"14 Boots" By George F
I had my first item bronzed, a football cleat in 2004. I presented it to my mom on her 80th birthday. I made this awesome tackle on the football field and my mom said, “I am proud of you”. That event took place on November 2, 1985. It made a huge impact on my life and I wrote a memoir about my life titled, “Stuff in the Basement: Influences of James Dean.” The book was published in 2019.
In 1987 I went to basic training and was issued two pairs of boots. I decided I would get those bronzed some day. The same attitude I had about the football cleat. Back when I had the football cleat bronzed, JC Penney did it. I am not sure who they contacted to do the work. However, one day I was cleaning my garage and basement and was amazed that I had accrued 14 pairs of boots. I served in the Marine Corps, the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard and once again in the Air Force Reserve prior to my retirement on January 9, 2017. Initially, I was only going to bronze the first pair of boots. However, after getting my first book published and staging all 14 pairs of books for a photograph, I decided I would get all 14 pairs of boots eventually bronzed. My order 2632 is my fifth pair of combat boots that were bronzed. Each pair of boots has it’s own story. I remember where I was stationed and what I was doing at the time. The boots represent a military career spanning four decades.
From 1987-2017. However, due to a break in service of over 9 years between the Marine Corps and the Air Force Reserve (1993-2002) it took 30 years to get 20 years in. (20 years is needed to retire). I hope to write a future memoir and the first half of the title is “Fourteen Pairs of Boots”.