“FUR FLYERS” New York City, 1963
This could be a sketch of my good friend Jimmi G. back in the 60’s. She passed away 3 years ago and my world is a little dimmer because of that.
Jimmi was an imposing character. We met in NY City shortly after I was married and as I went on to have three babies she went on to accrue a tidy nest egg in the antique business. The disparity in our lives mattered little to us and we remained close friends.
Jimmie was forever looking for new outlets for her creativity and in the early ’60’s she hit on an idea that took off like wildfire. She took her accumulated cash and traveled through New England and the East Coast buying up vintage fur hats and coats. Many of them were missing buttons and some had even come apart at the seams. None of this discouraged her. She had an idea and to watch it come to fruition was exciting.
She came back to New York driving her old wooden-sided station wagon packed to the brim with fur items. She was a savvy buyer and had paid little to nothing for her purchases. Most people were happy to get rid of their musty, old outer wear and were thrilled to have made a dollar or two on the exchange.
The next thing on Jimmi’s agenda was a store front and she found the perfect one on 8th St, near Greenwich Village. She named her store “Fur Flyers” and opened for business on a windy, Fall day. A good friend of ours was a writer for “The Village Voice” and he gave her a great send-off. Within days it was apparent that Jimmi’s store was the “talk of the town” and it became the “in” thing to be seen in a vintage item from “Fur Flyers”.
It is interesting to note that a store of this sort in New York City could never be successful in today’s climate. Anti-fur Societies would be in an uproar. But it is just as interesting to note that Jimmi (who loved animals) would have found this ludicrous. To her mind she was not advocating the killing of animals to make clothing...
...she was merely practicing the age old art of re-cycling.