Janice stole my look

There is something about a bright shiny look.  Sequins, silk, lame. Worn properly its fantastic, improperly in tube top or casually applied to clothing is often beyond scary.

I was always a big boi.  I was big baby, I came into the world weighing 137 pounds 4 ounces with size 10 feet.  My mother  screamed so loud that all over Northern California people thought we were under attack by the Japanese*     (*A slight exaggeration)

By the end of Kindergarten, I was over five feet tall and six feet tall at the end of six grade. Fashionable clothes in the “husky” department was available as long you liked the color blue.  Blue Jeans, blue shirts, for years I looked like an inmate.   My shoes were black with blue undertones.

One day, someone took me to Roger’s men store in Downtown Richmond, and a fashionista born.  I went from husky to the men’s department.  For my six grade picture, I wore a yellowish pinstripe double breasted  sports jacket with tan pants and a powder  blue turtleneck shirt.  (Back then I was too cool for Black and White TV)

 We discovered larger clothes in the catalogs Sears, Montgomery Wards and J.C Penney’s

I found a gold silk shirt at Montgomery Wards that went well with my tan pants and my shiny copper shoes from Flag Brothers and my nylon pimp socks.  While I didn’t personally know any pimps, I was told they wore nylon socks. Hey!

Problem with silk shirts is they wrinkle, after a few hours the shirt looked like an accordian.   You can’t starch silk, its an upright kinda shirt, as long as you don’t sit down. One morning, the shirt melted (attacked by an hot iron) I was devastated.  It was the coolest shirt I ever owned.  I found a silker shirt in the catalog , but my mom wasn’t going to spend $19.00 on a shirt. ( If only if I had four other brothers-one named Tito)

On one visit at JC. Penneys I found the shirt.  It was a shirt slash Nehru Jacket, the style in the late sixties early seventies.   It was purple, the national color of Richmond and woven in was bright silver stands. on sale for eight bucks.

The shirt and I was a hit.  I didn’t wear it everyday, I didn’t want people to get used to it. Once a month unless there was a talent show at school.

Then one day, my female counterpart at school Janet, wore the same shirt.    Like me.Janice  was a freak of nature.  We were much bigger and taller than our classmates.  We were like Godzilla and Mothra, if we suddenly turned (without signaling) eight or nine of our classmates would hit the floor. ( Her tail was longer than mine)

Why would she wear a nehru jacket .    Diana Ross didn’t wear a Nehru Jacket!   Ella Fitzgearald, Aretha, Dionne Warwick none of these ladies wore Nehru Jackets.    To make matters worse. She wore it wrong and she wore it constantly!  On top of dresses, and sweaters.  One, two days in row she it didn’t wear it. After a week, I assumed someone got tired of her or it.    I altered mine, I made two side vents.

Weeks went by.  It was time for the Mack Daddy!  I needed to show it how is was worn. It as a Friday, I bought a white dickie.  It was show time in the Cafeteria of Downer Jr High.  I was too cool. I even wore my shiny church shoes.   One of my fans came over and screamed my name.

You know the rest……   I don’t have to spell it out for you!  The day was too fucking perfect!

There she was, walking with her tray of food, like Frankenstein’s first born.  Wearing the same purple and silver Nehru Jacket/Shirt.     I don’t know what she was wearing underneath it.  I was in shock.!

One moment your friend is in your corner, screaming your name and the next moment he and a few others are screaming in laughter at you!

I wanted her dead, and perhaps one or more of my laughing friends, who were laughing just a little too hard, for my likings.

They were delivering milk that Friday.  I pictured her stepping in back of the milk truck and the driver running her over again and again and again until she and that jacket was unrecognizable.

I stopped wearing the jacket to school.  I would wear it to certain family events outside of Northern California

She stole my look.

That was the last year I saw Janice.  I had nothing to do with her disappearance. The word was ,her family moved to Pittsburg.



50 years later, she is probably still wearing THAT jacket.



(I’m not bitter!)



Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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