Before I graduated from college, I worked as a photo assistant with a remarkable photographer, Penny Wolin. At one point, we spent a summer traveling through the Rocky Mountain states to shoot a project, The Jews of Wyoming: fringe of the Diaspora. It was an incredible experience. One evening, we took a break and stopped into a bar near Laramie, Wyoming for a beer. When we walked in, I realized this was the local bar for the service-men and women at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. I felt pretty nifty because I was wearing my nylon bomber jacket and had aviator sunglasses. “Yep,” I thought as we talked with people, “I’m fitting in just fine here.”
Now, here’s where this post takes a left turn. When we left and I threw my jacket in the back of the VW bus, it occurred to me that the bomber jacket was good, but maybe having Camp Beverly Hills stitched across the back was a little out of sync. For those of you wondering, “What the heck is that?” Camp Beverly Hills was a cool place to shop off of Rodeo in the 1980s. The store specialized in pastel colored t-shirts and outfits, with a few military items mixed in. Everything had the Camp Beverly Hills logo, which, hard to believe, is now cool again. In retrospect, the people we met at that bar from Warren Air Force Base were pretty impressive. They were friendly and chatty, and I didn’t get beaten up.