The Year Everything DIED!

After all, real life is known to throw curves into a plan. But if all continues as is, then we are good to go!!”

I ran into Roy Slaper a few months ago while I was driving in Downtown Oakland. I hadn’t spoken to (or seen) Roy since before he launched his line, so I pulled over. I was on my way to Two Jacks Denim. He was walking to the local YMCA for a swim. It was really cool catching up. I’ve been off the grid for quite some time. I’d given him a brief rundown of what’s been up with me, particularly over the course of 2013: the year everything died.

Miraculously, I’d received a few emails last year from people looking for denim. And in my response, I’d promised to update my blog “soon” with a full blown explanation of my absence. I’ve been putting it off, as I really don’t like discussing the events of 2013. But anyway, as promised, here’s the belated rundown for what happened…


January opens with a BANG! If you can remember, I’m feeling great, as I have a production planned for June/July. I begin shipping denim to my manufacturer. Jimmy C. (from the SuFu denim forums) and I had put our heads together and banged out great artwork for my leather patch. I’m so very ready to jump back into the market!! And then I get a phone call. It’s still January…

It’s my aunt “Cat”; ‘the bearer of bad news’. She tells me that my mom has a massive stroke shortly after her birthday. She’s in a coma. Making matters worse is the fact that I hadn’t spoken to my mom since 2001; hadn’t seen her since 2000. Long story short…we’re both stubborn! Anyway, that no longer matters. I’m off to my mom’s bedside…

I’m still in competitor mode at this point though. Time to get patches pressed! But then I find out that the (local) company I’d been dealing with had disbanded their patch pressing operation and sold all their equipment. Bummer! I eventually find another place, but it’s A LOT more costly–bummer to the 2nd power!!

Then my car dies! So, for the first time in my life, I have to buy a new (newer) car…which means car payments! My fighting spirit is beginning to wane at this point. But at least I’ll have air conditioning, lol! But I can sense eminent financial issues…

Sure enough, in April, my wife tells me that she’s moving out.  Our relationship had been broken/dead.  But it *SUCKS* knowing that I’m now going to be responsible for 100% of the household expenses.  I’m strongly questioning my July production now…just holding onto hope.  I’m in denial…

A week later, I get a notice from the Franchise Tax Board.  Yep, one of those–$$$–letters!  No more hope.  No more denial—production is officially DEAD!  I can’t afford it along with everything else (car payment, taxes, household expenses).  Plus, keep in mind that I’m still visiting mom at the hospital.  She’s *still* comatose, although showing signs of life.  She’s aware that my step dad and I are present.  It’s all so mentally draining though…

Empty Apartment

On May 31st I arrive home after work to an empty apartment—my wife is officially gone.  Unfortunately, all the furniture was hers!  The next day, I go and retrieve my materials from my manufacturer…defeated.

A couple of months later, on August 28th, my mom slips away.  We were never able to make peace.  And still, all I want to do is produce my line.  That’s it.  But I can’t.  The pain is practically unbearable.  Thankfully, I don’t own a gun, LOL…

Then I learn that my favorite aunt, the most instrumental person in my life, has cancer.  She’s the one responsible for keeping me involved in the arts as a kid, among other fun things.  And now she’s sick.  W…T…F!!!


Table Top

I throw myself into decorating my empty apartment.  It provides a *much needed* creative outlet.  But then that soon gets expense, so, after one wall, I stop, lol…

And, later, my only remaining uncle dies.  So there you have it, folks!  This is the last time that I’m sharing this story.  2013 was the worst year of my life.  That is, until…


In November, during a random trip to the bank, my project was funded completely!  So I’ve been quietly back at work, getting my line ready.  With regard to social media, I’ve been a ghost.  But I’ve been wearing my Pulsar Slim-Taper sample & making my rounds among the local denim shops.  It works wonders on my spirit to see how enthusiastic people are about my impending return.

And by the way, my (ex) wife and I are in a great space now. There was never any bad blood, but along with the pressure of everything going on in my life, our relationship had gotten ‘Flavor Flav’ ugly in the end, LOL! But we’re friends, and I sincerely wish her all the best. I’m looking forward to the future…

Production is slated for July–*for real* this time!  I just ordered the last of my fabrics.  I’m using all Japanese selvedge (four different kinds) this time out . My hardware is done *finally* (took forever!).  Sampling has begun, and once these few pairs are complete I’ll begin sharing (more) photos.  I created an Instagram account last Saturday.  Those of you who are interested can follow here:

And once I’ve officially re-launched my line, as usual, I’ll do a blown out post in order to share the ideology behind this latest edition of Pulsar.  It’s been a long time coming.  Until then…

…Stay tuned!


For those who love jeans


About bartacker

I consider myself to be in the constant process of mastering the Art of Communication. View all posts by bartacker

2 responses to “The Year Everything DIED!

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