll have to look into that...

Ride well,
=gc=

4:35 AM  

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