(December 31, 2018)

my first ‘buttonflys

were not levi’s but marine

corps recruit issue*

*(Pardon the uncapitalization of Marine corps, but I did not do the same for Levi’s or Button Fly – 501s – jeans. When well worn-in the buttonfly model could pop open faster than a sailor’s famous 13-chances-to-say-no. I recently found folded into a near permanent press a couple pair of USMC dungarees (utilities – fatigues to you Army dudes with no class nor imagination) each with buttonfly features. I gave my old zipper-front Levi’s of a certain waist and inseam to my younger brother to celebrate his lost pounds but I retained that size’s button fly jeans for me. I have every pair of Levi’s my mother and then I ever bought for me to wear. It is mind- and wallet-boggling to realize what once was well below a double-sawbuck now probably broaches half-a-C-Note. With a Levi’s denim longsleeve shirt and and a denim jacket to go with the trou, I put on my back what once I paid for a good suit. The new Wrangler commercials I hear on radio make me grin: I was so far behind the times I got to the front of the line. Again. The green buttonfly dungaree trousers I recall finding in the men’s uniform issue lots at the Philadelphia 4th Marine Corps District Headquarters depot and scarfed all the blouses (Marine for shirt or jacket) and trousers they had in my size just before I hit civvy street. The covers (hats) and blouses are long gone. I’ll hang onto the buttonflys!)

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