Aug 22, 2012

The Kamp Kit from Winter Session and Buckshot Sonny’s

Presenting the Kamp Kit from Winter Session and Buckshot Sonny’s.

What we have here is an update of the actual dopp kit Max took to summer camp from 1990 to 1993.

Though his was falling apart, the small blue nylon toiletry bag Max’s mother packed for him remained his go-to while traveling for more than twenty years. Throughout those twenty years, he’s received other, nicer dopp kits, but they’ve either been too large or oddly shaped. And since the formation of the TSA and the 3-1-1 rule which states all liquids must be in 3.4 ounce bottles in a single zip-lock baggie, Max found he needed less and less, and this narrow, basic kit did the trick.

I love you. Chainstitched.

Kool Kan Koozie at work.

The original and the parts of Max's prototype complete with patches from his childhood.

Inside, in his mother’s handwriting, it reads “Max Wastler - K1” only “Max” had been covered by the name of his brother “Ben” and K1 had miraculously morphed into K4 and finally K7, denoting the three levels of “kamp” Max and Ben experienced. And to this very day, this perfectly-sized dopp kit has remained Max’s go-to on every trip, whether it was for a weekend away or for a year living out of his backpack.

He reached out to his friends Tanya Fleisher and Roy Katz at Winter Session to see about building a sturdier version of his trusted kit. They set aside vintage military webbing and US-made brass Talon zippers. Adding to it a cotton canvas and a waxed cotton liner, the new kit was nearly complete.

“What do you guys think about making a leather patch with a summer camp wood type font to really set this thing off?”

“Sounds good” they said in unison.

“Can you spell it 'Kamp Kit,' like my kamp did?”

“Yes, we can.”

And so a classic was reborn: The Kamp Kit from Winter Session and Buckshot Sonny’s.

These will be released as limited editions. For our initial offering, we decided to release the platonic ideal of what we set out for this kit to be. It is heavy duty and as American as they come, with vintage and new parts made in the US, in good ol' red, white, and blue.

Get ‘em while the getting’s good.

Visit the shop. And check out all the wonderful offerings from our friends at Winter Session.

May 21, 2012

Horween Shell Cordovan Watch Bands

In effort to provide our customers with products made close to our homes, when it came time to make and sell watch bands, Max reached out to his repairman, Steve Evavold at Chicago's Division Street Watch Co. 

Steve makes sturdy leather watch bands for the handsome vintage watches he refurbishes and sells using locally forged parts and locally tanned shell cordovan, the fibrous leather made from the muscle (or shell) found beneath the hide of the horse's backside. The cordovan comes from Chicago's Horween Leather, considered by many to be the world's finest tannery. He cuts and makes each band entirely by hand in his shop in the Chicago neighborhood known as Wicker Park.

Realizing that bands that have been stitched or glued together are more likely to wear out over time, Steve designed a sturdy band that uses a single piece of leather and rivets. The nature of shell cordovan allows that with time, the leather will take on the characteristics of its wearer. It also means that no two bands are the same.

Understanding this, we ask that you join in the handmade experience. Every day since receiving an Omega Seamaster De Ville in January, Max has worn it with one of Steve's dark brown leather versions of the U.S. Military Spec # MIL-S-46383 band, and it has worn in nicely. You can actually see a seahorse burned into the band.

We hope you love your band as much as Max and Joe love theirs.

Visit our shop at one of the links below.

Horween Shell Cordovan U.S. Military Spec # MIL-S-46383 Leather Watch Band

Horween Shell Cordovan Six Rivet Leather Watch Band

Apr 17, 2012

The Official League Ball

"What's important is that baseball, after twenty-eight years of artificial turf and expansion and the designated hitter and drugs and free agency and thousand-dollar bubble gum cards, is still a gift given by fathers to sons." - Michael Chabon

There's just something to having a catch: the affect it has on a backyard conversation, the strain of effort from the shoulder and the forearm to the sting of the palm, and the toss back and forth like the ebb and flow of the ocean. There is a rhythm to the pitch and to the catch. It's the poetry of baseball. That it's a tradition handed down from parent to child dating back generations, we think it's the perfect addition to our shop.

With baseball's Opening Day comes Buckshot Sonny's Official League Ball, our first collaboration with William Peebles, the man behind Huntington Base Ball Co.

Using his hands, a needle and two colors of thread (just as they did in the old days before using two colors was seen as a waste of money), Mr. Peebles sews each of these balls himself in his workshop in Massachusetts. And to hold one of these baseballs is a regulation size-and-weight piece of perfection. They are so beautiful, such works of art in fact, that at Chicago's Dose, one of the markets where Buckshot Sonny's sells, a patron asked us to send a ball to William and have him autograph it.

There are versions of the Official League Ball that are turn-of-the-century, and older, but this style with two color stitching dates from the late teens into the 1930s. This is the type of baseball your grandfather would buy at the hardware store, when that was the primary outlet for sporting goods in most towns. A lot of the larger stores would have their own private labels as well. William felt this time frame and the spirit of the ball was appropriate for what we are doing with Buckshot Sonny's.

We couldn't agree more. Thanks, William.

Buckshot Sonny's Official League Ball by Huntington Base Ball Co. Made in Massachusetts Features - Hand-drawn logo, courtesy of Christine Mitchell - Red & blue waxed linen thread - Official size and weight of regulation baseballs: 9 inches / 5 ounces - Intended for regular use. Scuff it up!

Dec 13, 2011

The Yosemite Shirt

The Yosemite Shirt

To this day, my brother and I maintain the best family vacation we took was to Yosemite National Park. It was the summer of 1994, and my dad had a conference at a hotel in the park. While he was in meetings, my brother and I and our dad's coworkers' kids went exploring.

It was on this trip, I learned how to climb, I learned to appreciate plants in an entirely new way, and honestly, I learned how to talk to girls. My brother will tell you, I fell hard for one of them. She and I loved to sneak off on our daily walks with the park guides.

In between that education of another kind, I did manage to learn about the southeast face of El Capitan called "The North America Wall", a classic first ascended in 1964 by a team of climbing world legends: Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, Chuck Pratt, and Yvon Chouinard, someone for whom I'd work later in life.

It was while working for Uncle Yvon's sporting goods company, Patagonia, I first learned of a luscious chamois cloth milled in Portugual and used in some of their products. When we tapped another California company, San Francisco's Taylor Stitch to collaborate with us on some shirts, I knew exactly where to go for our fabric. And inspired by that initial ascent of The North America Wall, we decided to call this shirt the Yosemite Shirt, naming each of the four colors after the route's pioneers:

- Tom Frost's Blue
- Royal Robbins' Red
- Chuck Pratt's Forest Green
- Uncle Yvon's Classic Navy

These shirts were designed to be worn tucked or untucked, although you'll never see me tuck it in. I wear it more like a sweater or a jacket than a shirt.

Made from an organic cotton chamois cloth in California, where the granola flows like water. Rest assured there are crunchier shirts, but no shirt this crunchy has ever been this soft. This fabric will arrive to you soft as a cloud and get even softer over time. It will pill, and it will shed. With corozo nut buttons, a bar-tacked pen pocket, two flaps, and all the California Love one shirt can take, this shirt will become a guaranteed overnight favorite, that is unless your summer love steals it.

- Wastler

Aug 9, 2011

For Immediate Release

Taking the nicknames of Max’s father and Joe’s grandfather, Joe Gannon and Max Wastler built Buckshot Sonny's in tribute to the sporting goods stores of old.

It’s the kind of place their grandfathers might have taken their fathers. Hoping to dust off some of the classics, Joe and Max hope to shine a light on the quality goods lining shelves of the sporting goods stores dotting the Main Streets of yesteryear.

They've stocked up on new and old, vintage and deadstock quality products and some semi-perishable items (No worms. Not yet, anyways) they've uncovered in their travels around the United States.

Celebrate with Joe and Max as they launch Buckshot Sonny's at NorthernGrade 2011.


  • Hand-curved Toboggans, made by Garrett Gannon -- Milford, Delaware
  • Packs from GORUCK with details exclusive to Buckshot Sonny's -- Bozeman, Montana
  • Copies of Walker Lamond's Rules for My Unborn Son -- Washington, D.C.
  • Graphic T-Shirts from Lincoln Supply Co. -- Macclenny, Florida
  • Fitted Ball Caps from Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. -- Cooperstown, New York
  • Rare Pointer Brand Chore Coats and Trucker Caps -- Bristol, Tennessee
  • Chamois Shirts from Taylor Stitch -- San Francisco, California
  • Vintage Baseball Gloves -- MADE IN USA
  • Game-used Baseballs -- MADE IN USA
  • Game-used Baseball Bats -- MADE IN USA
  • Deadstock footwear from Nashville Sporting Goods -- Nashville, Tennessee
  • Antique Top Flite Kites -- Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Bats, Balls, Pennants and Ballpark Signs from Huntington Baseball Co. -- Norwell, Massachusetts
  • Vintage Bert Pulitzer Neck Ties -- MADE IN USA
  • Mustad Lure Co. Fish Hook Tie Bars -- Auburn, New York
  • Horween Leather Jump Ropes and Hand-turned Maple Handles -- Chicago, Illinois
  • Natural Homemade Hair Potions from Barber Ryan Babbitt -- Chicago, Illinois
  • Charley's Mustard -- Detroit, Michigan
  • A Selection of Mixes from The Great American Pancake Co. -- Cashton, Wisconsin
  • Whole Bean Coffee from Metropolis Coffee -- Chicago, Illinois
  • Refreshments from Dogfish Head and Goose Island -- Milton, Delaware & Chicago, Illinois
  • Music from the shop's Disc Jockey, OLD IS TRUE -- Nashville, Tennessee

… and much more.

Apr 9, 2011