We had enjoyed an afternoon together visiting Doughboy's Army surplus shop and browsing the aisles stuffed with military gear. I was quite taken with the rubber boots they were selling in the back of the store, dreaming of the day when I would plunge my body deep into a thick clay pit and struggle with pleasure against the earthy bondage of the mud.
That evening Sir Dino came to my aid when a friend of mine couldn't make it due to a miscommunication, and he manned the door. Evan did a wonderful job of selling jello shots, and during which he found the time to make several costume changes! Very impressive! Jeff sold raffle tickets, and my puppy Cockpit was able to come and be my prize table guard dog!
It was after the introductions that I called Sir Dino and Cockpit to the stage and began my speech explaining my Muir Cap and why I wore it, I explained that I understood the symbolism of dominance behind it, that I treated it with deep respect, that I have seen it on both tops and bottoms in leather art, and that I would wear it out to the bars with no more apprehension.
Here is how I obtained my cover.
Last year, at Folsom 2011, my puppy Cockpit took me to Mr. S Leather and we browsed around for a bit. I went over to the wall where they displayed their stock of Muir Caps and I tried one on, looked at myself in the mirror and mused about being bestowed with one, and earning my cover. I asked Cockpit how I looked in it and he nodded approvingly. I replaced it on the wall and we went around the store some more. When it came time to leave he looked at me and said "Okay! We're leaving, go grab your cover." I was confused, did he mean...? Yes! He was serious. He was seriously buying me a cover. Heart filled with excitement and gratitude I chose one off the wall and my puppy purchased it for me as a gift.
My puppy had presented me with my cover.
Knowing full well that Muir caps were taken very seriously by members of the more traditional community of leather, I made sure to treat my own with the respect and care it deserved. I never played around with it, spun it on my finger, tossed it haphazardly on the bed, or do other such things that people may do with an old baseball cap. I researched on traditions concerning the cover: never wearing it backwards, taking it off and placing it on one's own head with both palms on either side of the cap, never touching the brim for any reason whatsoever, and tucking it gently under one's arm when the cap was not worn.
I also read that one earns their cover in more traditional circles of leather with prerequisites. One of which that I can recall is being of service to one's leather community. Well I knew that I was being of service to my community by throwing events for leather men and women to attend and to enjoy as one of my roles as a titleholder, as many seemed to complain that there was a horrible shortage of such. I also would take every opportunity I could to educate people on what different aspects of the leather world meant, as well as encourage safe sex, and to educate people on safe kink and fetish play.
One thing I am well aware of is that traditional leatherfolk get really pissed when Muir caps aren't respected or misrepresented, so when I do wear my cover in public I make sure that I am aware of my behavior, as I am not only representing my title which bears both the entire state of California leather boys as well as the southern region (long story, for another time), I am representing the leather world to the masses who may be ignorant of what leather is and only see things like "the village people" or "freaky kinky guys". As such I act in a respectful and welcoming manner. My goal is to have them walk away from our brief passing with a sense of "Wow, that leather guy was really nice...I have no reason to be afraid of them."
What my cover means to me, is that it is a symbol of respect and loyalty from my puppy, Cockpit. A pup who has shown me such generosity in flying me to San Francisco many times in order for me to be able to attend events like Folsom Street Fair, the San Francisco K-9 Unit's Puppy Park, and even to Chicago to experience IML. As a symbol of support and love as he has given me moral, emotional, and physical encouragement when I needed it. He has guided me and assisted me into improving upon myself and overcoming my personal difficulties and challenges. And after all of these gifts, all he asks in return from me is time spent together with him on the end of my leash or a day to save for him.
So of course I will wear my cover, I will proudly wear it. Every moment I wear it, it is a "thank you", and "I love you" to my wonderful All-Star Golden Retriever, Puppy Cockpit.