BREEZY POINT -- Tim Shaw of Breezy Point may not carry the same weight around Minnesota as Gov. Jesse Ventura, but the retired road construction worker can wear the governor's size 44 leather jacket anytime he wants.
Shaw is the proud owner of an exact replica of the leather jacket that Ventura often wears. The jacket also bears identical patches on the front that read, "Gov. Jesse Ventura, Commander in Chief, Minnesota National Guard," and "Air Mobility Command." Ventura autographed the interior of the jacket.
Shaw submitted a bid of $1,250.89, the highest bid on eBay, an Internet auction site, and won the jacket on Oct. 28. Ventura was one of several celebrities and governors who donated items for auction on eBay recently, with all proceeds to benefit the Sept. 11 Fund.
Shaw was watching television news one night and was intrigued when he saw a news story about Ventura auctioning off the jacket on eBay. So he decided to get online and start bidding for it.
"Jesse's my man," said Shaw. "I like a man who calls a spade a spade."
"He's a big mouth just like you," joked his wife, Verla.
In the end, it was down to Shaw and another Minnesota bidder who wanted the jacket. Shaw outbid the unknown bidder by only 89 cents.
"The main reason I did it is I like Jesse and it goes to a good cause," he explained. "I am a true American and if I can help out, I'll help out."
Shaw said he would have bid higher for the jacket but he wouldn't say by how much. The day after the bids closed, a Ventura staffer sent the Shaws an e-mail and asked if they wanted Ventura to autograph a notecard or the jacket. (They told her "both.") She told them that the governor was pleased that the jacket stayed in Minnesota.
Shaw got the jacket by overnight express Nov. 1. He said the jacket will mostly be on display in their Breezy Point home, but he plans to wear it on special occasions.
"I'll wear it to take my sweetie pie out for dinner, maybe," he said with a smile.
It doesn't mean Verla hasn't teased him about spending so much money on a leather jacket.
"You could have gotten a couple of leather jackets for that price," she said with a grin.
"But it doesn't have the meaning behind it," he replied.
Shaw said that one day he'd like to meet Ventura. Ironically, the Shaws' lakehome is right across Nelson Bay on Pelican Lake from Breezy Point Resort, where Ventura spent the Governor's Fishing Opener in May. The Shaws were too busy volunteering in the community that weekend to run over to the resort and rub shoulders with the commander in chief, they said.
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