Short Hills NJ (Storch Report) – The world is Mashugana, a word I picked up where I grew up.
Growing up I had a lot of part time jobs and most of them I sought-out because I wanted to experience being a newspaper carrier, a soda jerk, and an amusement park concessionaire, yes, and a ditch digger – the pay was good for the latter as I was working my way through college.
I worked in the summer time after my freshman year in college for the Public Service Electric & Gas Company in New Jersey as a ditch digger and I wore those jeans with the real stuff Nordstrom has now put on them synthetically and is selling for $425.
It’s called dirt, mine was real, caked on and my mother would wash them out every evening so I could wear a clean pair again the next day without any holes in the knees.
We installed gas mains and lines to private homes. There was a black man on the crew, which was run by an ex-Marine drill sergeant, who said to me one day, “College boy let me show you how to dig a ditch.” He then took a pick and hit the dirt on the left and then the right and then the center and a clump of dirt fell into the hole. That’s how my jeans got dirty, but more importantly, it’s how I learned to dig a ditch.
As I recall the name of the Jeans were Levi, they were the ones that had rivets holding the pockets together that my Aunt wouldn’t allow into her house because they scratched her chairs.
My parents bought them for about $19.
Today a few miles west of where I worked then is the Short Hills Mall where they are selling these pricey $425 Jeans describing them as, “Heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans in comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged, American workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.”
I am offended, and I’m sure that crew that worked with me as full time laborers are too.
Mike Rowe, the TV personality of “Dirty Jobs” said the pants “look like they have been worn by someone with a dirty job . . . made for people who don’t.” He added: “The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren’t paints. They’re not even fashion.They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic.”
I’ll bet they would allow you into the 21 Club in New York wearing them to order a Hamburger today.
The world’s Mashugana.