SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

Name:

Not much to tell.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Thursday, February 16, 2006

An L.L. Bean Story

I pride myself on making things last, and the longer I have a streak going the more I'd like to keep it. I suppose the sports nexus to this story is that L.L. Bean is a leading purveyor of outdoor wear, and I'm very fond of some of their products.

Yes, I was marooned in Florida on Sunday and Monday before returning Tuesday, and I use the word marooned because I felt somewhat powerless dealing with the rapid busy signal that was USAir and because the temperatures were in the low fifties with a twenty-mile-an-hour wind. So much for getting some sun and relaxation. Instead, we donned most of the layers we brought with us. I didn't wear my winter coat, if only because psychologically I didn't want to let go of the fact that I wasn't in Florida. I also made for a unique traveler among my group, in that I didn't leave my winter outerwear in my car, which most did, and which all who did lamented. Try going back and digging your car out of a foot and a half of snow while warming up the frigid coat that spend the past week in the back seat of your car. There are more fun things to do.

Anyway, I am walking along Terminal E at Philadelphia International Airport after having landed wearing my L.L. Bean Baxter State Parka. Now, this isn't just any Baxter State Parka, but a 1988 version that his hunter green with the black-and-red-checked wool pattern that lines the hood. What makes this coat outstanding is that it has stood the test of time, is good until it gets 20 degrees, is thin enough that you don't feel like the Michelin Man wearing it, and you can don layers under it to make you feel warmer. During my 18 years of ownership, I've had a pocket reattached once (courtesy of the company) and had the zipper reattached (courtesy of my dry cleaner). I get it dry cleaned after every winter, and it looks as good as new. It hasn't frayed, either.

A nice gentleman stops me, very polite, perhaps in his 70's. "Excuse me," he said, "but may I ask you where you got your coat."

"L.L. Bean," I said.

He smiled quickly.

"But," I added, "it's almost 20 years old."

His smile vanished.

"I had one of those with that lining for 30 years before it wore out," he said somewhat wistfully, "and it was just great. The hood didn't blow off your head the way the new models do. I've been looking for something just like it again, but I haven't been able to find it."

We then exchanged pleasantries about our older L.L. Bean stuff and shared a lament that more recent coats our family members have bought from various vendors (including one from Bean) haven't held up the way those old Baxter State Parkas have. Except for my attachment to my antique, I would have given him the coat, although it might have been a size too big.

Quality is an over-used word and one that also gets taken for granted.

I bought the coat in 1988 for $79 at a time when I needed my first post-college casual coat, instead of wearing a big woolen winter coat that looked better atop a suit. I also bought a pair of Bean Gore-Tex lined hunting boots for about $99, and I still have them too. They're great for shoveling snow. You could have a wind-chill factor of about 15 degrees, but your feet will feel like they're in the Caribbean Sea off the Jamaican coast. Great, great stuff. I splurged spending that money then; it looks like a bargain today.

I don't know whether they make that stuff like they used to, but these items give me a fond affection for the L.L. Bean brand. I've worn that coat to many a football game and to many a basketball game (although, thankfully, the gyms are of course warm enough not to need the coat while inside). At this point in my life, I hope to make it last forever.

Thanks, L.L. Bean, for high-quality stuff. If you can do so, resurrect your specifications for the late 80's model of the Baxter State Parka. They hold up really well, and there are a bunch of people out there who would buy them in a heartbeat.

53 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same thing happened to me. I bought a brown leather "bomber" jacket in 1988... I still wear it and I get compliments on it regularly. It seems that the more I wear it, the better it looks.

I bought it on a trip to Maine at their store... I had forgotten about them recently, but you reminded me to return to their web site. Thanks for the story.

CC
Los Angeles

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Shree said...

Couldn't agree more. I got a fall jacket from them that is into its 5th Year now. Although technically its a fall jacket, I have pretty much used in every snow storm and every ski trip. Not a stich has come out ... awesome stuff.

8:22 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Thanks for your comments and welcome to the blog. I really respect Bean (now when you call them to order from the catalog, if you're in their system their customer service folks welcome you by name). Of course, it could be that the customer service folks are in Wyoming and the inventory is kept at UPS is Louisville (for ease of shipping) and most of the stuff is made overseas, but if that's the case, the way they police their brand and insist upon quality at all levels is amazing.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

My LL Bean Baxter State Parka is so old it doesn't even have the Bean logo on the outside. The plaid wool liner is wonderfully warm and it was made in the USA. I've about given up finding a replacement.

Doug in Orange County

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The threads wore out on the stitching on the sleeves on my jacket. Resewed it and it is still in service after more than 20years. The pockets and handwarmer pockets are the best. Wear it all year round just add more layers as it gets colder. Wish I could still get this parka style.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my wow gold buy wow power leveling cheap wow gold cheapest wow power leveling
replica replica rolex
CHEAP wow power level
BUY power leveling
CHEAPEST power leveling l

1:49 AM  
Blogger Peaches said...

I just found a teal blue Baxter State Parka with a teal/heather plaid lining at the local Salvation Army this afternoon. Other than being a bit wrinkled, it looks great. Has the attached hood, and loads of pockets. It's old enough that the writing on the size label is gone. I went to the store looking for a funky jacket for work, but this one is almost too nice. A deal and a half for $9. Thanks for the posting.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Tag Heuer Watches said...

Rolex Watches Rolex Watches
Tag Heuer Watches Tag Heuer Watches
rolex replica rolex replica
replica rolex replica rolex
rolex replica watches rolex replica watches
replica rolex watches replica rolex watches
Tag Heuer Tag Heuer
replica Tag Heuer replica Tag Heuer
Tag Heuer replica Tag Heuer replica
rolex rolex
rolex air king rolex air king
rolex datejust rolex datejust
rolex day date rolex day date
rolex daytona rolex daytona
rolex gmt rolex gmt
rolex submariner rolex submariner
rolex yachtmaster rolex yachtmaster
rolex air king watches rolex air king watches
rolex datejust watches rolex datejust watches
rolex day date watches rolex day date watches
rolex daytona watches rolex daytona watches
rolex gmt watches rolex gmt watches
rolex submariner watches rolex submariner watches
rolex yachtmaster watches rolex yachtmaster watches

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Generic Viagra said...

I remember that my L.L. Bean I bought it on $80 on a nice store that was closing and they reduce the prices I told myself that I couldn't loose this opportunity because it was so cheap now I have 3 years having it.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Kamagra said...

Hey I had a long time without hearing about L.L Bean but I remember the first time that I bought my L.L Bean was in $70, and was the best price that I got.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous buy generic viagra said...

Hi this jack
Wow! It's awesome blog post here.... really very interesting for reading..... I enjoyed it. Thanks for the share.... just keep posting.
online generic levitra

5:25 AM  
Anonymous generic viagra for men said...

Wow! It's awesome blog post here.... really very interesting for reading..... I enjoyed it. Thanks for the share.... just keep posting...
online generic levitra

5:28 AM  
Anonymous cheap kamagra online said...

Oh my god!!! This is so very incredibly amazing. Couldn’t thought that something as interesting as this was still in the oblivion. Your piece of work is just astounding. Congo dude!!!

5:44 AM  
Anonymous fap turbo said...

wow great i have read many articles about this topic and everytime i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work!

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Tadalis said...

I have never ever come across such a wonderful piece of information. Today I am proud to say that I have finally gain knowledge on this topic and here on I shall also spread the same preaching ahead so that the world become a better place to live in.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Generic Levitra said...

Oh my!!! You are just too true to be good. How do you manage to write and research on such wonderful things? You have inspired me to work harder now. I shall try as much as possible to enjoy life to the fullest and be satiated with the wonderful things that are around me, which I have been unaware of until now.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous generic viagra said...

Love u..love u...love u.....I have never seen this type of post by now.This is the first tine and that's why i am commenting.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous online lovegra said...

Hello,
This is really very interesting information found here.... Keep posting such an interesting information.

Thanks!

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Viagra Online said...

You have a great knowledge
of the subject.Thanks for sharing such an article where education of people
matters the most.Your way of expressing articles through words is excellent.he
way of expressing things is best and informative.Keep sharing articles like
this.A great article with best possible effects.I am great fan of your
blog.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous generic viagra said...

Very Cool post thanks a lot for this nice information I like it so much thanks a lot for this nice information.

keep posting such a nice post.


Smith ALan

1:07 AM  
Anonymous auto insurance quotes said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us.It was great.Will hope to hear soon from you.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous ranches for sale said...

L.L. Bean are making their position quite well in market day by day.they are taking the better place in market because of their quality products and good services.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous online dating said...

I had used some of the products of L.L. Bean which were one of the best in quality.Though they are not available everywhere but still they are doing their best.

12:38 AM  
Blogger zinx said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:21 AM  
Blogger zinx said...

The posts wore from the appears on the masturbator sleeves on my coat. Resewed it and it is still in service after more than 20years. The openings and handwarmer storage compartments are the best. Don it all year round just simply add more layers as it may get colder. Really wish i could still understand this parka style.spinal decompression

5:24 AM  
Blogger mandym555 said...

I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.
dateing sites

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Mens Leather Bombers Jackets said...

Nice post love reading it
Leather Jackets

7:01 AM  
Anonymous buy vicodin online said...

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that..

3:54 PM  
Anonymous buy xanax online said...

It is a very informative and useful post thanks it is good material to read this post increases my knowledge.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Great work on the solution. Keep it up! I'm really amazed by the quality of service that you have been providing through this blog.
buy Lortab online

4:29 PM  
Anonymous alternative viagra said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting post with us. You have made some valuable points which are very useful for all readers

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Women leather bomber jackets for sale said...

nice post love reading it

7:45 AM  
Anonymous houston dentist said...

I'm really impressed that there's so much about this subject that's been uncovered and you did it so well, with so much class. Good one you, man! Thanks for the post on tire.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous dentist in san antonio said...

Took me a while to read all the comments but I really love the article. It proved to be very useful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here!It's always nice when you can not only be informed but also entertained!I'm sure you had fun writing this article.Comfortably the article is really the sweetest on this precious topic.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous san antonio dentist said...

Reading the same blog repeatedly it was boring,when i read your blog it was amazing and very interesting the way of narration is awesome,am glad that i found such a beautiful post.Thanks a lot for sharing it,i hope i will see more better post than this and i will be a frequent visitor from now onwards.Keep it up and keep rocking.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous san antonio dentist said...

This website is very happy for the information wise. This website is targeting one thing but this website is coring all topics and the pictures of designs. I am really like this blog and using the services. This website is proving the lot of information for particular topic you want. That information is true and using the good language for the particular topic. I am very much thanks to this website.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous carpet cleaning said...

This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest blogger I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful information. This was just what I was on looking for. I'll come back to this blog for sure! I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed. Keep up the good work.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous led signs said...

There's no word to describe such a great masterpiece. You made such an interesting piece to
read, giving every subject an enlightenment for us to gain knowledge and information without any arguments to deal with. Thank you very much and more power!

1:33 AM  
Anonymous austin dentist said...

I visit this site and acquainted with this.This site publish most useful and valuable article.I read this post and find lot of things.I am really happy for reading and knowing this post.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous sugar land dentist said...

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty blog with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great blog. Good luck to the author! all the best.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Hotels in Denver Co said...

Absolute fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing it.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Women leather jackets said...

nice post love it

Womens Leather Bombers

1:25 AM  
Blogger rasal said...

This information was really very helpful for me I am going to share this with some of my class mates and friends coz I want them to see that this blog is having such nice content.ptc

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Columbus Oh Hotel said...

Super-Duper site! i like it!!! all over its great idea.....Thanks for your efforts.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

online logo design
new york logo design

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Women leather bomber jackets said...

nice post love it
Womens Leather Skirts

3:42 AM  
Anonymous how to cure hemorrhoids said...

excellent post, I became interested to learn about your blog and i also will certainly search for your site at my PC. I look forward to the subsequent article. thank you so much

7:13 AM  
Anonymous kidney stones women said...

I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Certification For Fitness Trainer said...

This website is really beneficial. I would like to realize another information about this particular posting. Hence make sure you offer other sorts of information regarding that side,Cheers.

7:18 AM  
Blogger নবান্ন said...

You have really a nice style of sharing your thoughts. I like your bean storyresidential painters brisbane

8:55 PM  
Anonymous shagor said...

I am really not too familiar with this subject but I do like to visit blogs for layout ideas. You really expanded upon a subject that I usually don’t care much about and made it very exciting. This is a unique blog that I will take note of. I already bookmarked it for future reference.hair loss treatment

3:28 PM  
Blogger Calyin Dyol said...

Nice Post Love Reading Its

side effect of apcalis 20mg

generic Viagra

1:00 AM  
Anonymous pharmacy dropshipping said...

I really appreciate it, I visit more often for updates, keep up the great work!

4:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home