Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Love Affair with the J. Peterman Counterfeit Mailbag

Remember Seinfeld's man-purse? Humor aside, a work bag is an important and functional part of one's wardrobe. I've always carried a bag for several reasons. The main reason being that I like gadgets, but I don't like them stuffed in my pant pockets.

This is the story behind how I found my bag. I thought it was fitting for Valentine's day.

I think I was ten or eleven at the time, back in the early 90's. My parents subscribed to the Smithsonian Magazine. I remember the intriguing little ad of a man in a cowboy duster asking for my address. I ripped out the ad, filled in my address, mailed it with $5 (I think) to Lexington KY and the very next month I received my first copy of J. Peterman catalog!

I loved that catalog. The watercolor pictures and seductive stories captivated me. My favorite item was the counterfeit mail bag. I dreamed of having that bag, but my money situation was pretty paltry at the time. A boy can dream though...

Flash forward to 1999. I'm a recent college graduate who just landed a job. I wanted to celebrate. I still yearned for that mailbag. I went online to order it and to my great disappointment J. Peterman was no more. They had just filed for bankruptcy. I was saddened and thought that I'd never get my counterfeit mailbag.

After a good amount of searching I found a bag that could satisfy my desire. It was a messenger bag from Timbuk2. I remember emailing in my colors for the panels and selecting all the upgrades! I was excited for its arrival. Looking back, I smile at the thought that I helped out a young compnay that makes some great looking bags.

Over the past 7 years, I received lots of compliments for that bag. It traveled with me to several countries and many states, probably hundreds of thousands of miles in all. I still own the bag, but for the most part she's retired now. It was a hard decision. I had really gotten attached to my little ole Timbuk2 bag, but she was looking pretty worn out.

By coincidence when I was making the decision, I Googled J Peterman. I still had that counterfeit mailbag on my mind. To my surprise there was my first love, the Counterfeit Mailbag! J. Peterman was back in business. I asked my kind wife if I could splurge and told her of my childhood bag memories. It wasn't hard for her to say yes to my request.

I've owned my mailbag for about 6 months now. Its a great bag. I love carrying it around. I get tons of compliments. The first scratch did kill me, but I'm over it now. I'm hoping this bag will serve me well for many years.

Here she is!