The SeaVees Legend

As told by Steven Tiller

Lost. In a sea of uncertainty.

Was it 2005 or 2006? Can’t be sure. You see, I'd lost my way. Been adrift for awhile. And if I’d only known exactly how to change my course, I would’ve done something. But I didn’t. And so it went...

Then we found each other. As two destined souls always do.

Swept away by an undertow of strangers on the streets of Tokyo, I wandered. Far from home. Losing myself in foreign sights, sounds, tastes. And characters. One of whom invited me into a dusty old surplus shop. It was all vintage Americana, filled with well worn clothes, scratched vinyl, faded photographs.

And I felt nostalgic. For a time I’d never known.

In a glass case, there they were. Waiting. “These please,” I said, pointing to the salt-washed mystery. The old man smiled, handing me the first pair of SeaVees I’d ever seen. And they spoke to me: the sky blue herringbone sole, the license plate logo – somehow familiar but slightly, beautifully, off center. In the name was the seduction of the Sea. Then, a large distinctive wishbone V. "A treasure," I whispered under bated breath.

I began to yearn. For a passage I’d never had the courage to take.

And so I submerged on my journey. Back in time. Through a deep dive of archives, journals, magazines. And discovered a birth - in 1964 - of a BF Goodrich brand that pioneered the coastal casual lifestyle. That defined California in its golden age. In the guise of a shoe. Then seven years later was abandoned, without a trace. And lay dormant, buried for nearly 40 years. Waiting for a dreamer.

Waiting. For someone like me.

Anchored back home in Boston, I kissed the girl I love. Hugged our kids. And shocked our families and friends as we bid farewell to life as we knew it. We sold our home and our car, mostly everything. And headed West. To California. To set up shop in a Santa Barbara studio with open windows and the cool breeze of the Pacific blue. To live between mountains and sea. The way I’d always dreamed to be. To breathe new life into something old. Something long lost. But rediscovered.

Found. A 1960s California dream.