Saturday, July 26, 2014


Rollin' deep onboard the USS Peleliu in the South Pacific during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.  RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise with 22 nations, 49 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participating in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. This multi-lateral evolution provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Here's a great shot of the sea-based fire power that makes up RIMPAC.  The USS Peleliu (LHA-5) can be seen centered, third from the front behind the two Carriers.  Note the subs on the right side of the photo.

Rockin' my trusty Mister Freedom Skivvy and supreme fire power in the background.

Monday, July 21, 2014


It's befitting that this belt be made onboard the USS Peleliu while deployed to the South Pacific during my liberty periods. I suntanned this VEB Leather belt prior to applying the custom design. Purposely avoiding the use of any type of leather finish or treatment, the belt will age beautifully and become darker over time.


United States Marines at the Presidio of San Francisco Guard House, circa 1888.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Christophe and his team have been pushing out the usual top-shelf products that I'm having a hard time keeping up - I'm still reeling over pieces from many seasons past.  I know not of any other brand so consistent in the release of their collections as well as the caliber of designs that I'm wholeheartedly convinced the Mister Freedom® brand is light years above the rest .  I can't wait to dig into quite a few of the pieces depicted below.

Bravo Zulu, Christophe!!

Be sure to check out more mouth watering digs here 

Monday, July 14, 2014


Here are more detailed shots and information on some great pieces not to be overlooked. 

Company: Craft-Rite Shoe Manufacturing Company
Location: Japan

"Short Roper Boots" ¥53,784 (including shipping)
Leather: Horween CXL
Photo source: Masuya

"Hook Boots" ¥46,224 (including shipping)
Leather: Steerhide
Photo source: Masuya

Engineer Boots ¥72736 (including shipping)
Leather: Horsehide


My life aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA-5).

Marines load a M1161 Growler internally transportable-light strike vehicle on to a MV-22 Osprey

Flight Quarters.  "...wear no covers top side ... flight quarters!"
Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra

Monday, July 7, 2014


As usual, this VEB Leather piece is 100% handcrafted in the USA without the aid of machines, professional templates or dies. 
Click here for more info.


The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) was activated on this day back in 1941 at Quantico, Virginia. Within a year of activation, the Wing would participate in the Marine Corps offensive at Guadalcanal. That bitter campaign would be the first in a series of legendary battles in which the Wing would add luster to its reputation. The 1st MAW would earn five Presidential Unit Citations for gallantry in campaigns spanning World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Mission: Conduct air operations in support of the Fleet Marine Forces to include offensive air support, antiair warfare, assault support, aerial reconnaissance including active and passive electronic countermeasures, and control of aircraft and missiles. As a collateral function, the Wing may participate as an integral component of Naval Aviation in the execution of such other Navy functions as the Fleet Commander may direct.

A Marine aviator pilots his Grumman fighter for patrol and observation over Guadalcanal, circa September 1942. Ceaseless bombing by the Japanese kept the 1st MAW ground crew repairing the air field.

Photo Source: navypilotoverseas
South Korea, 1952

Vietnam, circa 1969.  A Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter from the 1st MAW delivers supplies to the 9th Marine Regiment during Operation Dewey Canyon, in which Leathernecks captured over 500 tons of enemy arms and ammunition.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


... As heard on the new Southern Comfort commercial.

A noticeable trend in recent years is for companies to use classic tunes on their commercials and my favorite by far is the use of a relatively obscure tune to mainstream media, "Love Me," by Jerry Lott.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Y'all have a safe and happy 4th, will ya!  Cheers!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I'm really excited about this piece.  I originally designed it as a clutch for the ladies, but realized how much I wanted one for myself to use as a supplemental case for a pack.  Made with original Ortega's Chimayo, Horween leather and antiqued brass hardware, it clocks in at approximately 10 1/2" x 5 3/8".  Besides the large zip compartment, I constructed it with two card slots.  Perfect for a your phone and other miscellaneous daily requirements - perfect gift for that special someone with a vintage appetite.

As usual, my pieces are 100% made by hand without the aid of any machines and carefully crafted to the high standards I've set for myself.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Trust only handstitched leather for a true handcrafted piece. No sewing machines or prefessional template dies are being used in the making of this ladies Chimayo piece - OLD SCHOOL LEATHERCRAFTING METHODS ONLY. Made with Horween leather and other premium hardware carefully selected by your truly ... for VEB Leather.


Lewis "Chesty" B. Puller, circa 1949.  "Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever  you are!" 

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Like a breath of fresh air in the Vintage Engineer Boots world, I've waited for these boots to come out since the prototypes were introduced to me by an ol' Japanese friend at Viva Las Vegas many years ago.  All based on original designs, these boot are must-haves, super versitile and sure to be big hits. 
These amazing 1940's-style Riding Boots are made with Steerhide and bear Cat's Paw heels, leather soles and brass hardware.
These sweet Engineer Boots are based on a late 1930's / early 1940's design and made with Horsehide leather and Cat's Paw soles.
These 1940's-style Riding Boots are made with Horween Chromexcel leather and have Cat's Paw heels with leather half-soles.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Crepe soles are a big deal in Japan, so it's clear these Badalassi's were tailored to suit a large customer base. The takeaway for me; however, is the new available color. Now to get my hands on a pair.